|STEP Testimonial: The Setai Hotel In Miami|
To differentiate ourselves. We want to be the most luxurious, but also conscious of our environment. Previously, we loosely followed guidelines from Green Globe, but when Leading Hotels of The World announced the Luxury Eco-Certification Standard, we knew it was the right thing to do. LECS offered a structure to sustainability. Our GM was onboard and we had a dedicated person to lead the efforts of going green.
In which area has implementing the LECS program had the most significant impact?
The most significant impacts can really be seen in three areas: water and electricity consumption, the community and waste, thanks to the efforts of recycling. Most notably however is in water and electricity consumption. Low flow faucets and showerheads were installed, and in addition to implementing energy efficient items (such as light bulbs, LED TVs, etc), we also installed sensors to automatically turn off lights in back of house areas of the hotel. We have subsequently seen significant drops in consumption for both. The community aspect is perhaps the most exciting. The employees at The Setai are motivated to participate in community events such as the Aids Walk, Beach and Canal clean ups and other charitable events throughout the year.
Were there any unexpected benefits of becoming LECS certified?
The local and community factors have helped pull the community and employees together in a positive way. We have also been recognized by the City of
What was the biggest challenge and how was it addressed?
How to communicate our messages to raise awareness with guests and employees. We’ve addressed this by making sure we communicate in a way that is meaningful to them, so they can relate more to our actions.
For our guests, previously they didn’t know too much about our environmental efforts as they were more behind the scenes. Now, we make our actions a little more visible by dedicating a portion of our website to our environmental efforts, including a section in our guest services directory, as well as adding a bedside card explaining our linen re-use policy (optional for guests to participate) and in-room recycling program.
For our employees, we started with our Mission Statement and using a video newsletter to update employees that plays in our canteen. However, we have found the key to getting employee buy-in is speaking to them in a language and way that appeals to them. This way we can create a buzz about caring for the environment and show them that no action is too small and they are appreciated for all their efforts.
Identify and form a team of dedicated individuals that are willing to make a difference everyday. Also involve everybody who has the ability to help the environment in different ways. These individuals will help to ensure the success of the program. Break down some of the required tasks and get all members involved so that they can show ownership for their respective areas while rallying others to follow their lead.