According to the organisation that runs the country’s Green Hospitality Award (GHA) scheme, a kitemark showing that hotels have taken certain steps to improve their environmental performance, the industry saved almost €5m in 2009 through energy efficiency and other resource-saving actions.

It claims that the programme has also proved that hotels can save the equivalent of €1,000 per room per year in their first year of implementation.

The scheme is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its National Waste Prevention Programme.

Gerry Byrne EPA programme manager said: “The EPA are delighted to have supported the GHA programme over many years as it is obvious that successful hospitality businesses are using resource efficiency measures to improve their bottom line.

“There are additional benefits in that their Irish tourism product can be marketed as genuinely green and the environmental impacts are reduced”.

This year the awards will be extended to cover the wider hospitality sector and businesses other than hotels can now apply.

Businesses covered will include restaurants, pubs, guesthouses, caterers, nursing homes, tourist attractions, leisure centres, clubs and golf clubs.

The GHA programme has been encouraged to provide an Eco Label for these tourism businesses by a number of industry organisations and government bodies.

“The Green Hospitality Award is not just a programme about reducing environmental impact but is time and time again proving that there are real and substantial cost savings to be made by taking responsibility for this area of management” said Maurice Bergin, director of GHA.

“Without funding this important programme cannot be delivered and we are very grateful to the EPA for their enthusiasm and support for the programme”.

Sam Bond

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