THE hotel and resort industry in the Philippines is slowly shifting to sustainable tourism on account of the growing demand for sustainable travel options among tourists and travelers, Kenth Hvid Nielsen, regional managing director at Grundfos, said.
With hotels and resorts going “green,” the Philippines remains a very important market for world-class solutions to water and energy challenges, he added.
Nielsen said tourists and travelers have catalyzed a more responsible hospitality sector that makes use of environment-friendly technologies and adopted best practices to conserve both water and energy.
Besieged by perennial water and energy supply shortages due to increasing demand on account of population growth and aggravated by the seasonal influx of foreign tourists, Nielsen said the way to go for the hospitality sector is not only to conserve, but optimize water and energy use without compromising the comfortable living sought by guests during their stay.
Established in 1945 in Bjerringbro, Denmark, Grundfos is a leading global pump and water solutions company. It pioneers solutions to the world’s water and climate challenges and improves the quality of life for people. Grundfos is also the world’s first water solutions company with approved net-zero Science-Based Targets.
Grundfos operates with entities in more than 60 countries. With a promise to respect, protect and advance the flow of water, it provides energy- and water-efficient solutions and systems for a wide range of applications for water utilities, industries, and commercial and domestic buildings.
“While many establishments have been early adopters of sustainable practices, such as installing energy-efficient lighting and water-saving measures as well as waste management systems, the government’s prioritization of sustainable tourism is supporting this transition,” he said, noting for instance that under the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, the government will seek to improve the tourism sector to promote sustainability and social responsibility.
Sustainability continues to be among the main drivers of the Philippines’ tourism sector post-Covid-19 pandemic, with hotels recognized as a key part of the country’s ambition to push for greener tourism.
According to Nielsen, at the 2022 World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit held in Manila, then Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat affirmed the Philippines’ commitment to greening tourism, particularly in the post-pandemic era, as the WTTC launched “Hotel Sustainable Basics”—a global standard for hotel sustainability—during the event.
“With these initiatives in place, we expect Philippine hotels and resorts to continue advancing their sustainability drive with the adoption of more eco-friendly infrastructure and green practices.”
Optimizing energy and water use
ACCORDING to Nielsen, water and energy both play a huge role in hotel services and operations, especially as hotels prioritize guest comfort and experience.
For many hotels, guest rooms account for up to 80 percent of a hotel’s total energy consumption with cooling and heating making up the majority of this use.
As such, the integration of energy-efficient systems into key building services, such as lighting and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems can play a major role in energy reduction in hotels.
Hotels and resorts can optimize the use of energy and water across all of their processes, from lighting to water heating.
HOWEVER, in tropical Southeast Asia, which experiences year-round heat and humidity, space cooling is a critical area for any business to look into. In fact, space cooling has been identified as the fastest-growing use of energy in buildings globally and in Asean.
“To address this demand while ensuring critical access to affordable and sustainable space cooling, we need to turn our sights to pumps. Pumps control the water and cooling system of a building, operating and using energy year-round,” he explained.
Particularly in commercial buildings, HVAC systems account for up to 40 percent of total energy use.
“They are also responsible for all water processes such as potable water supply, wastewater removal, and even fire protection. This is where Grundfos comes in. Other ways include installing efficient lighting such as LED lights, considering more efficient water heating systems, and leveraging smart energy-management systems to control different devices such as thermostats and lighting to support energy savings,” he said.
ACCORDING to Nielsen, Grundfos offers services that optimize the energy efficiency of HVAC systems with intelligent, reliable and efficient pump solutions that reduce waste consumption, leakage and inefficiencies without impacting end-customers.
“We achieve this by leveraging smart technology, where intelligent pumps can instinctively adjust their operations based on changes in demand, which ensure that pump systems run only when needed, thereby halving the electricity consumed by traditional pumps that operate at a constant rate,” he said.
With more efficient pump solutions, overall energy consumption can be heavily reduced, he said, and the result of which is not only a positive impact on carbon emissions and climate change but also higher performing buildings, greater indoor comfort, and increased water safety.
Grundfos works on new hotel projects by helping in the selection, installation and maintenance of HVAC systems according to performance needs and providing the best comfort possible to guests, Nielsen explained.
FOR hotels looking to renovate their facilities with energy optimization in mind, Grundfos’s energy-efficient retrofitting services can mean everything from replacing old pumps to transforming the entire system with intelligent solutions that monitor performance.
“It is crucial for hoteliers seeking to advance their sustainability journey to first gain an understanding of their current environmental performance. When working with hotels, Grundfos conducts complete system audits to identify areas that require the most improvement, where the most impact can be made, and the processes and products in which more sustainable practices can be integrated,” he said.
The costs involved in upgrading pumps and controls depend on the needs and specifications, which will differ across each establishment.
GEE, digital optimization
GRUNDFOS recently installed a Grundfos Energy Earnings (GEE) project in the Philippines which is a first of its kind for Grundfos. The project was for the implementation of Grundfos CUE variable speed drives to enhance the efficiency of the existing pumping equipment.
By adding the digital optimization layer, the company helped Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort reduce its pumping energy consumption by 35 percent. As was the case with the Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort project, Grundfos made the investment, and they are sharing the savings.
Separately, beyond commercial building applications, Grundfos also supported the local tourism industry’s water needs across other applications.
“Notably, we worked with Lio Tourism Estate, which is located in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, in supporting its wastewater management efforts through our Prefabricated Pumping Station (PPS) solution. Not only was PPS competitively priced against the concrete variation, and is appealing with its energy efficiency, PPS was able to meet the projects’ tight schedule, avoiding any delays in the execution of the entire development,” says Nielsen.
Image credits: Hilton.com