Knutsford Court reaping benefits of eco-friendly programmeThursday, April 18, 2019
BY ALEXIS MONTEITH
In an effort to promote a more eco-friendly environment, the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston is adopting new energy-efficient methods, along with other sustainable practices.
According to the hotel's Chief Engineer Prince Leung, part of this programme includes the implementation of solar panels to lessen its carbon footprint.
Although the return on investment is projected to occur in five years' time, the hotel is still reaping the financial benefits of an eco-friendly system.
“This has proven to be a great decision, not just for the environment but the electricity bill being reduced by about 10 per cent,” Leung stated. “Although it was costly to implement, the return on investment allows the company to save more and invest in other areas of the hotel.”
The hotel's partnership with the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Programme (CHENACT) played an integral role in allowing the solar project to begin. The hotel worked closely with Loretta Duffy Meyers, regional programme manager for the CHENACT programme, to ensure the implementation was a success.
“We really owe it all to the CHENACT team funded by the International Development Bank who awarded us a US$50,000 grant to kick-start this project.” said Leung.
Along with the solar panels, a capacitor bank installed has also contributed to the property being more energy-efficient. This capacitor regulates the demand for energy and reduces damage on the equipment.
“Capacitor banks are used to improve the power factor in the network,” the chief engineer explained. “Improving the power factor also means a higher power transmission capability and increased control of the power flow.”
With the continuous aim of being energy-efficient, the property is also working to replace the air-conditioning split systems. The hotel is currently using LED bulbs and is working to implement additional energy efficient units in the main building. Encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens as well as welcome cards promoting the hotel's eco-friendly atmosphere are traditional environmental practices that are still being pursued. The staff is also encouraged daily to consider more energy-efficient methods.
The Knutsford Court Hotel, through the use of these new and efficient methods, wants to play its part in leading a transformation of industry standards.
“It is our hope that all these efforts will improve the service of capital equipment, enhance guest comfort, and demonstrate a commitment to climate stewardship,” stated Managing Director Kevin Hendrickson.
Apart from energy saving methods, the hotel has been actively involved in a recycling project. Through this project, it provides bottles to Recycling Partners of Jamaica. Plastic containers are being replaced with paper products while styrofoam is also being removed especially in the Food and Beverage Department.
“These green initiatives we have put in effect prove that hotels can create a great experience for guests with respect for the environment.” affirmed Group Operations Manager Saran Hutchinson.
The hotel's aim to be self-reliant and cost-effective has led to the establishment of a greenhouse for herbs and other spices. This greenhouse is managed by members of staff to provide items for the hotel's restaurant, The Melting Pot and Lounge. Produce is also provided for other hotels within the Courtleigh Hotel Group.
Group director of marketing and sales for the Courtleigh Hospitality Group Nicola Madden-Greig highlighted the importance of such environmental initiatives in the hospitality industry.
“We are now in an era where the sustainability of the environment is crucial and it is our aim to be a part of developing various ways to make that happen,” she emphasised. “International travellers are seeking out companies that believe in sustainable practices and we are a part of the solution to sustainable growth and development.”