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Going green in the desert
November 2016 983

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, unveiled the findings of the first-of-its-kind report on ‘Energy and Water Benchmarking for UAE Hotels.’

An in-depth analysis on the UAE’s hospitality sector vis-à-vis sustainability initiatives, the ‘EmiratesGBC Energy and Water Benchmarking for UAE Hotels’ draws on information gathered from 46 voluntarily participating hotels across the country on their property’s general, physical and operational characteristics as well as annual energy and water consumption data. The report studied energy and water consumption data over a three-year period (2013-2015) for the comprehensive study.

The key findings of the study are that UAE hotels have unequal energy and water performance with high potential for significant savings using viable and affordable existing technologies. This correlates with a recent report that Dubai’s five-star hotels consume up to 225 per cent more energy compared to their counterparts in Europe.

There is a strong need to replace old fixtures and ensure maintenance of water systems, with laundry services and landscaping contributing heavily to water use intensities. The study also finds that poor performing hotels consume three times the amount of energy and 7.4 times the water compared to the best performing hotels.

More recently built hotels were found to benefit from newer technologies and efficient design as well as stringent codes & regulations, underlining need for older properties to consider retrofit as a solution to reduce their carbon footprint.

Globally, tourism contributes to 5 per cent of the total world carbon dioxide emissions. The United Nations has now declared 2017 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.’

The benchmarking exercise and follow-up action by EmiratesGBC is just in time to support the global focus on promoting best green practices in the tourism and hospitality sector. EmiratesGBC will update, fine-tune and repeat the benchmarking study on an annual basis.

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