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Decreasing Water Consumption: Optional Change of Bedding Reduces Water Consumption

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The Montri Hotel in Chiang Mai / Thailand

In brief

As was the practice in most hotels (both in Thailand and internationally), bed sheets in guests’ rooms were changed every day. Daily washing of linens generates a significant level of waste water and involves a high consumption of detergents. By introducing so-called “tent cards” for the bedding, guests were given the option not to have the bedding changed each day. This hotel with 75 rooms and 32 employees reduced the quantity of detergents and water for washing dramatically. The hotel gained cost savings in the process, while also making a positive contribution to society from the environmental perspective.

The challenge

In the hotel business, the bedding in guest rooms (i.e. bed sheets and pillowcases) is normally changed on a daily basis. This practice has long been seen as part of providing guests with high quality room service. With more attention being paid to environmental issues on a worldwide basis, guests are becoming more sensitive to the need to conserve water, particularly in areas that experience shortages. The challenge for the hotel was to reduce the frequency of changing and washing the bedding while at the same time maintaining the expected level of room service.

Actions taken within the enterprise (after application of the GHK PREMA guideline)

A tent card system was introduced for bedding. As part of this new system, guests received information in their rooms about the positive impact related to not changing and washing bedding on a daily basis, and they were given the choice to do so or not.

Economic benefits

Investment cost

3,750 Baht or (₱ 356)

For the design and printing of tent cards for 75 rooms

Annual net savings

53,913 Baht or (₱ 5,122)

From savings in water, detergents and waste water charges *

Payback period

25 days

 

In December 1999, the Montri Hotel tested the tent cards and noticed a reduction of laundry (for bedding) of about 32 %.

Monthly costs without tent card: 39 rooms (Æ) x 4 pieces of bedding (per room) 3 Baht (cost/piece) x 30 days/month = 14,040 Baht

Monthly savings with tent card: 14,040 Baht x 32% = 4,493 Baht/monthly (=> 53,913 Baht/year)

Environmental benefits

By introducing the tent card system, the hotel reduced the level of laundry that needed to be washed each day. This, in turn, reduced the quantity of water consumed and waste water that required disposal and treatment. In the bigger picture, such an action helps reduce the demand for water and therefore helps to conserve water resources, which are quite important for a stable eco-system and the supply of drinking water locally.

Organizational improvements

Bedding is no longer being automatically changed and washed on a daily basis. The tent card system helps to simplify the work of housekeeping staff, particularly in peak times when there is a high demand on staff time just to exchange the bedding in all rooms, which can delay the completion of other duties also involved in providing a high-quality room service.

The use of the Good Housekeeping Guide has created a higher level of motivation on the part of the hotel staff to think about and implement new ideas.

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