The hospitality industry is international and is extremely important to the global economy. In 2015, American’s took 2.2 billion person-trips (one person on a trip away from home overnight in paid accommodations or on a day or overnight trip to places 50 miles or more [one-way] away from home) for business and leisure purposes and the U.S. saw 75 million international arrivals. (1) Its continued success is dependent on the natural environment. For tourism, climate change is not a remote event, but a reality that already affects the sector and has a large potential to do more damage to the industry very quickly.
Iain Milnes, president of Power Knot, warns, “The planet is being destroyed by global warming and if we don’t look at carbon budgets on a daily basis, starting today, not 2050, we are going to create irreversible damage. We need to do everything we reasonably can right now. Reducing the hospitality industry’s carbon footprint, by decreasing the amount of landfill waste and minimizing the use of excess energy, is an essential requirement for hotels and resorts going forward if they want to continue to see growth in the industry.”
Every year, an average of 475 pounds of food waste is produced per person, adding up to more than 70 million tons in our landfills. When staying in hotels, the average guest will produce about 2.2 pounds of waste per night of stay. (2) Currently, less than three percent of more than 30 million tons of organic waste produced annually gets diverted from landfills. (3)
Global warming is a cause for concern for an industry that is reliant on a cooperating climate to thrive in today’s economy. Hotels and resorts are vulnerable to rising sea levels in coastal areas and changing weather patterns for properties ranging from waterfront to high elevation. With so many assets located in places exposed to weather, hotels and resorts can experience significant expenses if a massive storm comes ashore, or when snow recedes each year.
Despite commitments from governments and businesses to reduce carbon outputs, emissions have continued to grow and are currently 60 percent higher than they were in 1990. Rising at a rate of 2-3% per annum, they are now two to three times higher than the growth rate in the 1990s. (5)
Power Knot offers alternative technologies designed for hotels and resorts looking for a more cost-effective and technologically innovative solution to today’s most urgent environmental problems. The LFC (Liquid Food Composter) is a commercial bio-digester that decomposes most waste food in less than 24 hours, significantly reducing the businesses’ impact on the environment. It allows organizations to reduce the expense, inconvenience, and mess of disposing waste food that would otherwise be moved to a landfill.
Milnes adds, “One of the main contributors to global warming is the release of methane into the atmosphere. Much of the methane in the U.S. is from the disposal of waste food in landfills. We are seeing an increase globally in the effect that waste food has on the environment when sent to the landfill, and laws are changing to create awareness and minimize this trend. With our LFCs, organizations such as hotels and resort properties can divert their organic waste from the landfill and thereby reduce their carbon footprint.”
The LFCs weigh the amount of waste food, and digitally send information to the cloud, allowing management, both local and remote, to monitor how much is being discarded. It is not possible to control what you cannot measure, and with the LFC, management can identify when and where there may be large amounts of waste food, and subsequently reduce it.
Power Knot’s LFC is a viable solution to the challenge of corporate social responsibility faced by the hospitality industry. It allows hotels, resorts, and restaurants to cleanly and safely break down the waste on site, and in doing so generate goodwill for their efforts to the growing number of environmentally-conscious guests. Power Knot’s clean technology solutions will continue to help advance the global movement toward sustainability and zero waste initiatives.