Planning failures lead to new hotels routinely being less eco-friendly than they could be with today’s technology.


Siemens Technology head of hospitality solutions Michael Hartmann said the inertia in the industry stemmed from the fragmented way in which hotels were planned.


Hartmann told a seminar on ecological concepts in the hotel industry that planning is disorganised. “Every party in the process make decisions independently of one another and the result is a totally fragmented concept.


“Planning needs to improve. It requires a paradigm shift. With today’s technology we could have energy transparency. We could monitor energy consumption per room and incentivise staff to reduce consumption rather than flush the toilet five times to clean it.”


Hartmann said cost pressures on hotel groups can limit progress.


“How you plan and operate a hotel is tremendously important and it is not being done [adequately] yet,” he said. “It requires measured ­consumption and more transparency, and hotels may have to charge customers a ‘green fee’ to do it.”


He added: “There is ambivalence [to conserving energy and water] in luxury hotels. When guests are surveyed and asked would they renounce certain luxury items, there is a clear no. So there is a conflict.”


Hartmann suggested: “Regulators will act before the mindset of most people changes. But the earlier companies act and bring down their costs, the earlier they will be able to adapt when regulations change.


“At the moment there are not enough green travel options out there.”


Hilton ­Hotels director of energy management and sustainability Andrew Forte, agreed. He said: “Hotel design teams often have little knowledge of the technology available. It means there is frequently no energy control in properties.”