Case Study: Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach
In March 2016 IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group) released a tender to review its current waste services at one of its premium locations, the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach (Crowne Plaza). The tender was the result of the General Manager’s astute service observations and performance comparisons against other hotels in the group. In short, Crowne Plaza was achieving poor recycling rates and paying too much for waste services.
The brief issued to industry requested that costed recommendations be provided to improve the existing services. REMONDIS responded to the invitation and performed a detailed waste and service audit at the site. Following this audit, REMONDIS was able to make a series of recommendations to achieve the tender’s objectives of improving services and saving money.
REMONDIS’ PRIMARY RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDED:
- Increasing diversion from landfill by introducing six additional recycling streams; and
- educating and motivating staff members to use the new services correctly.
IHG implemented the majority of REMONDIS’ recommended changes.
REMONDIS sought to leverage and improve upon the existing recycling systems and infrastructure on site. With the diversion of new recycling streams from landfill, the large and expensive general waste compactor on site could be removed. Source segregation by employees became a requirement, rather than an option.
As hotel groups typically generate significant quantities of food waste that are heavy and expensive to dispose of in landfill, REMONDIS and Crowne Plaza tackled this waste stream as a priority. Food in landfill generates significant quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By recycling organic waste, Crowne Plaza was able to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas footprint.
REMONDIS installed a trial ORCA unit. The equipment relies upon microorganisms to break down food waste, in much the same way as the stomach does in the human body. Most of the food waste generated by Crowne Plaza is made up of fruit and vegetables with high water contents (up to 60 percent by weight). The ORCA unit converts this material into a liquid that is discharged into trade waste. This is achieved in just 24 hours.
REMONDIS and Crowne Plaza then focussed their efforts on commingled recyclables. Dedicated commingled bins were introduced onto each of the seven oors of Crowne Plaza. Previously, no waste was being separated in the hotel rooms. All waste was being removed from guests’ rooms, bagged and placed in the general waste compactor.
With the new collection system, glass could be mixed with other recyclable containers, in the same way as domestic recycling systems. The commingled services is overseen by housekeeping Paper and cardboard are now separated and baled on site, providing an additional revenue stream to Crowne Plaza as the material no longer needs to be sorted at a recycling facility. Systems were also put in place to handle the secure destruction of all sensitive of office documents and to recycle fluorescent light tubes, batteries and grease trap waste. Although some of these services were already in place, the management of each recyclable waste stream was refined and improved.
REMONDIS believed that if the service changes were to make a difference, it was critical that guests and staff understood the new and improved measures implemented at Crowne Plaza. REMONDIS ensured that new signage was installed throughout the hotel. Typically, the hospitality industry employs a diverse staff base, many of whom do not speak English as a first language. To address this education challenge, signage was translated into the three most commonly spoken languages by staff following consultation with Crowne Plaza.
RESULTS AND KEY ACHIEVEMENTS
- Costs have been reduced by approximately 50 per cent.
- Additional waste streams are being investigated in partnership between REMONDIS and IHG.
- Introduction of six additional recycling streams.
- Installation of an ORCA unit to receive and recycle food waste on site, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport and landfill disposal.
- Introduction of source separation systems (commingled and paper/cardboard) in all hotel rooms across seven floors.
- Crowne Plaza now receives a consolidated invoice from a single provider.
The primary objectives of cutting costs and improving environmental outcomes were met by REMONDIS and Crowne Plaza. The key achievements are the result of a collaborative and motivated partnership between customer and service provider.
This article also appears in Issue 6 of CWS magazine. Get your free, obligation-free trial of the mag here.