Energy management efforts at Westin Resort Macau prove that managing, not cutting, delivers real value
The 208-room Westin Resort Macau has passed a milestone that would be the envy of many a much larger hotel - two million US dollars in net savings from its energy management efforts.
But this reduced energy consumption dramatically reduced its environmental footprint at the same time. Fifteen million kilograms of carbon dioxide less, just for starters. And since Macau electricity is generated by burning fuel oil, the quantity of sulphurous and nitrous oxides and mercury reduced is also no small matter.
"These results did not pile up overnight", commented Akram Touma, the General Manager of The Westin Resort Macau. It required consistent effort, target setting, measurement, and attention to detail. "Effective energy management formed part of our strategies to improve guest satisfaction since the mid 90s. It all began in 1995, when The Westin Resort Macau appointed a Hong Kong firm, Energy Resources Management, to carry out a detailed energy audit and to advise what technical, operational, and financial opportunities existed" he explained. Using that firm as its energy management coach ever since, the hotel has been able to average $235,000 a year in savings in addition to the improved environmental profile.
This hotel's approach to energy management has not been the simplistic "cut, cut, cut" so commonly seen when firms launch their energy management efforts. Instead, their battle cry is "manage, manage, manage". The Westin Resort Macau decision-makers did not buy a few black boxes and then move onto something else. Instead, they acknowledged energy management as a hotel-wide challenge, requiring the concerted efforts of human resources, purchasing, rooms, food and beverage, engineering, accounting, and many others to fashion a truly optimal energy consumption profile for the benefit of shareholders, guests, staff, and the environment.
Their goal was not simply to save energy, but rather to gain the maximum possible value from their use of this expensive and multifaceted resource. Guest satisfaction, staff productivity, corporate reputation, plant longevity, risk management and environmental footprint are just a few of the areas where they identified potential to enhance shareholder value. The hotel's management and staff developed plans to find and capture this value to its full measure.
The most significant energy-consuming measure undertaken was to cool the hotel's midnight-blue (and therefore heat retaining) outdoor pool. Guest satisfaction index results, a key performance indicator for all Westin Hotels & Resorts, indicated that the pool water temperature from April to November was an area of opportunity. Chief Engineer Romulo Estrada and his team devised a way to employ the hotel's chiller plant to bring down the pool temperature and bring up the guest satisfaction index.
Another example of 'guests first' was the upgrading of lobby and lobby lounge air conditioning, since both these areas had been difficult to keep well dehumidified from the hotel's opening day. Bigger electricity bills resulted, but so did happier guests (to say nothing of the staff who worked in those areas).
Productivity and product quality decisions led to higher energy use in another area - the main kitchen, where gas convection ovens were replaced with electric powered units.
The multi-million dollar savings came to fruition despite all these changes.
Excellence in managing any resource requires consistent effort. It requires a clear and accurate understanding of the current situation, a plan to achieve specific goals, and the means to measure progress along a series of milestones. The Westin Resort Macau has risen to this challenge and produced measured, verifiable outcomes. Their efforts are set to continue. "Energy management excellence is one of many Westin Resort Macau competitive advantages" stated Touma. "It is our commitment to our customers; it is one of our means to enhance guests' satisfaction. Enhancing guests' satisfaction is not a pet project, but a way of doing business," he promised.
The Westin Resort Macau, a leading resort in the greater China region, is an award-winning beachfront property overlooking the stunning Hac Sa Beach (loosely translated as Black Sand Beach) and South China Sea. All 208 guestrooms terrace towards a rooftop 18-hole Championship Golf course. Each exclusive sanctuary is a tribute to modern luxury, featuring large sun terraces to create a total space of 72 square meters - the largest guest rooms available in Macau. More information is available at a tri-language website www.westin-macau.com or www.westin.com/macau/
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com
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About Energy Resources Management
Energy Resources Management serves building owners and operators throughout Asia - in particular those that decide to outsource their energy management function so they can focus on their core activities. Founded in 1992, Energy Resources Management also provides energy accounting, design assistance, benchmarking, energy consumption monitoring, employee training, energy audits, and policy development services. Energy Resources Management's mission is to work with clients to extract maximum value from the dollars they spend on energy. For more information, please see www.energy-rm.com.hk.