Environmental and Social Sustainable Practices
Emporium Hotel is proud to be Silver Certified in 2013 with EarthCheck.
The Emporium Hotel recognises that our activities have an effect on the environment at local and global levels. We strive towards minimising the environmental impact of our hotel operations. We are dedicated to implementing policies aimed at improving the hotels environmental performance, and committed to reducing the use of Energy, Water and Waste. This also involves awareness within the Emporium Hotel team, our suppliers and working with EarthCheck a Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking company to achieve benchmarking for our sustainable approach.
It is our purpose to maintain a healthy environment by implementing sustainability projects, and also practicing and adhering to current procedures. While achieving this
goal we endeavour to create a Hotel where service, atmosphere and comfort for our guests are rated amongst the best in Australia.
The site now occupied by the Emporium Hotel was formerly known as ‘The Light Street Bus Depot’. It was an unsightly mix of corrugated iron sheds, oil pits and bitumen. The Brisbane City Council in association with the Urban Renewal Taskforce presented this area to the market in a design driven tender, which was keenly contested. The Anthony John Group succeeded with its tender with the purpose of creating a development influenced by European architecture and the Queensland climate. This former industrial site is now the location of the Emporium Hotel, which has set a new benchmark in Brisbane Accommodation.
The Hotel comprises of luxurious studio suites all featuring contemporary finishes and artwork, a stunning Cocktail Bar, rooftop heated lap pool, sauna & gym, and a Conference Centre catering for weddings and events for up to 300 people.
The Emporium precinct has become not just one of Brisbane’s largest urban renewal projects, but arguably one of its most successful.
Emporium Hotel’s green philosophy is that, using sustainable resources and employing proper recycling and waste reduction measures can not only have a positive effect on the environment, but also improve our reputation with guests.
Voluntary Environmental Organisations
Currently, there are no regulations governing the sustainability of Australian luxury hotels operations. The Emporium Hotel recognises that working together with the EarthCheck programme is necessary to help continually focus on environmental performance and sustainability. We actively participate in this programme, which provides unequalled support in implementing operational improvements, while conducting strict regular environmental audits. The program indicators that measure our hotel’s performance in areas such as energy use, water consumption, waste production, resource conservation and commitment to the local community.
Another worthwhile program Emporium Hotel supports is the New Farm State Primary School sustainable environment project. Emporium Hotel has donated funds towards the school's commitment to the environment intiatives. Their aim has been to help students by thinking and learning about environmental practices.
A fun and exciting way for staff and guests to be involved in reducing energy consumption, is Earth Hour, a recent yearly event that involves the majority of the Hotel lighting being switched off for one hour. This event is now recognised world wide and the Emporium Hotel looks forward to participating in this each year in addition to the current energy saving hotel policies. In addition, Emporium Hotel also works with sustainable suppliers to ensure they too are a committed environmental organisation.
Energy consumption, and CO2 emissions, is a large environmental issue and listed are just some energy- efficiency programme’s we have in place to help reduce our global impact:
• Electrical fittings and consumables are purchased with regard to ‘efficiency’.
• Lights and other electrical equipment are switched off when not required. This includes all guest rooms after departure.
• The hotel, in anticipation to reduce energy has provided each room with separate air conditioning units, rather than a central system. This ensures these units are only in use when the corresponding rooms are occupied.
• Set air conditioning to 24 degrees for cooling.
• Drain and flush hot water tanks every 6 months to reduce the build up of scale and deposits which reduce efficiency.
• Make sure the building is properly insulated, e.g. install double-glazed windows and draft-proof older windows and doors when necessary.
• Procedures are in place for air conditioning and lighting in unused public areas to be switched off unless required. Lighting can be controlled by dimming switches in all public areas and bedside tables.
•All guest rooms are provided with double glazed large windows to allow natural lighting.
• Internal Hotel room audits are done on a rotating 2 monthly basis, which involves communicating any maintenance issues to engineering which are promptly followed up.
• Turn off lights when you leave the room for more than a few minutes.
• Sky lights placed throughout the hotel for use of natural light
• In guest rooms, desks placed in a position to maximise the use of natural light.
• Light fittings cleaned regularly. Cleaning windows will also help improve natural lighting.
• Switch off the computer completely when not in use for long periods
• Frost build-up should not be more than 6mm. Refrigerator / freezer defrosted regularly and keep as full as possible to prevent heavy icing.
• Where possible appliances turned off when not in use. Not using the Stand-by option can save up to 50% of daily energy use.
• Lint cleaned from the filter screens in laundry drying machines. Blocked lint screens reduce air flow, requiring the drier to use more energy
• Maintenance team conducting daily checks of requirements of swimming pools, appliances etc throughout the hotel.
Using water in an efficient manner is another key part of our environmental programme.
• Water saving shower heads and tap flow regulators are used throughout the hotel, with no reduction in water pressure.
• Targets will be set for the reduction of water usage once we have benchmarks in place and through the reports produced by EarthCheck.
• Maintenance procedures ensure regular audits and infrastructure checks
• All toilets are dual flush.
• Hand basins are equipped with restrictor water flows.
• Encourage both staff and guests to participate in water-saving measures
• Guests are given the option of having their room serviced every second day to reduce washing requirements, therefore significant reduction in water usage
• Encourage staff to turn off taps and report all water leaks needing attention immediately.
• Water meters checked monthly for monitoring usage and leakages
We strive to minimise the waste we produce, and we are continually looking for new and innovative ways of reusing and recycling. A recycling system is in place where the following is recycled on a daily basis: office paper, cardboard, glass & plastic, old towels reused as rags, partially used toilet rolls are used in staff areas, newspapers, telephone books, printer cartridges, and kitchen oil is collected and recycled by a local organisation. The Emporium Hotel’s waste is then sent to a Ti Tree Bioenergy waste disposal and reused for energy.
Every effort is made in reducing waste, for example:
• Providing newspapers on request
• Provide information on guestroom TV screens
• Provide guests with the option of deciding whether to re-use bed linen and bath towels in the guestroom
• Store food in reusable plastic containers to reduce the use of plastic film
• Printer/fax/photocopier cartridges are sent to Planet Ark for recycling
• Computers set to photocopy on both sides of paper.
• Where possible store information in electronic form rather than paper
• Recycle paper, cardboard and glass with waste management company
Waste sent to landfill is recorded and targets are set to measure and reduce our waste output, and we are continually updating our office procedures and IT infrastructure to cut down ink and paper usage. We will continue to source products which have minimal environmental impact.
FACT: Recycling all of your waste newsprint, cardboard, glass, and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 380 Kg a year.
Improving Air Quality
In recent years, scientific evidence has indicated that indoor air can be even more seriously polluted than external air. Indoor air quality is important to the health and wellbeing of both travellers and staff engaged in the tourism and travel industry.
• Use of exhaust fans in kitchens
• Regular hotel cleaning and monitoring by Housekeeping, to reduce the need for harmful chemicals
• Emporium Hotel is a non-smoking property
• Undertake regular maintenance and cleaning of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment to ensure that it is filtering and circulating air correctly and that there are no air leaks or blockages
• Use of biodegradable cleaning chemicals rather than chemicals which can adversely affect indoor air quality
Suppliers are encouraged to operate in an environmentally friendly manner. Our policy is to only use representatives from responsible companies to work within our organisation.
These suppliers are encouraged to be active participants in providing sustainability andhave environmental awareness, and to also have an active environmental policy. Where possible, we encourage local sourcing of products and services.
Due to the location of the Emporium Hotel, public transport is widely available to staff and guests. We also provide and promote great walking maps to nearby locations and attractions. Coach Service transfers are also easily available for guests.
A nominated Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, who supports the GM in the implementation of initiatives and procedures, is responsible for monitoring and achieving targeted improvements. Through this coordinator, employee involvement is encouraged at all levels, and is actively promoted through training, communication and constant monitoring of working routines. The Hotel’s Environmental Policy is incorporated in employee induction training. Any updates to this policy or Hotel procedures are communicated regularly to staff.
Suppliers and guests are made aware of all environmental policies where necessary, in the specific areas where they are in direct contact.
• Educate staff, guests and the local community about ways in which they can contribute to conserving and protecting the natural environment.
• Incorporate environmental issues into the daily course of business
• Employ local personnel wherever possible.
• Source local products and services, provided they do not compromise environmental and social standards.
• Encourage staff to become involved in local communities and support projects that increase local community well-being