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Barcelona Hotel Study Finds Social Pressure Can Lead to Greater Water Efficiency

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Apr 26, 2019 8:32:31 AM

“It is often the higher-end hotels taking the most steps to reduce consumption, such as installing no-water urinals. They are also very media-savvy and tend to be very socially and environmentally-conscious.”

A 2015 study examined the impact of drought conditions endured between 2007 and 2008, in the hotel industry in Barcelona, Spain.
 
Spanish researchers selected Barcelona because it is a major European tourist hub that regularly experiences droughts.
 
According to Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and founder of Waterless Co., Inc., manufacturers of no-water urinals, what the study uncovered has “implications for hotels around the world.”
 
The researchers examined 262 hotels in Barcelona to identify, among other things:
 
•   Where water is most commonly used in the hotels
 
•   Impact of hotel “category” (1-star, 2-star, 3-star, etc.) on consumption
 
•   Factors motivating some hotels to take steps to reduce consumption. This was the key goal of the study.
 
The areas of greatest water usage were found to parallel results of other hotel water usage studies:
 
•   Guest rooms, about 35 percent
 
•   Food and beverage preparation, up to 25 percent
 
•   Laundry services and air conditioning, 16 percent
 
•   Pools and gardens around 5 percent. *
 
The researchers also found that 5-star hotels consume significantly more water per guest than any other hotel category. The likely reasons for this, they surmised, are that 5-star hotels offer the following:
 
•   More water-related services such as pools, spas, sports and fitness centers
 
•   Full meal service – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – available daily for guests as well as the general public
 
•   Greater use of in-house laundry services
 
•   Five-star hotels tend to be larger with more restaurants, bars, and kitchens.
 
After the drought, many hotels did take steps to reduce water consumption. Researchers reported these primary motivators:
 
“Social pressures and possibly marketing objectives appear to be [most] important." This was the result of greater "awareness fueled by drought emergency calls by government authorities.”
 
Additionally, the researchers found that higher category hotels were the most active in seeking to reduce consumption.
 
“This is similar to what we see in North America,” says Reichardt.  
 
“It is often the higher-end hotels taking the most steps to reduce consumption, such as installing no-water urinals. They are also very media-savvy and tend to be very socially and environmentally-conscious.”
 
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*Most Barcelona hotels are in-city hotels with limited landscaping.
 
Study: Dinarès, Marta & Saurí, David. (2015). Water consumption patterns of hotels and their response to droughts and public concerns regarding water conservation: The case of the Barcelona hotel industry during the 2007-2008 episode. Documents d'Anàlisi Geogràfica. 61. 623. 10.5565/rev/dag.255.
 
About Waterless
Waterless Co. Inc. has established a well-respected reputation as being an innovative manufacturer of no-water urinal systems. Based in Vista, California, the nearly 30-year-old company is the oldest manufacturer of waterless urinals in North America. The company offers a full line of Waterless No-Flush urinals, cleaning liquids, and cost saving accessories. Visit: www.waterless.com 

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