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Sustainability Toolkit – Hospitality

Invigorating Business Results March 2009

This publication has been supported by funding from the Australian
Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts,
through the Education for Sustainability Grants Program.
The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government
or the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts or the Minister
for Climate Change and Water.
While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of
this publication are factually correct, the Commonwealth and the NSW
Business Chamber do not accept responsibility for the accuracy or
completeness of the contents, and shall not be liable for any loss or
damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or
reliance on, the contents of this publication.
Climate change will affect every Australian to a carbon-constrained economy.
business and is one of the most critical risk We are also taking on the challenge to
factors that will impact the future viability become more sustainable ourselves. The
of businesses. As a result, climate change NSW Business Chamber has joined the
and sustainability have moved beyond buzz Sustainability Advantage Program,
words to being significant factors in administered by the NSW Department of
business planning and operations. Business Environment and Climate Change, and we
sustainability preparation is more than have made significant progress in achieving
environmental preservation, it recognises sustainability best practices.
the impact of businesses on society,
employees and the collective wealth of a I congratulate businesses that have taken on
nation. It also helps businesses improve the challenge of becoming a more
efficiency and productivity, which makes sustainable organisation and in doing so,
good business sense – economically, support their community and the
environmentally and socially. environment. We encourage members to
document their successes and let their
Although larger businesses have generally clients, industry and stakeholders know and
been the first movers in addressing climate engage in the process.
change within their organisations, all
businesses will be impacted, regardless of It makes good business sense to be
size. The effects of climate change sustainable.
regulation on large businesses and Kind regards,
industries will be passed on throughout the
supply chain and will be felt by everyone,
even though direct compliance will not
impact most businesses. Early preparation
for climate change and energy regulation is
the most efficient and cost effective way to
ensure the long-term survival of your Kevin MacDonald
business. CEO, NSW Business Chamber
NSW Business Chamber recognises that
business owners and operators are essential
to the livelihood of the Australian economy,
but are often neglected in sustainability
information sources. To address this issue,
we have developed a practical and tailored
toolkit to assist and advise micro, small,
medium and large businesses that seek to
understand and implement their own
sustainability programs. The sustainability
toolkit is one component of a multitude of
business resources to assist in the transition

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Table of Contents
Opening 3 Section III: Actioning Sustainability 17
Hospitality Introduction 6 Energy Efficiency 17
Section I: Understanding Sustainability 7 Kitchens 17
What is Sustainability? 7 General 17
Sustainability in the Workplace 7 Food Preparation 18
What Is Climate Change? 7 Dishwashers 18
Climate Change in Australia 8 Ovens 18
Refrigeration 18
Risk Management 9
Guest Rooms 19
Benefits Of Early Response 10 Pools and Recreation Facilities 19
Section II: Getting Started 11 Lighting 19
Step 1: Obtain Management Commitment 11 Efficiency Replacements 19
Usage 20
Step 2: Understand Historical and Current Resource Usage 11 Sensors and Switches 20
Step 3: Establish Baselines, Benchmarks and Targets 12 Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (Hvac) 20
Baseline 12 Temperature 20
Benchmarks 12 Airflow 20
Key Performance Indicators (Kpis) and Targets 12 Maintenance 20
Nabers Hotel Rating 12 New Systems 21
Water Benchmarks 14 Offices 21
Step 4: Audit 14 Building Envelope 21
Walk-Through Audit 14 Insulation 21
Detailed Technical Audit 14 Roofing 21
Additional Auditing Assistance 14 Windows and Doors 21
Design 21
Step 5: Prioritise an Action Plan 15
Transportation 21
Resource Efficiency and Savings Plan 15
Water Efficiency 22
Step 6: Monitor and Measure 15
Kitchens 22
Step 7: Staff Engagement 16 General 22
Education 16 Sinks 22
Rewards 16 Dishwashers 22

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Bathrooms and Guest Rooms 23 Taking it to the Next Level 30
Toilets 23 Efficiency First 30
Hand Basins 23 Renewable Energy 30
Showers 23 Ecotourism and Certification 30
Urinals 23 Community and Social Development 30
Cleaning 23 Carbon Offsetting 31
Guest Involvement 23 Carbon Neutral 31
Laundries 24
Continuous Improvement 31
Cooling Towers 24
Outdoor Areas and Amenities 24 Section V: Additional Informaiton 32
Swimming Pools 24 Legislation 32
Gardens and Grounds 24 Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Cprs) 32
Water Harvesting 25 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (Ngers) 32
Recycling 25 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (Ggas) 32
Additional Water Saving Assistance 25 Nsw Energy Efficiency Trading Scheme (Neet) 32
Resource Efficiency and Waste Reduction 26 Minimum Energy Performance Standards (Meps) – Lighting 32
Waste Avoidance and Reduction 27 Funding Opportunities 33
General 27 Government Programs 34
Kitchens 27
Complementary Information 34
Food Waste 27
Takeaway Containers 27 Glossary 35
Guest Rooms and Cleaning 27 Appendix A 36
Recycling 28 Appendix B 39
Office Supplies 28 Walk-Through Audits
General 28 Energy Walk-Through Audit
Paper 28 Water Walk-Through Audit
Customers 28 Waste Walk-Through Audit
Building Design and Renovations 28
Section IV: Next Steps 29
Supply Chain 29
Sustainable Procurement Policy 29

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Sustainability: Hospitality
Making sense Introduction
into cents… The hospitality sector is a diverse industry
ranging from hotels, motels, guest houses,
restaurants, pubs, clubs and caterers.
Reducing energy, water and waste
Although there is diversity within the
consumption in your organisation makes
hospitality fields, there are common
great business sense. It can:
efficiency measures that can be utilised to
>> Save money improve the profitability, reputation and
>> Minimise climate change risk environmental performance across all
>> Enhance business image sectors. Key cost savings can be found in
relatively simple changes in the
>> Improve customer and staff satisfaction management of energy, water, waste and
This toolkit serves as an introductory guide resource use. Properly managing resources
to basic sustainability principles, practices can ensure customer comfort and service
and actions that any business can employ while providing businesses with the added
to help manage their costs and climate benefit of cost savings and recognition as a
change impacts. sustainable organisation.

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S E C T I O N 1

Section I: Understanding Sustainability

What is sustainability? environmental impacts and enhanced being observed which will diminish the
company image. Thus, integrating capacity we have to maintain our quality of
Sustainability is a form of progress or sustainability into business planning, life and provide for future generations.
development that meets current needs policies, practices and training should be
without compromising the ability of future Climate change and global warming are
considered standard practice, not an caused by greenhouse gases (GHG) which
generations to meet their needs. It is a term optional add-on.
used to describe process impacts on climate create a ‘greenhouse effect’ of warming the
change, water, energy, natural resources and What is climate change? earth. Greenhouse gases are a natural part
waste. of the atmosphere. They absorb and
Climate change, often used interchangeably re-radiate the Sun’s warmth and maintain
Sustainability involves accounting for three with global warming, refers to any the Earth’s surface temperature at a level
main factors: environmental, economic and significant change in climate such as necessary to support life. The problem we
social considerations. These three principles temperature, precipitation, or wind, lasting now face is that human actions, particularly
are often referred to as the triple bottom for an extended period such as decades or burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and
line (TBL). In practical terms, the TBL goes longer. Global warming is an average natural gas, and agriculture and land
beyond traditional financial accounting and increase in the temperature of the clearing, increase the concentrations of the
estimates the impact of a process, such as a atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in gases that trap heat. This is the enhanced
specific business operation, on social and the troposphere, which can contribute to greenhouse effect, which is contributing to
environmental performance. changes in global climate patterns1. a warming of the Earth’s surface and
Whether manmade or naturally occurring, creating dangerous side effects such as
Figure 1. climate change is having a noticeable increased frequency and intensity of storms,
Sustainability and TBL Diagram impact on the environment. Within a droughts, flooding and raising sea levels2.
lifetime, serious environmental changes are

The Greenhouse Effect Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

Economic The earth is covered by a Human activities –
blanket of gases which allows particularly burning fossil
energy from the sun to reach fuels (coal, oil and natural
the Earth’s surface, where gas), agriculture and land
Sustainability some of it is converted to clearing – are generating
heat energy. Most of the heat
more greenhouse gases.
is re-radiated towards space,
Greater concerntrations of
Social Environment but some is re-radiated
greenhouse gases will trap
towards the ground by
greeenhouse gases in the more heat and raise the
atmosphere. This is a natural Earth’s surface temperature.
effect which keeps the Earth’s
temperature at a level
necessary to support life.

Sustainability in the workplace

Sustainability is not a passing fad or one-off
project, it is a critical decision making
process that will aid your business in
managing its costs and environmental
outcomes, as well as provide benefits to
customers and employees. The principles of
sustainability, outlined in this toolkit, should
be factored into core business decisions the
same way cost, service and risk are
addressed in traditional organisational
planning. There are many benefits to
accounting for sustainability in your
business decisions, including cost reduction,
improved process efficiency, reduced Figure 2. Greenhouse effect2

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Under the Kyoto Protocol Agreement that Climate change in Australia carbon emissions would reduce the rate and
Australia ratified in 2007, a mixture of six magnitude of climate change, thereby
Research by Australian and international
types of greenhouse gases are monitored allowing businesses more time to adapt.
scientists shows that although Australia’s
and targeted for reduction to address Acting early to cut emissions reduces
contribution to climate change is minimal
climate change. For ease of understanding, damage and buys much-needed time4.
on global levels, its environment and
these six gases are then changed and To address climate change issues and meet
economy will likely be one of the fastest and
reported in the equivalents of carbon. So its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol,
hardest hit by climate change due to the
climate change is not just carbon emissions, the Australian Government plans to
extreme heat and dryness of the continent.
it is a combination of six main greenhouse implement a carbon trading scheme called
Rising global temperatures are projected to
gases. Each of these gases has a different the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
increase the risk of rising sea levels,
potential for trapping heat, which is know (CPRS). CPRS is a cap and trade scheme that
bushfires, flooding, drought, changes in
as the global warming potential (GWP). For is targeted to reduce Australia’s carbon
biodiversity and ecosystems, evaporation
example, carbon dioxide (CO2) has a GWP of emissions between 5 per cent and 15 per
rates, water quality and availability and
1, while methane (CH4) has a GWP of 23, cent below 2000 levels by the end 2020. The
extreme weather/storms. These risks could
meaning CH4 has more potential to trap cap achieves the environmental outcome of
dangerously impact Australians’ personal
heat than CO2, even though it exists in reducing carbon pollution. The ability to
lifestyles, businesses and Government.
smaller relative quantities then CO2. trade ensures carbon pollution is reduced at
Consequently, Australia is being proactive in
Note: The terms carbon emissions, emissions addressing and understanding climate the lowest possible cost.
and greenhouse gas emissions are used change mitigation and adaptation.
interchangeably in this toolkit.
How Australian businesses and economic
systems cope with these impacts depends
Figure 3. on the extent and rate of climate change,
Contribution to total net and on their capacity for adaptation.
CO2-equivalent emissions Australia's CSIRO concluded that reducing
by gas 2006 in Australia³
Rainfall changes Temperature changes

N2O HFCs and PFCs

Nitrous Oxide 4% Hydrofluorocarbons
and Perfluorocarbons 1%
Methane 21% Carbon Dioxide* 74%

Drier 2030 Wetter Drier 2070 Wetter

2030 2070

* Includes confidential emissions reported as CO2 e -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Rainfall change (%) Rainfall change (%) Temperature change (%) Temperature change (%)

Figure 4. Projected changes in Australian precipitation (left) and temperature

(right) in 2030 and 20705

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S E C T I O N 1

Risk Management
Climate change and sustainability can be Supply cost risks Reputation risks
considered in terms of business risk
>> Increased raw material costs >> Lack of consumer/client confidence in
management. Every business needs to
>> Increased food costs organisation
understand the major risks to its operations
and profitability, this is no different in the >> Increased supply costs >> Appearance of being less innovative and
context of sustainability. Aspects of >> Increased transportation costs not proactive compared to competitors
sustainability such as energy and water are >> Decreased water availability >> Loss of revenue resulting from decreased
critical to every business, especially within patronage
>> Increased water costs
the hospitality industry, where a lack of After the key climate change risks have been
>> Increased energy costs
availability or large increases in costs could identified, it is helpful to prioritise these
have significant negative impacts on the >> Interruption or cessation of supply flows risks and form an action plan. One way to
business bottom line. Physical structure risks organise operating risks around climate
The core climate change risks to hospitality change is to create a risk analysis matrix.
>> Increased insurance premiums due to
businesses are: The following risk analysis matrix
climate change issues
demonstrates how to evaluate the urgency
>> Higher energy costs >> Structural damage from storms and floods of addressing your organisation’s risks. By
>> Increased general business costs including >> Transportation delays or interruptions due organising the risks based on likelihood and
food, supplies, insurance premiums, raw to storm, heat and/or water damage impact, you can assess which areas are the
materials, transportation, etc. Regulatory and litigation risks highest and lowest risks to your
>> Loss of revenue organisation and plan accordingly.
>> Carbon emission liabilities
>> Increased legislative requirements >> Loss of tenders due to lack of Additional assistance in risk assessment is
>> Consumer expectations for ‘greener’ sustainability or environmental policy available to businesses through programs
businesses and products such as Sustainability Advantage (NSW
>> Non-compliance fines
The best management of climate change Department of Environment and Climate
>> Business delays from lack of preparedness Change) as well as through professional
risks and sustainability is to act early and for regulations
prepare for doing business in a carbon- consultants for a fee.
>> Liability for non-compliance with
constrained economy. This will identify and
regulations or non-disclosure
allow for changes where necessary, as well
as position a business ahead of its >> Liability for non-compliance with client
competitors. sustainability requirements

Identifying the areas of your business that Market and competitive risks
are at risk to climate change will help >> Loss of new and existing consumer base
identify and prioritise immediate and longer by not offering green products and
term actions to address these risks. Each operating procedures
business will need to evaluate climate >> Loss of market share to competitors
change risks based on its individual offering of greener products and services
operating requirements and procedures.
However, the key areas to consider include:

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Table 1. Sample Risk Matrix
Very Likely Acceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk
(Medium) (High) (Extreme)
Likely Acceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk
What is the chance it

(Low) (Medium) (High)

Unlikely Acceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk Unacceptable Risk
(Low) (Low) (Medium)
will happen?

Minor Moderate Major

How Serious Is The Risk?

Table 2. Sample Risk Analysis

Risk Likelihood Impact Risk Score Sample Actions
Supply risks
Increased food Very likely Major Unacceptable risk >> Source local ingredients
and supply costs >> Investigate material reduction and reuse options
>> Minimise food and supply waste
Increased Very likely Major Unacceptable risk >> Implement ‘low hanging fruit’ energy reduction options (use energy
energy costs efficient light bulbs, adjust thermostat) immediately
>> Use more efficient cooking practices
>> Develop plan for future energy consumption reduction options
Increased water Very likely Moderate Unacceptable risk >> Implement ‘low hanging fruit’ water saving measures (install water
costs and saving taps and sprayers, fix leaks)
restrictions >> Investigate longer term water savings investments (rainwater tanks,
grey water recycling, dual-flush toilets)
>> Reduce laundry through guest education signage
Market and competitive risks
Customer Likely Moderate Unacceptable risk >> Review operations, supplies and products for ‘greening’
demand for opportunities, such as environmentally friendly soaps in guest rooms
‘greener’ >> Join government sustainability assistance program such as
products and Sustainability Advantage, which provide a sustainability rating that
facilities can be advertised

Benefits of Early Response

Businesses that take early steps to mitigate industry initiatives aimed at reducing On the contrary, inaction could ultimately
and adapt to climate change will be better emissions will create new markets for such mean reduced revenue and possibly business
prepared for any changes in regulations, products and services, as will customer failure due to increased operating costs and
save money through efficiency and be ahead preferences for more environmentally loss of competitive advantage. Savvy
of competitors that are slow to address friendly options. businesses recognise the threats and pursue
climate change issues. Business owners and the opportunities instead.
Benefits of early action include:
operators in hospitality may also find they
are able to capitalise on climate change as a >> Cost savings
revenue-generating opportunity by >> Increased efficiency
developing and marketing services and >> Competitive advantage
products that help customers reduce their
>> New customers
emissions, improve their resilience to the
effects of climate change and become >> Increased customer loyalty
greener consumers. Government and large >> Preparedness for new legislation

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S E C T I O N 2

Section II: Getting Started

Making the decision to pursue or at least As a business operator, it is important that As seen in Figure 5, water usage at this
become aware of sustainability in business you lead by example. So if change is business goes through troughs and peaks
is commendable. When the decision has necessary to a process, it is incumbent on throughout the year. In this case, after
been made the following are important you to demonstrate that being sustainable investigation it was found that the
steps to take. works. air-conditioning systems utilised more water
Step 1: O
 btain management commitment during summer than winter. It was also

Step 2: U
 nderstand historical and current
Step 2: Understand historical found that water usage on average declined
each year. Through investigation, the most
resource usage and current resource usage probable cause was that leaks and
Step 3: E stablish baselines, benchmarks In order for a business to progress and maintenance had been more pronounced,
and targets realise savings, it is necessary to know the resulting in lower consistent water usage.
resource usage history and analyse the
Step 4: Audit When you receive a bill relating to
sustainability (energy, water and waste), it is
Step 5: Prioritise an action plan >> Obtain the following historical necessary to record the financial and
Step 6: Monitor and measure information: consumption usage. Too often the bills are
Step 7: Staff engagement >> Energy usage (gas and electrical) paid without checking for errors or major
>> Water usage changes. After all, you can only manage
what you can measure. An example of how
Step 1: Obtain management >> Waste / garbage services
to record usage is provided below in Table 3.
commitment >> Transportation (only if easy to obtain) Alternatively, there are software programs
Many general suppliers will have your available that assist in tracking resource
The most important step in taking an active
business on record, it might require an consumption, including carbon emissions.
approach to sustainability is to obtain senior
administration fee, but they should be able Track all major resource inputs and outputs,
management commitment. It is not
to provide you a summary of your usage. such as energy, water, waste/recycling and
sufficient to just have CEO/General Manager
initiation; it is necessary to get the senior Organise this information into a meaningful materials.
managers engaged in the project as well. format, such as Figure 5 below.
Management’s support is necessary as they Historical Water Usage
tend to have an overall view and active
participation in daily business operations
and strategy development. Management is
likely to be responsible for implementing 35.0
change. In smaller businesses, it is the
business operator or owner who will need to 30.0
demonstrate this commitment.
It is important to publicly record 25.0
commitment to sustainable practices for

annual recognition and measurement as

well as for stakeholders to be aware of your
actions. For example, NSW Business
Chamber has displayed their ‘Commitment’ 15.0
online as a way of demonstrating that
actions are being taken to become more 10.0
As sustainability becomes part of the 5.0
organisation’s culture, it will be important
to continually review and update the 0.0
sustainability commitments. Furthermore,
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Sep 02

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Jan 03

Mar 03

May 03

July 03

Sep 03

Nov 03

Jan 04

Mar 04

May 04

July 04

Sep 04

measurable goals will need to be included in

the commitment to ensure that performance
can be measured. Figure 5. Historical water usage for a business

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Table 3. that needs to be repaired. made to become more sustainable.
Site water consumption record See Appendix A for more information on NABERS
Date Reading Usage Costs calculating a baseline. Ratings for hotels
Taken (kL/day) ($) Benchmarks NABERS Energy and
22/01/02 37.3 2349.90 Water ratings allow
12/04/02 32.4 2041.20
Benchmarking your resource consumption
against industry average guidelines will help you to accurately
07/07/02 22.3 1404.90
determine potential savings opportunities. compare the
09/10/02 26.0 1638.00
Use the benchmarks below as a guide to performance of your
20/01/03 18.9 1190.70
indicate the possible savings in your hotel to other similar
24/04/03 15.9 1001.70
building. If your baseline resource facilities, and can
23/07/03 12.5 787.50
24/10/03 13.2 831.60 consumption is higher than industry assist you to manage the impact of your
02/02/04 15.9 1001.70 standard benchmarks, there is a good hotel on the environment.
27/04/04 21.1 1329.30 chance there are leaks or inefficiencies in NABERS is the industry standard for
21/07/04 12.7 800.10 your building’s systems. Note, you may need measuring and benchmarking the
26/10/04 7.6 478.80 to convert your baseline to the same units environmental performance of existing
Average 19.7 1237.95 noted in the benchmarks, see key Australian buildings, incorporating the
2004 Average 14.3 902.48 performance indicators below. trusted Australian Building Greenhouse
2003 Average 15.1 952.88 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Rating for offices. NABERS is a national
2002 Average 29.5 1858.50 initiative of federal, state and territory
governments, and is managed by the NSW
It is important to identify resource key Department of Environment and Climate
Since Figure 5 and Table 3 are linked to the
performance indicators (KPIs) for your Change.
same business, it can be seen that usage has
facilities and set reduction targets. KPI’s are
gradually decreased, resulting in financial NABERS ratings are based on actual data
quantifiable measurements that reflect your
savings of 50%. related to the performance of your premises
progress towards meeting your sustainability
over the last 12 months. For a certified
goals. You can determine resource KPI units
Step 3: Establish baselines, by using the benchmarks on the Tables
rating that you can promote, you will need
to engage a NABERS Accredited Assessor to
benchmarks and targets below and Table 12. For example, the most
calculate your rating. This will enable you
Baseline common water related KPI for a hotel is
to use the NABERS trademark. You can
L/guest/night, which is the average number
Once historical and current usage data have self-assess the environmental performance
of litres of water used in the hotel per guest
been obtained, it is important to establish a of your office premises at no cost using the
per night6.
baseline. A baseline is the amount of a NABERS Rating calculator – www.nabers.
resource (water, energy, supplies and waste) Resource reduction targets can also be - but cannot promote
that your business typically uses. The determined by the industry standard this rating.
baseline is used as the comparison rate for benchmarks. For example, the target best
To accommodate the wide range of potential
monitoring future progress and practice water benchmark (Table 5) for
layouts and amenities of individual hotels,
benchmarking against industry best practice hotels without cooling towers or laundry is
NABERS takes into account the size,
standards. Using the average consumption 333 L/guest/night, this will be the water
facilities, AAA rating and climate zone to
rate from a recent year (12-24 months) is usage target you aim to achieve. Therefore,
calculate a custom benchmark for each hotel.
an appropriate baseline. For example, if the the actual amount of water you are
targeting to conserve per guest per night is Figures 6 and 7 provide typical energy and
business in Table 3 used 2002 as their water
determined by subtracting 333 L/guest/night water use per room for a 2.5 star NABERS
baseline, they would use $1,858.50 and 29.5
from your baseline score. Note: You may rated hotel based on a 500 bed hotel with
kL/day to evaluate their progress in terms of
need to convert your baseline into KPI units. (optionally) 500 fully-laundry serviced
usage and cost savings.
rooms, 500 conference seats and a 100m²
Regular monitoring of usage and cost See Appendix A for additional baseline and
heated pool. These numbers can be used for
against the baseline will identify the benchmarking information.
any hotel size, as long as the ratio of
efficacy of your sustainability efforts and Whether your business receives a low or laundry serviced rooms and conference seats
also alert you to any discrepancies that need high rating, remember there are always to rooms remains the same.
to be resolved, such as leaks or equipment improvements and efficiencies that can be

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S E C T I O N 2

Sydney Water benchmarks

Table 4. Club water benchmarks8

20,000 Type of club Average L/ Target L/

patron/day patron/day
Average Emmission (kg/room)

No pool, 27 20
15,000 no cooling tower
Cooling tower, but 35 22
10,000 no swimming pool
Cooling tower and 39 28
swimming pool

0 Table 5. Hotel water benchmarks8

★ ★★ ★★ ★ ★★ ★ ★★★ ★★
ASRS Star Rating Type of hotel Target L/guest/
With laundry and conference With conference only Neither laundry or conference
No cooling tower, no laundry 333
Cooling tower, but no 384
Figure 6. Average emissions for example hotels in Sydney. laundry
These figures correspond to the mid-point of the 2.5 star band.
Cooling tower and laundry 444
Source: NABERS Hotels Validation Protocol 20087

Table 6.
Sydney Restaurant water benchmarks8
250 The benchmarks developed for water use
for non-Asian style kitchens are below.
(litres of water per food cover)*
Average Consumption (kL/room)

Good  <  35
Fair   35 – 45
Poor  >  45
*Use based on total kitchen use divided by the
number of covers or restaurant customers

★ ★★ ★★ ★ ★★ ★ ★★★ ★★
ASRS Star Rating
With laundry and conference With conference only Neither laundry or conference

Figure 7. Average water use for example hotels in Sydney.

These figures correspond to the mid-point of the 2.5 star band.
Source: NABERS Hotels Validation Protocol 20087

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Step 4: Audit Walk-through audit Additional auditing assistance
It is essential to know the types and A walk-through audit analyses the utility Sustainability Advantage
amounts of energy, water, waste and bills and briefly surveys the building. This Additional efficiency assistance is available
materials that are being consumed and type of audit will identify potential savings through the NSW Department of
generated in your business. An audit of key and aid in implementing low cost and no Environment and Climate Change’s (DECC)
resources should be conducted to determine cost improvements as well as planning for Sustainability Advantage Program, including
the overall resource efficiency of your longer term capital improvements which audit guidance. This program helps
business and opportunities for savings. The merit further investigation (see Step 5). businesses manage their resource use as
audit type that will be most useful and cost Goals of walk-through audit: well as plan and implement sustainability
effective to your business depends on the planning in the workplace. Visit the DECC
size and complexity of your business and the >> Gather basic data on building structure,
systems and resource use website for additional information on this
level of detail you require. Two common program:
audit types are walkthrough audits and >> Identify operational or maintenance areas
engineering audits. that are wasting resources
>> Identify capital projects that can improve Energy
The majority of businesses will only require Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver
a simple walk-through audit. If the site/s is efficiency and minimise waste
complex, then it may be necessary to obtain To conduct a walk-through audit and get a The NSW DECC’s Sustainability Advantage
the help of a professional auditor. better understanding of your business program also includes an Energy Saver
consumption patterns and opportunities for option, which is designed to help mitigate
There are Government programs that will improvements, follow the basic steps and risks relating to the potential increase in
help cover the costs of professional audits. checklists located in Appendix B. energy costs under a national emissions
These include the Sustainability Advantage trading scheme, CPRS. Visit the DECC
Program and Energy Efficiency for Small Detailed technical audit website for more information: http://www.
Businesses Program operated by the NSW If you prefer not to administer a self
Department of Environment and Climate walk-through audit or found significant energysaver.htm
Change. See Additional Auditing Assistance discrepancies between your utility bills and
below for more details or alternatively, Energy Efficiency for Small Business
audit estimates that require advanced Program
contact your energy provider and request a assessment, you can hire a professional to
technician do a simple audit of your conduct a detailed technical audit. This The Energy Efficiency for Small Business
facilities and equipment. type of audit requires an engineer or Program provides assistance to businesses in
Before conducting any audit, consider and auditing professional who will provide a reducing their energy consumption and
take any necessary actions to ensure the detailed assessment of your business costs. The program offers and energy audit
following are addressed: resource use and advise on: and efficiency advice, as well as rebates to
businesses wanting to minimise their energy
>> Privacy/confidentiality >> Opportunities to improve operating and consumption. http://www.environment.nsw.
>> Security maintenance procedures
>> Occupational Health & Safety >> Opportunities to utilise alternative
Greenhouse Challenge Plus: Energy Audit
sources, resource re-use options within
>> Resources/volunteers Tools
the site and recycling where practical
>> Approval from building and contractors The Department of Environment, Water,
Heritage and Arts (DEWHA) has developed a
series of energy auditing tools for small to
medium sized businesses as part of their
Greenhouse Challenge Plus Program. Visit
their website to download auditing forms.

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S E C T I O N 2

Water Step 5: Prioritise an action Step 6: Monitor and measure

Every Drop Counts
plan You can only manage what you can
Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts Business measure. Scheduling regular monitoring and
Resource Efficiency and Savings Plan
Program provides additional water measuring of progress against the
assessment, auditing and efficiency Once an audit has been undertaken, it is designated targets will help assess the
assistance to Sydney Water customers to aid important to outline the savings and effectiveness of your sustainability programs
businesses in managing and reducing their efficiency potential or goals. This outline and identify areas that need improvement. It
water consumption. Visit the following will be the practical guide to achieving your will also highlight any unusual activity or
website for additional information on this resource conservation targets. Whilst not all discrepancies in resource use that may
program: options are financially viable, outlining them require maintenance.
provides an opportunity for assessment over
several years.
EDCBusinessProgram.cfm When planning and documenting resource
improvement opportunities identified in the
auditing phase, it is important to assign
The NSW DECC has a sustainability program responsibility and a timeframe. Use the
specifically for clubs, called ECOCLUBS. This following as a guide. The saving action plan
program provides assistance to clubs in key is also a good place to record your resource
sustainability areas such as risk baselines, KPIs and targets – this will help
management, eco-efficient, staff and organise and track your current progress
community engagement, sportsground and develop future initiatives within one
management, planning and benchmarking, document.
climate change response, grants and
funding, sustainable procurement and Table 7. Sample Efficiency Savings Action Plan*
supply chain, awards and recognition.
For additional information email Current water usage or call Baseline KPI Benchmark/Goal Target reduction Actual (kL/day) Timeframe
the clubs NSW Member Enquiries centre on 30 (2007) kL/day 22.5 kL/day 25% 28.0 (Jan 09) 12-18 mo
1300 730 001.
27.5 (Feb 09)
25 (March 2009)
Water Efficiency Savings Action Plan
Description Cost Savings Responsibility Timeframe
Install flow restrictors on taps $1,500 2kL/day John Smith March 2009
Educational signage $200 N/A Senior Manager Feb 2009
Total $1,700 2kL/day
Current energy use
Baseline KPI Benchmark/Goal Target reduction Actual (kWh/m2) Timeframe
185 (2007) kWh/m 2
129.5 kWh/m 2
30% 180 (Jan 09) 12-18 mo
175 (Feb 09)
125 (Mar 09)
Energy Efficiency Savings Action Plan
Description Cost Savings Responsibility Timeframe
Efficient lighting in common area $3,000 50 kWh/m 2
Julia Smith March 2009
Educational signage $200 N/A Senior Manager Feb 2009
Total $3,200 50 kWh/m2
*Note: Sample table, not based on actual benchmarks or savings

Invigorating Business Results > 15

Step 7: Staff engagement Education >> Give one or two relevant and manageable
sustainability action items to each team
Staff engagement is critical to the success Staff education initiatives and easy access
member. This will assist in promoting
of any sustainability program and will be a to the Where, When and How of your
ongoing improvement measures
powerful driver to change within the organisation’s sustainability program goals
throughout the organisation
organisation. Implementing the necessary will improve the success rate and retention
process changes required for sustainability of process changes. A few simple ways to >> Find other advocates within the
and efficiency improvements in the increase education and awareness around organisation who are interested in
workplace is dependant on the cooperation the office include: sustainability to help promote process
and involvement of everyone in the changes to staff
Signage and communication
organisation. People are generally willing to There may be a few growing pains when
contribute to being more sustainable and >> Post best practice signage in key areas implementing processes that require staff to
efficient when they are given the such as toilets, kitchens, near copy change unsustainable behaviours that they
appropriate information on how their machines and printers have had for years, but do not let this
actions can make a difference in improving >> Post signs noting the building or discourage or derail the company’s
the environment and help the business run sustainability contact that should be sustainability efforts. Continuous
more effectively. High commitment levels by notified of leaks or equipment failures demonstration of management commitment
senior management help employee >> Create a designated area for sustainability and gradual adjustments will help to show
commitment and participation in updates and information, such as on the staff that sustainability measures are
sustainability and efficiency measures. company’s internal website or information important and require a new mindset rather
board in break rooms/kitchens than more effort.
Suggestions to engage staff and enhance
the outcomes of your sustainability >> Regularly communicate sustainability Rewards
efforts: outcomes and wins to the entire company
Demonstrating of company and
>> Use common areas as forums to inform >> Include sustainability updates with all management commitment to sustainability
employees about energy, waste and water company performance and financial measures will go a long way in engaging
savings techniques and company reviews. This will reaffirm the staff to act sustainably. Providing incentive
commitment to efficiency organisation’s commitment to programs and rewards to employees who
sustainability as part of business actively participate in efficiency and
>> Look for ‘sustainability advocates’ in
operations rather than it being seen as a sustainability will help retain process
different areas of the organisation to help
separate program or department changes and bring more staff members
monitor and implement efficiency
measures >> Create a sustainability newsletter for staff onboard. Examples of reward and incentives:
and customers
>> Reward employees for new resource >> Provide a company mug to all employees
saving ideas >> Develop a mechanism for staff feedback with ‘green’ branding
and ideas for sustainability projects
>> Inform staff of sustainability ‘wins’ >> Provide a reusable carrying bag with the
Internal sustainability team company logo to all employees
>> Let your staff and customers know what
steps the organisation is making to >> Create a sustainability team with >> Offer public transportation incentives to
become more sustainable members from each major department employees, i.e., discounts or make travel
>> Join Government efficiency programs such as kitchens, maintenance, passes available pre-tax
such as NSW Government Sustainability housekeeping, marketing, finance and >> Impromptu small rewards, such as movie
Advantage Program operations tickets, to staff who turn off their
>> Participate and celebrate national/ >> Meet regularly with the sustainability computer and monitor everyday
international environmental events such team and give updates on project
as Earth Hour and National Ride to Work progress as well as brainstorm new
Day initiatives

16 >
S E C T I O N 3

Section III: Actioning Sustainability

Energy Efficiency
Energy costs and consumption within the
hospitality sector can vary depending on the
equipment, location and organisational
Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency…
practices, however, energy and cost savings you don’t have to pay for what you don’t use!
can be found in every area of the industry. If you do nothing else… following these simple best practice tips
Reducing your business’s energy
consumption can directly increase revenue 1. S witch off – all energy consuming equipment should be turned off when not in
without the need to increase sales – which use. Install timers where necessary
will be more important than ever with rising 2. F ix leaks – repairing dripping taps, showers and toilets will save you money on
energy prices. Implementing simple energy both water and energy bills
saving procedures and planning for future
3. S chedule regular maintenance and cleaning of equipment, including, HVAC,
investments can benefit both the business
kitchens and vehicles
bottom line and the environment.
4. Install energy efficient light bulbs
5. Adjust thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter
Fast fact:
6. Print double sided and use electronic documents rather than paper
If energy makes up a
7. Implement a recycling program (paper, plastic and glass)
quarter of your business
8. Install water saving showerheads and taps
costs, then a 20% energy
9. Engage staff in your sustainability efforts
savings reflects a 5%
increase in overall profit 10. R
 ecord and monitor your resource (energy, water and water) use, you can only
manage what you can measure

Breakdown of overall energy use Breakdown of overall energy use

within the average hotel within the average pub General
>> Reduce idle time for all equipment. Shut
Other (inc. air con.) Other (inc. appliances) down equipment during off peak and
after hours. Cutting back on just an hour
Catering Lighting Catering Heating
a day of idle time can lead to significant
energy savings annually10
Hot water Hot water
>> Consider upgrading to the most energy
efficient kitchen equipment, including
refrigerators, ovens, freezers, etc. Look for
the Energy Star rating
>> Purchase appropriately sized equipment,
Heating Cellar services Lighting too large or too small are both inefficient
and waste energy and money
>> Clean and service all equipment regularly
Figure 8. Hotel and pub energy use9 >> Cook efficiently. Use the most efficient
Given the energy intensity of most appliances for your cooking needs.
commercial hospitality based businesses, Example, ovens are typically more
there are ample opportunities for savings. efficient than rotisseries and griddles
The following are a wide range of energy more efficient than broilers, minimise the
efficient best practice examples and ideas use of less efficient equipment
for future planning. >> Cook in large batches

Invigorating Business Results > 17

Energy Efficiency
Food preparation >> Set refrigerators to the appropriate
temperature, over cooling wastes energy Heat recovery system upgrade:
>> Use appropriate sized sauce pans and lids Consider a heat recovery system when
and costs you money. Use manufacturers
to minimise wasted heat upgrading kitchen equipment. This
recommended guide
>> For small orders or one customer, use system uses waste heat from walkin
>> Follow manufacturers recommended
frying pan rather than griddle refrigerators to preheat water for
defrost procedures and set up a defrosting
>> Cook in large batches outside of peak schedule, which can save energy and kitchen use. These systems typically have
hour electricity times prolongs the life of equipment reasonable payback times in kitchens
>> Source food from local providers with moderate to high hot-water
>> Only refrigerate necessary items, example,
>> Thaw food the night before in the usage11.
excess stocks of canned beverages don’t
refrigerator rather than using water need constant refrigeration
Dishwashers >> Switch off unneeded refrigerators
Steamer upgrade: New Energy Star
>> Only run dishwashers when full >> Install timer plug on all appropriate
connectionless steamers are available
>> Rather than using lengthy drying cycles, refrigerators to switch off after hours.
that will save you money on both energy
shorten drying times and use heat Example, soda and bottled water cases
and water. Connectionless steamers
generated by dishwasher to dry contents that don’t contain perishables
operate without a boiler or drain, as a
>> Install strip curtains to minimise heat loss >> Locate refrigerators away from direct result consume less water and energy.
during drying cycle sunlight or other heat producing sources They produce the same results as
>> Allow a gap between the back of the traditional steamers, just for less money
refrigerator and the wall for proper air to operate11.
>> Minimise opening of oven doors circulation
>> Reduce heat or switch off when not in
>> Only use maximum heat required for your
cooking needs, do not over heat
>> It’s more efficient to cook with a full Fast fact:
oven, cook in large batches whenever Increasing a refrigerator’s temperature by only 1°C can
possible reduce its energy consumption by 2-4%9
>> Utilise microwave rather than the oven
when appropriate
>> Verify thermostat accuracy and
recalibrate if necessary
See Appendix B Energy walk-through audit
guide for additional equipment energy Top energy and money saving tips in the kitchen
saving and best practice information. 1. Reduce equipment standby and pre-heating time
Refrigeration 2. Install energy efficient light bulbs
>> Minimise opening refrigerator and chiller 3. Fix leaks and make repairs
doors 4. Use appropriate temperature, don’t use max temperature unless required
>> Install automatic door closers on all 5. Cook in large batches
6. Switch off equipment at the end of the day
>> Install strip curtains in walk-in
refrigerators to minimise air loss 7. T haw food in the refrigerator overnight rather than using running water or
>> Check door seals every 6 months, replace microwaves
if damaged, leaking or cracked 8. Purchase appropriately sized equipment for your needs
>> Schedule regular maintenance and 9. Install timers on key equipment, such as boilers and appropriate refrigerators
cleaning for all refrigerators, including
cleaning coils and ensuring refrigerant 10. Insulate water heaters
levels are correct

18 >
S E C T I O N 3

Energy Efficiency
Guest rooms off equipment after use Efficiency replacements
There is a variety of energy saving >> Purchase fitness machines that are >> Replace incandescent light bulbs with
occupancy controls available that are powered by user activity rather than energy efficient compact fluorescent light
activated when a guest enters or leaves the electricity (CFL) bulbs, which use 70% less energy
hotel room. Occupancy controls can offer >> Set back the thermostat in pool, fitness than their incandescent counterparts.
significant energy and cost savings and and recreation areas after hours >> Not to mention incandescent lights will
usually have payback times of 1-3 years9. be banned in Australia effective as of
Some control options include: Lighting 2010, so you’ll be ahead of the regulation
>> Digital thermostats, which automatically Artificial lighting makes up a significant by making an immediate change
adjusts room temperature based on portion of electricity consumption in all >> Replace EXIT signs with light emitting
occupancy sectors of the hospitality industry. There are diode (LED) fixtures
>> Front desk controls, which power on many cost-effective ways to reduce energy >> Replace older T-12/T-8 fluorescent
rooms when guests arrive consumption, improve efficiency and reduce lighting fixtures with new slimmer, more
GHG emissions from lighting in every area energy efficient T-5 models. Easy retrofit
>> Key cards for individual rooms, which of your facilities.
require a guest key to activate room conversion kits are also available
controls and switch off when the key is Table 8. Efficient lighting guide6
removed as guests leave the room Inefficient lighting Replacement lighting Advantages and Disadvantages
Other energy saving actions includes:
Standard fluorescent T5 fluorescent lights, Advantages
>> Replace incandescent lights with energy tubes electronic ballasts and • lower energy use
efficiency CFL bulbs lux reflectors • slim line
>> Post signage reminding guests to conserve • less flicker and buzz
energy and switch off all lights and air • low levels of mercury
conditioning when exiting their room • white light
• long life
>> Install water efficient taps and • low loss of light over lifespan
showerheads with aerators which will • high output lights available, if needed
reduce water consumption while Disadvantages
maintaining comfort • will require new fittings and ballasts
Incandescent globes Compact fluorescent Advantages
Pools and recreation facilities globes • lower energy use
Pools, spas and recreation facilities can be • wide range of colours and sizes
popular with guests, however these areas • long life
can also significantly increase energy • will fit existing light sockets
consumption and costs. Implementing • and fittings
energy efficiency best practices guidelines in • dimmable versions now available
recreation areas can minimise your Low voltage halogen Compact fluorescent Advantages
operating costs while maintaining guest lights globes designed for • lower energy use
amenities9,12. recessed and track • cheaper globes
lighting Disadvantages
>> Keep pools and spas to the minimum
• requires new fittings
temperature level required for comfort
• light output not as strong, may need
>> For indoor pools, keep air temperature 1°C additional bulbs
above water temperature to minimise
Low voltage halogen 35 w infrared coated Advantages
lights (IRC) lamps • lower energy use
>> Clean and maintain pool filters regularly
Low voltage halogen Light emitting diode Advantages
>> Consider installing solar heating unit for lights (LED) lamps • lower energy use
pools • longer life globes
>> Install timers in saunas and steam rooms Disadvantages
to switch off the heat when not in use • relatively new products, availability limited
>> Display signage requesting guests switch • more expensive globes

Invigorating Business Results > 19

Energy Efficiency
0ºC 5ºC 10ºC 15ºC 20ºC 25ºC 30ºC 35ºC 40ºC
>> Turn off lights in areas that are not
>> Utilise natural lighting, keep lights to a
minimum during the day in areas that are Heating is on Cooling is on
well lit by sunlight until temperature reaches 19ºC when temperature exceeds 24ºC

>> Clean lighting fixtures regularly

Heating and cooling both off between 19ºC and 24ºC – a ‘dead band’ of 5 degrees
>> Are you over lighting? Can one
fluorescent tube be removed from double Figure 9. ‘Dead band’ temperature controls9
light fittings in areas such as car parks,
back of house and plant rooms? (lounges, corridors and stairwells) during airflow
Sensors and switches low traffic hours, such as midnight to 5 >> Utilise fans where possible. Fans help
am circulate air, reducing the need for air
>> Install daylight sensors or ‘photocells’
which control artificial lighting to be >> Take advantage of sunlight and use conditioning ,while remaining a
reduced when there is sufficient natural shades/curtains to minimise over or under comfortable temperature
lighting available. Especially effective for conditioning >> Take advantage of free natural air when
car parks and signage >> In the summer adjust temperature to temperature permits by opening windows
>> Install occupancy sensors to automatically 23°-25°C and doors or programming HVAC system
turn lighting off when no one is present >> In the winter adjust temperature to to use outside air when possible
>> Install timers on outside lighting, update 18°-20°C Maintenance
timer seasonally >> Ensure thermostat sensors are placed >> Schedule regular maintenance checks for
>> Label light switches to denote location of away from heat producing equipment, HVAC equipment
lights, aiding in switching off unnecessary draughts and direct sunlight
>> Perform a pre-season check prior to the
lighting >> Place covers on thermostats to discourage winter heating and summer cooling, well
>> Avoid having several lights activated by staff and guests from adjusting maintained systems cost less to run and
one switch, use separate switches for temperature provides better performance
each light >> Don’t heat and cool at the same time – >> For businesses with significant HVAC
set thermostat on a wide ‘dead pan’ equipment, it may be worthwhile to have
Heating ventilation and air range, such as 21°-24°C, to reduce the systems professionally audited for
running costs and over conditioning
conditioning (HVAC) energy usage and efficiency
Heating and cooling also accounts for a
Airflow >> Check system is functioning and
large percentage energy bills for most >> Check doors and windows have tight seals programmed properly, test temperature
businesses within the hospitality industry. >> Keep exterior doors and window closed settings and airflow
Significant energy savings can be made by during cold and hot days to prevent the
improving the efficiency of an HVAC system loss of heat in the winter and air
through upgrades, regular maintenance and conditioning in the summer Did you know:
participating in energy savings programs. >> Install automatic exterior doors in high >> Every 1°C increase on the
Temperature traffic areas to minimise air loss thermostat will increase energy
>> Match temperature controls to occupancy >> If ducted HVAC system has zoning use by about 15% in winter
– only use during hours of operation, set capability, program to only condition >> Every 1°C decrease on the
back when not needed by staff or areas that are in use thermostat will increase energy
customers >> If HVAC system does not have zoning use by about 10% in summer
>> Program thermostat settings to capabilities, shut vents in areas that are >> You can save as much as 10% a
automatically adjust to changing not in use, note 80% of the vents should year on your heating and cooling
temperature needs throughout the day. remain open while system is operational costs by simply turning the
Such as, significantly reduce heating and >> If using a ducted HVAC system ensure thermostat back by 1°C!13
cooling temperatures in common areas furniture, drapes and other items are clear
of the vents or outlets to ensure free

20 >
S E C T I O N 3

Energy Efficiency
New systems than make improvements later in the life of Transportation
the building.
>> Consider upgrading older and inefficient >> Encourage and incentivise staff to utilise
systems, which can typically pay for Insulation public transportation
themselves through energy and cost >> Install insulation in exterior walls, wall >> Consider purchasing hybrid and diesel
savings cavities and ceilings vehicles
>> When purchasing a new HVAC system, >> New technology has made the installation >> Regularly service vehicles
make sure it is the most energy efficient of insulation into existing buildings much >> Keep tyres inflated to correct pressure
model easier and less expensive >> Utilise GPS systems to determine the
>> Consult for >> Install interior blinds/shades to provide most efficient route and drive time
energy efficiency ratings additional shade and minimise heating >> Use telecommunications rather than
>> When purchasing a new system, be sure it effect of sunlight travelling to meetings
is the appropriate size for your space and
Roofing >> Encourage and organise carpooling for
use requirements. Systems that are too
>> Install roof insulation staff
large or too small will not only waste
energy but also increase your energy costs >> Consider radiant barriers and cool roofing >> Provide guests with public transport maps
that reflects the Sun’s radiant energy, and and timetables
Offices saves money on air conditioning
In Australia, office equipment consumes at >> Consider installing solar panels
least 5% of all electricity and directly and Australian Business Limited
Windows and doors
indirectly generates 9-11 million tonnes of Apprentice Centre (ABLAC)
CO2 each year. For a typical piece of office >> Seal gaps around window and doorframes
with caulk – Green Fleet Case Study
equipment, about 85% of the total energy is
used during operation mode and active >> Check window and door weather ABLAC has significantly reduced its
standby mode14. stripping, replace if missing, cracked or transportation carbon emissions and
hard fuel consumption by purchasing more
>> Switch off equipment everyday when not efficient vehicles and offsetting the
in use >> Close gap under exterior doors if you can
carbon emissions. By upgrading 80
see daylight underneath
>> Switch off equipment at the wall – most vehicles to more fuel efficient models,
office equipment still uses a small amount >> Install double or triple pane windows ABLAC has reduced its carbon
of energy even when it’s turned off >> Install window glazing, films or tinting emissions by almost 100 tonnes/year
>> Disable screensavers and use the ‘power >> Insulate window frames and reduced fuel consumption costs by
save’ mode on computers Design 20%. The remaining carbon emissions
have been offset by planting trees
>> For a new facility, employ passive solar
Building envelope design and orientation, that is positioning
through the Green Fleet program.
Did you know about two thirds of heat can a building to take advantage of the sun’s
be lost through the average hospitality natural heating and light energy as well
industry building?9 Making building as shade
upgrades such as adding insulation and >> Optimise green interior design techniques
window glazings can improve energy to minimise light, heat and cooling needs
efficiency and reduce your overall operating
>> All new building work must comply with
the Building Code of Australia energy
Building envelope energy efficiency efficiency provisions
improvements are important considerations
when your facility is being upgraded. Over
the life of a building the upfront costs of
energy efficiency improvements will
frequently pay for themselves through
energy savings. In the case of new
construction, it is less costly and more
efficient to “do it right the first time” rather

Invigorating Business Results > 21

Water Efficiency
There are plenty of water saving
opportunities within the hospitality sector. Top water saving tips for the hospitality sector
Implementing water saving and efficiency >> Install flow restrictors and aerators on taps and showers – look for most water
measures will save you money and help efficient equipment
Australia conserve its valuable water
>> Install dual flush toilets
resources. Reducing water waste will also
save you on energy bills as hot water >> Schedule regular maintenance for major equipment such as HVAC, cooling towers
requires significant amounts of energy… and laundries and keep them free from leaks
don’t just wash your money down the drain. >> Use high efficiency pre-rinse spray valves and trigger nozzles on hoses
>> Install pool covers to reduce evaporation when the pool is not in use
Kitchens >> Install sub meters on swimming pools to detect leaks
General >> Upgrade laundry facilities to use continuous batch washers, which reuse rinse
water and are very efficient
>> Look for water devices labelled under the
Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards >> Mulch garden areas and use alternative water supplies, such as rainwater or
Scheme (WELS), with 6 stars being the treated greywater to irrigate gardens
highest ranking >> Replace traditional wok stoves with waterless wok stoves
>> Place signage in kitchen reminding staff >> Inform staff and customers of your water saving efforts and how they can participate
to conserve water and report leaks >> Record and monitor water use
>> Check larger water boiler units for leaks,
look out for the overflow valve – it is
often hidden
>> Switch off hot water heaters at night,
Sinks Dishwashers
install timer if necessary Water use in older model sinks and hand >> Only run dishwashers when full
>> Sweep or mop floors instead of using a basins can typically be cut in half through a >> Scrape excess food off before loading
hose few simple cost effective measures. dishes
>> Install a waterless wok, see additional >> Add flow control regulator or tap aerators >> Install flow control to the rinse line, if
water saving assistance information to existing taps possible
>> Install water efficient sprayer, see >> Install 6 star rated WELS taps and >> Train staff to operate the dishwasher in
additional water saving assistance sprayers the most efficient manner
information >> Minimise the use of garbage disposals- >> Set to the economy or efficiency setting
>> See Water Audit for other water saving which can waste over 30L of water a day,
equipment information, Appendix B use a sink strainer instead

Table 9. Typical water and cost savings achieved by installation of low flow
pre rinse spray valve6

Site Water consumption Water savings (% or Water and Energy

savings (L/day) original consumption) Cost Saving (a year)
Fast fact:
Cafe 449 46.5 $453
Running hot water in the sink for 5
Restaurant 232.9 42.3 $304 minutes uses the same amount of
Club 100 28.7 $143 energy as a 60-watt light bulb burning
for 14 hours15
Hotel 695 50 $925

22 >
S E C T I O N 3

Water Efficiency
Bathrooms and guest rooms Hand basins Table 10. Water efficiency checklist12
In most hotels and motels, the majority of >> Install WELS efficient mixer taps Water efficiency Checklist
water usage occurs in guest rooms16. (combined hot and cold) with a flow rate
Use this checklist to determine whether the
Therefore, significant water cost and of 6L/min and an aerated flow fixtures within your facility are water efficient.
conservation savings can be achieved by >> Check tap flow rates – more than 10L/min
implementing few guest room equipment are high flow, wasting unnecessary water Item Specification
upgrades and conservation awareness >> Whilst sensor taps appear good, they need Hand basins Flow rate = 6 L/min or less
initiatives without compromising comfort. to switch off within 6 seconds, but Hoses With trigger-operated spray gun
generally they waste more water than
Toilet 25% manual taps Showers Flow rate = 9L/min or less

>> Check hot water temperature has not Toilets Dual flush 4.5 - 6/3 L cistern

Basin 9% Showers 56% been set too high Urinals Manual or sensor operated flush
Showers Irrigation Drip irrigation system
Install water efficient 9L/min aerated
showerhead, look for high WELS rating Cleaning
If showerhead flow rate is greater than 13L/ >> Review cleaning practices with staff to
min it should be replaced ensure toilet flushing and length of time
To get a sense of greater pressure, install running showers and taps are kept to a
aerator to allow air to be pulled in for the minimum
pressure sensation Guest involvement
Urinals >> Let guests know about your
>> Cistern size should be 7L or less environmental and water conservation
Cleaning 10% efforts so they can be involved
>> Manual urinals generally use less water,
Note: Shower usage includes bath usage
although depending on the size of the >> Post signage in guest rooms requesting
facility this option may not always guests to reuse towels and linens to
appropriate reduce energy and water consumption
Figure 10. Typical water usage required for laundry services
in hotel guest room16 >> Check sensors are placed directly above
the urinal so that people using basins or
toilets do not accidentally trigger the
Toilets sensor
>> Install dual flush toilets, 4.5-6L cisterns >> Some sensors when they fail, fail in the
with a half flush (3L) option open position, meaning they are
>> Check the back of the toilet bowl; if there constantly flushing
are signs of small leaks, get them fixed as >> Waterless urinals are available either with
a small leak eventuates into a bigger one a cartridge or cube. If considering this,
>> If toilets are connected directly to a flush note that it works best with wall mounted
valve (that is, no cistern) then ensure urinals and they still require maintenance,
flush is 5 seconds or less new cleaning regimes and used only in
>> Consider reducing the water level of high well-ventilated areas
volume toilets. Note: if cistern is 9L or
13L, do not reduce the water level in the
cistern by more than 2L as the bowl is
designed to require more water

Invigorating Business Results > 23

Water Efficiency
Laundries Cooling towers Outdoor areas and amenities
Laundry facilities consume large amounts of In larger complexes, air-conditioning is Most hotels, clubs and restaurants have
energy, water and chemicals- not to through cooling towers as opposed to some sort of garden area, water feature or
mention labour, which can significantly individual electric units. Never conduct recreation facility. Appropriate management
increase operating costs. To maximise personal maintenance of cooling towers as is necessary to make the best of the
efficiency and minimise unnecessary costs it requires qualified specialists. When aesthetics and recreation benefits while not
and environmental damage, implement best approaching cooling towers, always follow unnecessarily wasting water.
practice procedures and consider equipment safety instructions and the use of a
Swimming pools
upgrades or retrofits17. facemask. There are however signs to assess
if there are problems between services. >> Ensure excessive or lengthy backwashing
>> Post signage and educate staff and
These include: is not occurring, always be sure that
customers on conserving water and
backwashing is in accordance with health
energy by minimising items sent to the >> Check that there is splatter proof guards so
laundry. Such as requesting towels be that water is contained in the equipment
reused rather than used only once >> Install sub-meters in recreation and pool
>> Ensure that the overflow pipe outside the
areas to identify how water is distributed
>> Operate machines only when fully loaded cooling tower does not always have water
through the site and determine excessive
>> Adhere to the manufacturer’s running through it. Whilst it is normal to
recommended settings and regularly have some overflow due to high salinity
in the water, there should be periods of >> Monitor and record pool’s water meter to
check that the water level is correct
times when it does not run identify any leaks or abnormally high
during operation
water use
>> Schedule regular maintenance to ensure >> Most towers utilise a float ball valve to
signal for more water, check that the >> Use a pool cover for hours the pool is not
water valves and dump drains are free
internal overflow pipe is not always in use, don’t forget the covers for the
from leaks
covered wasting water unnecessarily jacuzzi’s too
>> Isolate and turn off the steam supply to
equipment when not in use >> If there is a cooling tower, get a submeter Gardens and grounds
>> Commercial water-extractors can placed on it. Regularly checking how >> Select native plants that require minimal
typically be retrofitted with a tank that much water is used in the cooling tower amounts of water
saves the final rinse water, which is then is important and may also result in lower >> Group plants that have similar watering
reused for the pre-rinse cycle for the next fees if you can prove a higher discharge requirements together
load17 through cooling towers.
>> Select lawn grass that is drought resistant
>> When upgrading a laundry facility, >> Don’t mow lawn too short, leave 2cm or
consider installing continuous batch higher, leave the clippings in dry
washers, which use up to 70% less water conditions to minimise evaporation
and steam compared to a conventional >> Less frequent and heavy watering of
washer extractors of similar capacity. plants and lawns makes plants more
Labour costs are also reduced due to the drought resistant by encouraging roots to
automation grow deeper
>> Have a smaller facility? When upgrading >> Water base of plants, not leaves
equipment be sure to purchase the
>> Use drip hoses rather than sprinklers
highest rated WELS washing machine
>> Water early in the morning or late
>> Frontloading washers use 63% less water
evening, not at midday
than top loaders
>> Set sprinklers on a timer, update seasonally
>> Mulch plants to minimise evaporation and
improve soil quality
Water features require regular care and
maintenance, check the following:
>> Overflow valve is above normal water level
>> Water is recycled
>> Steps are taken to reduce evaporation

24 >
S E C T I O N 3

Water harvesting Table 11. Cost and water savings

Installing a rainwater or stormwater from low flow rinse spray valves18 CASE STUDY
harvesting system requires a specialist for Ramm Botanicals water
approval and installation. Local councils Installing one Smart Rinse valve
generally have individual rules for the use of % daily Annual water and
harvested water in business premises and it water energy cost
Ramm Botanicals participated in a
could be that water use is restricted to savings savings3 (a year) water conservation program led by
garden and outdoor areas. Internal plumbing Wyong Council which targeted a
Cafe 47% $453 24% reduction in water use. Through
requires a qualified technician and
appropriate sizing. Generally speaking, Restaurant 42% $304 a combination of installing rainwater
harvesting systems require significant roof Club 29% $142 tanks and changing their plant
area for appropriate use and despite this, product offerings to a range of
Hotel 50% $925 water-wise Australian native plants,
have long payback periods.
Average 42% $456 Ramm Botanicals was able to exceed
Recycling the Council goal and achieve a 54%
Technologies in recycling are vastly Waterless Wok Subsidy reduction in their town water use.
improving; however their cost is still a They capture 3/4 of their water needs
Installing a waterless wok can save a busy through the rainwater tanks and
hindrance. There are several types of Asian style restaurant about five kilolitres of
recycling mechanisms: minimise water intensity by
water a day. The Ethnic Communities specialising in plants that are
>> Greywater – which is recycling water Council (ECC) of New South Wales is adapted to Australia’s dry climate.
from sinks (not in the kitchen) and offering subsidies and educational These measures create valuable
showers assistance to businesses in Sydney and the long-term water savings for their
>> Black water – which is recycling of water Central Coast if they install waterless woks. business and also for customers who
which contains organics Contact the ECC at landscape with native plant species.
Recycling systems are best implemented in Every Drop Counts
new buildings, as converting existing office Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts Business
spaces to allow for it is very expensive. Program provides water and costs saving
Additional water saving assistance assistance to Sydney region businesses. The
program offers free one on one partnerships
Sydney Water – Smart Rinse
to businesses who use more than 80,000
Smart Rinse, Low Flow Pre Rinse Spray Valve litres of water a day, and helps smaller
Program, operated by Sydney Water through business through targeted water
2010 supplies and installs valves for conservation programs. Additional
commercial kitchens and restaurants free of information and useful fact sheets are also
charge. New low flow pre rinse valves have available on the Sydney Water website.
a flow rate of 6-7 litres a minute compared
To join Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts
to a flow rate of 10-15 litres a minute in
program or access additional savings and
older models. The new models supplied have
efficiency information, visit: http://www.
the same or better cleaning efficiency as
older models and a 6 star WELS rating. Visit
the Sydney Water website or call 1800 622
695 for more information.

Invigorating Business Results > 25

Resource Efficiency and Waste Reduction
Reducing resource consumption and waste Refrain from purchasing unneccessary goods
generated from your company are essential Avoid $
components of improving your Limit the amount of material purchased
Reduce $$
organisation’s sustainability. Improving
resource efficiency will conserve energy and Reuse $$$ Find alternative uses for materials rather than discarding
reduce carbon emissions, as well as save
your business money. The savings from Recycle $$$$ Collect and properly recycle materials that cannot be repurposed
waste reduction can be used to develop and
enhance your business rather than being Recover $$$$$ Collect waste material
thrown out with the garbage.
Waste and resource reduction measures will: Treat-Remove $$$$$$
Dispose of waste after treatment

>> Save money

Figure 11. Waste hierarchy
>> Improve efficiency
>> Reduce natural resource consumption
>> Reduce carbon emissions Top hospitality waste reducing tips
Assess, separate and save >> Implement recycling in all areas of the >> Look for opportunities to work with
Assessment of what materials and products company, kitchens, offices, guest other businesses and organisations to
your business uses and disposes of is critical facilities and rooms combine waste reduction efforts, such
to understanding your opportunities to >> Provide ample recycling bins and fewer as coordinating with neighbouring
avoid and reduce waste. After completing a waste bins, encouraging guests and restaurants to compost food waste
waste audit, review the best options for staff to recycle rather than trash waste >> Use environmentally friendly cleaning
recycling and create separate waste streams >> Purchase products with minimal or and gardening supplies
for recycling, food waste and general waste. reusable packaging >> Use waste reducing best practices in
This could be accomplished by introducing a >> Source food and supplies from local office areas, such as printing double
separate waste bin system in critical areas producers sided and buy recycled paper
such as kitchens, bars and offices. The goal >> Replace disposable items with reusable >> Buy in bulk with low packaging, this will
is to minimise waste sent to the landfill as ones, such as refillable soap and reduce packaging, transport and disposal
much as possible. shampoo containers costs
HFCs and PFCs
>> Require vendors to take back pallets >> Inform staff and guests of waste
The best opportunities to save money and crates for reuse reduction goals
– Avoid and reduce waste from the start CH4
>> Compost organic wastes, including >> Monitor and measure waste and
The most sustainable product is the one you CO2 food and garden cuttings recycling
CH4 levels
don’t buy, it’s also the best value! The waste
reduction best practice hierarchy is outlined
in Figure 11 – avoid, reduce, reuse and
recycle in that order. A B
Paper 7% Paper 7%
Other 31% Other 28%
Cardboard 17% Cardboard 9%

Food 45% Food 56%

Figure 12.
Restaurant Waste Generation
(A) Total waste stream The two graphs above indicate the average restaurant sends large proportions of food,
(B) Total waste to landfill19 paper and cardboard to the landfill rather than being recycled or composted.

26 >
S E C T I O N 3

Waste Avoidance and Reduction

General Takeaway containers
>> Have separate and distinctive bins for >> Offer a discount or rewards to customers IGA Barraba – Going Green
food wastes, general wastes and who bring their own reusable coffee cups Plastic Bag-Free Campaign
recyclables in easily accessible locations >> Ask customers if they need a bag or Case Study
to minimise sending items to the landfill takeaway utensils rather than IGA Barraba supermarket is leading the
that can be recycled, composted or reused automatically dispensing these items with way for supermarkets across Australia
>> Review purchasing decisions and prioritise food orders to reduce plastic bag use. As part of
recycled, recyclable and compostable >> Purchase recycled content and recyclable their “Going Green” campaign, IGA
products takeaway containers, cups, utensils and Barraba has implemented a permanent
>> Buy in bulk and in concentrated form, serviettes ban on the use of plastic shopping bags
such as beer and soft drinks on tap rather >> Purchase disposable utensils that at checkout. As the largest retailer in
than cans and bottles minimise excess packaging, such as avoid the town, IGA Barraba accounts for
>> Switch from disposable utensils to individually wrapped items – use health 85% of plastic bag usage amongst the
reusable ones department approved dispensers instead 2,000 residents. The ban on plastic
>> Purchase refillable condiments rather >> Utilise reusable trays rather than bags for bags came after a month-long “Going
than individual packets in house dining Green” promotion run by the store
>> Use cloth rags rather than paper towels where they encouraged Barraba
Guest rooms and cleaning shoppers to use boxes or re-usable
bags. Bingara IGA is also implementing
Kitchens >> Use environmentally friendly cleaning
a similar bagless checkout campaign.
Food waste products, phosphate free, non-toxic and
biodegradable As a result of the plastic bag ban,
>> Monitor your food waste and adjust approximately 3,000 bags have been
>> Use concentrated cleaning products,
inventory to minimise waste due to saved each week or about 156,000
these use less packaging and take less
spoilage plastic bags per year. Additionally, IGA
store room
>> Develop daily production plans to Barraba has also reduced their
>> Use refillable containers for soaps and
minimise over-prepping food that will cardboard recycling by 25% as
shampoos rather than individual items
then be wasted customers use more cardboard boxes as
>> Inform guests about your waste reduction well as reusable bags.
>> Review food deliveries upon arrival for
program and only provide toiletry items
spoiled or sub-standard food and don’t
upon request rather than leaving a
accept these items from the supplier
selection of disposable items in each room
>> Compost food waste rather than sending
>> Involve cleaners in all company Common recyclables
it to the trash bin
sustainability discussions and forums, >> Paper
>> Consider using a worm farm their cooperation is critical >> Cardboard
>> Request produce be delivered without >> Provide a comingled recycling bin in each >> Metals – aluminium and tin/steel cans
excess foliage guest room >> Glass
>> Offer customers environmentally friendly
take-away containers for left over food >> Plastics and polystyrene
>> Have cooking oils and fats collected for >> Oils – cooking and motor
re-processing and reuse
>> Adjust portion sizes to avoid excessive
food wastes

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Resource Efficiency and Waste Reduction
Recycling Office supplies Customers
>> If recycling is currently not available at General >> When promoting your business carefully
your facilities, contact your waste select useful giveaways to avoid throw
>> Establish a purchasing policy that favours
contractor about recycling options away trinkets
environmentally-friendly products, those
>> Use waste audit outcomes to determine that minimise energy, water and waste in >> Minimise the use and distribution of
which materials are the highest priority to the production process plastic bags
recycle and reuse >> Let customers know your efforts to
>> Buy recycled office paper and stationary
>> Replace trash bins with recycling bins and minimise waste
>> Recycle and/or refill toner and ink
utilise a few central waste bins. This will
help remind staff and customers to
recycle more and waste less >> Purchasing energy efficient office
equipment, see Fast fact:
>> Consider combining your recyclables with
for energy efficiency ratings Paper (including toner) is the biggest
other nearby businesses, this will reduce
your recycling costs >> Consider upgrading to an all-in-one cost of a photocopier and has the most
copier/printer, eliminating the need for environmental impact. Be sure to print
>> Buy products that are recyclable or can be
multiple smaller printers double-sided, purchase recycled paper
taken back at end of use
Paper and recycle toner cartridges20
>> To locate a recycling facility, visit >> Think before you print. Do you really need
a printout of that document?
>> Set all computers in your office to Building design and renovations
Fast fact: automatically print double-sided >> When building or renovating your facility,
Each tonne of paper that is recycled >> Calculate how many reams per person are utilise low waste contractors who
saves: used and let staff know about ways to specialise in reuse of materials and
reduce this number reconstruction instead of demolition
>> Almost 13 trees
>> Send electronic communications rather >> Create a waste management plan with
>> 2.5 barrels of oil
than paper the contractor prior to construction to
>> 4100 kWh of electricity ensure waste reduction measures are
>> 4 cubic metres of landfill convenient and adhered to
>> 31,780 litres of water13 >> Donate old furniture and equipment
rather than sending to the landfill
>> Use recycled materials for construction
>> Use environmentally friendly materials
Case Study: Australian Business Limited Apprentice Centre such as paint, furniture, finishings and
(ABLAC) – paper and resource efficiency
>> Utilise local materials and businesses
In an effort to minimise paper consumption and increase resource efficiency, ABLAC when designing, decorating and
implemented a scanning system for tracking documents. The electronic system furnishing building
replaced a manual paper system and has significantly improved processing time and
>> All new building work must comply with
labour efficiency. The savings benefits include waste and paper reduction as well as
the Building Code of Australia energy
cost savings. The new electronic system reduced paper consumption by 30,000
efficiency provisions
sheets and the equivalent of $100K in salary by being able to process more with the
same number of staff.

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S E C T I O N 4

Section IV: Next Steps

Supply chain Sustainable procurement policy
All businesses rely on their supply base and Development of a procurement policy can
customers to survive. Integrating be an effective step in managing the
sustainability principles into purchasing sustainability of your supply chain. It can
decisions and managing your supply chain also provide economic benefits as many
from a sustainability perspective are key large corporations and government
steps to achieving overall sustainability for departments require documentation of
your business. Supply chain management sustainability or environmental management
considers the interactions between a initiatives for tendering. Additional benefits
business and its customers and suppliers. to sustainable supply chain management
Incorporating sustainability into your supply and procurement include:
chain involves reviewing your purchasing >> Reduced costs and increased productivity
and production decisions from both social
>> Reduced financial, regulatory and
and environmental perspectives in addition
reputation risks
to the economic considerations. Supply
chain management extends as far as >> Incentive to producers to develop new
possible ‘upstream’ towards raw materials sustainable products
and supply purchases to ‘downstream’ >> Competitive advantage in new and
towards the consumer and then back again expanding markets for sustainable
for product disposal and recycling. products
>> Meeting the expectations of the
shareholders, community and customers
Businesses with complex supply chains may
want to take further action up and down
their supply chain by developing a ‘Code of
Conduct.’ This document outlines the social
and environmental principles and standards
that the company, contractors and suppliers
are expected to observe. Implementation of
a Code of Conduct will also require
monitoring and evaluation of the
sustainability practices of companies within
your supply chain.
Visit the NSW Government Green Goods
website for more information on developing
a sustainable procurement policy. http://

Invigorating Business Results > 29

Taking it to the Next Level
Efficiency first Renewable energy The hospitality industry collectively makes
up a significant portion of the tourism
Improving efficiency is the simplest and Once you have addressed the energy
industry through travellers reliance on
most cost effective way to reduce carbon efficiency opportunities available in your
hotels, restaurants and recreation activities
emissions and save money on utility bills. business, you may want to consider
during their travels. The close relationship
Taking advantage of opportunities to converting to a ‘green power’ or renewable
between the hospitality and tourism sectors
minimise consumption in all areas of your energy. Renewable energy is electricity
creates additional opportunities to address
business, whether it be energy, water, supplied by wind, solar, geothermal, hydro
sustainability issues and meet customers
supplies or paper can significantly reduce and biomass, these sources are considered
demand for greener options.
negative environmental impacts, costs and continuously renewable. These types of
help your business prepare for the transition electricity emit very low levels of GHG One way for hospitality businesses (typically
into a low-carbon economy. emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel hotels and resorts) to further address
electricity such as coal. sustainability issues is through ecotourism
Once you have addressed the immediate
certification programs that accredit
efficiency savings opportunities, the next Renewable energy can be provided by
businesses which meet designated
big step is to assess larger projects outlined installing equipment such as solar panels on
sustainability criteria. Examples of such
in your energy savings plan. For most your building or alternatively can be
programs include, Green Globe and
businesses, significant energy efficiency purchased from your energy provider rather
Ecotourism Australia, which provide
savings can be obtained through than fossil fuel electricity. Purchasing
certification to guests and travellers that
investments in newer, more efficient renewable energy can be more expensive
the organisation meets sustainability
equipment and building upgrades. To than traditional fossil fuel based electricity,
standards. Visit and
determine which investments to make first, so it is important to address energy for more
look at the most energy intensive and oldest efficiency measures to minimise your utility
equipment in your facility. The key areas to bills. For more information on renewable
consider are: energy, visit the Government’s accredited
green power website at www.greenpower. Community and social
>> Heating, air conditioning and ventilation
systems development
>> Lighting The hospitality industry can have significant
>> Insulation
Ecotourism and certification environmental, social and economic impacts
Ecotourism is considered travel to natural on local communities. Due to the labour and
>> Office equipment resource intensity of the hospitality sector,
areas that conserves the environment and
>> Refrigeration improves the well-being of local people21. there are ample opportunities for hotels,
See the ‘Funding’ section for grants and Ecotourism is a rapidly expanding arena as restaurants and tourism operators to add
assistance programs that may be able to many tourists have become more conscious value and sustainability to the local
provide financial support for efficiency of sustainability issues associated with the community. For example, prioritising
upgrades for your business. travel industry and are looking for ways to generating jobs, training and education
minimise their impacts on the places they programs for local and indigenous
visit. The general key principles of community members can enhance the
ecotourism include: viability of the local area which hotels and
resorts depend upon. As well as offer guests
>> Minimise impact on the environment
and customers a unique opportunity to
>> Conserve local ecosystems and cultural experience Australian culture and
diversity biodiversity.
>> Provide jobs to local populations

30 >
S E C T I O N 4

Carbon offsetting Carbon neutral Once your organisation’s carbon emissions

have been determined via an LCA and
A carbon offset is a purchased ‘credit’ that A growing number of businesses are
carbon footprint calculation, the next steps
represents a reduction in greenhouse gas becoming ‘carbon neutral’ as a way of
to becoming carbon neutral typically
emissions. Carbon offsets are generated demonstrating their commitment to
through emissions-reducing or energy sustainability at the highest level. Becoming
efficiency projects such as tree planting or carbon neutral means achieving net zero >> Limiting energy usage and improving
renewable energy. The amount of carbon carbon emissions by balancing the emissions energy efficiency in all areas of your
emissions ‘saved’ through these projects is produced by a business with the equivalent business
calculated and then sold as offset credits to amount of carbon offsets, carbon >> Using renewable energy, either purchasing
businesses or individuals to mitigate carbon sequestering projects or renewable energy. green power or generating it directly such
emissions from various activities such as The benefits to becoming carbon neutral as wind or solar power
transportation and electricity use. There are include: >> Purchasing carbon offsets for emissions
two types of carbon offsets, those purchased >> Risk reduction in the transition to a that cannot be avoided through efficiency
by large industries in order to comply with low-carbon economy measures or a carbon reduction project
emissions reduction regulation and
>> Considered market leader in sustainability >> Optional but recommended, become
voluntary offsets purchased by businesses,
>> Increased marketability, meeting accredited by a carbon neutral
individuals and governments to meet their
consumer demand for carbon neutral certification provider
emission reduction goals.
products and businesses
Carbon offset products are largely an
In order to become carbon neutral, the
unregulated market, so it is important to
carbon footprint of your business must be
look for accredited providers to ensure that
determined. Carbon footprint is a measure
offsets are actually reducing carbon
of the total amount of carbon equivalent
emissions. In Australia, there are a few
emissions generated by your business
government mechanisms currently available

activities, both directly (onsite and internally
to assure customers of the quality of offsets
produced emissions) and indirectly (offsite
they are purchasing. For more information
and externally produced emissions such as
on carbon offsets, visit the Department of
Climate Change Greenhouse Friendly
program website at: http://www.
those resulting up and down the supply
chain). This process requires a life cycle
analysis (LCA) of your business operations
and products to ensure all critical
Whilst purchasing carbon offsets is an components are accounted for in the carbon Sustainability is a journey that does not end
effective tool in managing the carbon footprint. An LCA assesses the with the installation of lighting motion
emissions of your business, it is only one environmental impacts associated with detectors or recycling, it is a continuous
aspect of reducing your company’s carbon products, processes and services throughout process throughout the life of your business.
emissions. Implementing efficiency its life cycle, from the extraction of the raw No matter how efficient or innovative your
programs and initiatives to avoid and reduce materials through to processing, transport, organisation becomes, there will always be
carbon emissions in the first place is a use, reuse, recycling or disposal. LCA’s developments and new technologies that
critical step prior to investing in carbon require specific and well researched will be able to further the sustainability of
offsets. Higher efficiency will also reduce information and may be quite resource your business. Sustainability should be
the amount of offsets required, saving you intensive depending on the nature of your viewed as a continuous process rather than
money overall. business and could require an external a destination. This mindset will help
consultant. position your business to always seek
process and efficiency improvements,
positively influence and educate staff and
customers, save time and money while also
preserving the environment and reducing
carbon emissions.

Invigorating Business Results > 31

Section V: Additional Informaiton
Australian environmental, emission and Whilst the CPRS is mainly targeted at the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme
energy regulations are some of the fastest largest 1000 businesses in Australia, the (GGAS)
growing areas of the legal system in both effects will be felt by all businesses. The
scope and complexity. The majority of these most likely impacts include: The NSW Government has indicated that
regulations do not directly impact all Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (GGAS)
>> Increases in energy prices between 15 and will cease on the commencement of the
businesses as they focus on large 50%
corporations and industries. However, it is national emissions trading scheme, CPRS.
>> Government regulation – potentially The energy efficiency component of GGAS
important to be informed about new and
covering energy efficiency and type of will continue with new targets being set
changing regulations as there will likely be
energy sources mid year 2009. The new scheme will require
indirect impacts for all Australian businesses
and individuals. >> Corporate regulation – a requirement to electricity retailers to pursue additional
be ‘green’ for tendering energy efficiency improvements in
For more information on the growth of households and businesses.
>> Supply chain dynamics – purchasing of
environmental law and its impacts on
supplies, particularly raw materials may NSW Energy Efficiency Trading
business owners and operators, visit the
become more expensive Scheme (NEET)
NSW Business Chamber's website and
review ‘The Challenge of Green Tape’ >> Consumer demands – purchasing only
NSW Energy Efficiency Trading Scheme
publication. environmentally sensitive products
(NEET) is an energy efficiency package
Thus, it is important to start early and make aimed at reducing power use and cutting
Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme small but gradual changes to processes.
(CPRS) the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is a
Prepare early to maximise the opportunities market-based incentive for energy
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in the transition to a carbon-constrained efficiency. Compliance obligations under
(CPRS), otherwise known as ‘emissions economy whilst simultaneously saving on NEET will rest with electricity retailers. This
trading’ or the ‘green paper’ is the Federal the bottom line. Scheme will revitalise the existing energy
Governments’ response to climate change. National Greenhouse and Energy efficiency component of the GGAS. The
The CPRS aims to reduce carbon emissions Reporting System (NGERS) scheme is due to start on 1 July 2009.
through a Government regulated system Minimum Energy Performance
The National Greenhouse and Energy
that encourages energy efficiency by
Reporting System (NGERS) is a mandatory Standards (MEPS) – Lighting
establishing a cost disadvantage for heavy
reporting system that requires corporations In February 2007, Government’s phase-out
that either produce or consume large of inefficient incandescent lamps was
The scheme is essentially a cap and trade amounts of energy to report their energy announced. The phase-out of incandescent
scheme that is targeted to reduce Australia’s and greenhouse gas emissions to the lighting aims to significantly reduce
carbon emissions between 5 per cent and 15 Government. Reporting requirements Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and
per cent below 2000 levels by the end 2020. include corporate groups that either places Australia at the forefront of
The cap achieves the environmental consume or produce 500TJ of energy and/or international efforts to tackle climate
outcome of reducing carbon pollution. The produce 125 kt of CO2-e and facilities that change.
ability to trade ensures carbon pollution is either consume or produce 100TJ of energy
reduced at the lowest possible cost. When and/or produce 25 kt of CO2-e. This This initiative will be implemented by
that cap is set, parties are able to trade reporting system will be used to inform the introducing MEPS for incandescent lamps,
within that cap. ‘cap’ levels for the Carbon Pollution in order to remove the poorest performing
Reduction Scheme (CPRS). products from the Australian marketplace
between 2008 and 2015. Additionally, MEPS
for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will
also be introduced to ensure that only high
quality CFLs are sold in Australia. For more
information and specific timing to the
phase-out visit,

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S E C T I O N 5

Funding Opportunities
There are some excellent funding Renewable Energy Development Fund Public Facilities Program
opportunities to manage climate change,
The Renewable Energy Development The Public Facilities Program under the NSW
whether it is to clean up production
Program under the NSW Climate Change Climate Change Fund provides $30 million
processes or install efficient lights. The
Fund provides $40 million over five years to for water and energy saving projects in
Government is providing plenty of
support projects which are expected to lead facilities which are open to, and frequently
opportunities to help your business become
to large scale greenhouse gas emission accessed by, the public including schools,
more sustainable.
savings in NSW by: either demonstrating community buildings, sporting facilities,
Green Business Program renewable energy technologies in NSW or museums and art galleries.
supporting the early commercialisation of
The NSW Green Business Program is a Enterprise Connect
competitive fund supporting businesses that renewable energy technologies in NSW.
Enterprise Connect provides comprehensive
reduce water and energy usage. It has been Renewable Energy Equity Fund support to Australian small and medium
available for a number of years to NSW
The REEF program is a specialist renewable sized enterprises (SMEs), to help them
businesses and supports any project that
energy equity fund based on the Innovation become more innovative, efficient and
will ultimately save either/both water
Investment Fund (IIF) model. It provides competitive.
and energy.
venture capital (equity) to assist small
Export Market Development Grants
Energy Efficiency for Small companies to commercialise R&D in
Businesses Program renewable energy technologies. The Export Market Development Grants
(EMDG) scheme offers financial assistance
The NSW Department of Environment and Low Emissions Technology and for aspiring and current exporters.
Climate Change’s new Energy Efficiency for Abatement Administered by Austrade, the scheme
Small Business Program is available to supports a wide range of industry sectors
The Low Emissions Technology and
businesses that use up to $20,000 in and products, including inbound tourism
Abatement (LETA) initiative is a $26.9
electricity a year. To sign up for the Energy and the export of intellectual property and
million measure to reduce greenhouse gas
Efficiency for Small Business Program or for know-how outside Australia. To access the
emissions over the longer term by
more information contact Business scheme for the first time, businesses need to
supporting the identification and
Partnerships at 1300 361 967 or email have spent $15,000 over two years on
implementation of cost effective abatement eligible export marketing expenses. The
opportunities and the uptake of small scale
Climate Ready Program low emission technologies in business, Export Market Development Grants
industry and local communities. program:
The Climate Ready program is a competitive
grants program providing grants from Re-tooling for climate change >> Encourages small and medium sized
$50,000 up to $5m on a matching funding Australian businesses to develop export
This is the Federal Government’s $75 million markets
basis to support research and development,
Re-tooling for Climate Change grants
proof-of-concept and early-stage >> Reimburses up to 50 per cent of expenses
program with grants for small and medium
commercialisation activities to develop incurred on eligible export promotion
sized manufacturers ranging from $10,000
solutions to climate change challenges. This activities, above a $15,000 threshold
to $500,000 to help manufactures reduce
program is also being administered through >> Provides up to seven grants to each
the environmental impact of their
AusIndustry. eligible applicant
production processes. It is being
Green Building Fund administered through the AusIndustry.
The Green Building Fund initiative is
designed to help Australian businesses
implement cost saving energy efficiency
measures through retrofitting and retro-
commissioning of existing commercial office
buildings. The program will also provide
financial support to relevant industry
associations and other non-government
organisations for building related efficiency
and skill training.

Invigorating Business Results > 33

Government Programs
There is a wealth of information available Other Australian resources: International websites:
through Government should you wish to
Sydney Water Intergovernmental Panel on
pursue further information. Climate Change
Department of Environment and
Green Building Council Australia
Climate Change Carbon Trust (UK)
National Australia Built Environment (see publications and resources)
Department of Environment and Climate
Rating System (NABERS)
Change Sustainable Advantage Program Energy Star (US)
Australian Government Department of
Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts
Australian Government Department of
Climate Change
AusIndustry and Climate Ready
Energy Star Australia
Sustainability Victoria

Complementary Information
Available on the NSWBC website includes:
1. Top 10 tips for being efficient
2. CPRS fact sheets
3. CPRS survey results
4. What is means to be green
5. Podcasts

34 >
S E C T I O N 5

Adaptation – initiatives and measures to Green power – generic name given to Sustainability – form of progress, process or
reduce the vulnerability of natural and electricity generated from clean and development that meets the needs of the
human systems against climate change renewable energy sources. Green power present without compromising the ability of
effects. sources can include solar (photovoltaic and future generations to meet their needs.
Base building – central services and thermal), wind power, new hydro on existing Sustainable development – development
common areas of a building. dams, biomass, wave energy, landfill gas, that meets the needs of the present without
etc. compromising the ability of future
Baseline – assessment conducted in order
to determine the current resource use of an Greenhouse effect – the absorption of solar generations to meet their own needs.
organisation, specifically for energy, water energy due to accumulation of greenhouse (Brundtland Report 1987)
and waste. The baseline assessment is used gases in the atmosphere. Tenancy – Office space within a building
to determine how effective various aspects Greenhouse gases (GHGs) – gases covering tenant light and power only. This
of an action plan have been in terms of regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, may include tenancy air-conditioning if this
improving resource efficiencies. determined to be the main contributors to has been installed to service particular
Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 - e) – the the enhanced greenhouse effect. The tenant loads, but does not include central
universal unit of measurement used to principle gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), services normally provided by the landlord.
indicate the global warming potential (GWP) methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), Triple bottom line (TBL) – takes into
of each of the 6 greenhouse gases. It is used hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons account the effects a business’s activities on
to evaluate the impacts of different (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). the environment and society as well as on
greenhouse gases. Key performance indicators (KPIs) – an the conventional economic bottom line. An
Carbon neutral – a term used when an information tool used to measure trends and underpinning concept of sustainability and
organisation has reduced the net amount of progress. Indicators provide a snapshot of a sustainable development
carbon dioxide equivalent it emits to zero. current situation and the means to observe Whole building – includes all energy
changes over time. Example, energy usage entering the building used for providing
Carbon offset – a financial instrument that for a unit of production (kWh/product).
represents a reduction in greenhouse gas services to the occupants of the space.
emissions, typically converted to the carbon Kyoto Protocol – specifies the level of
equivalent. Carbon offsets are generated emissions reductions, deadlines and
through emissions-reducing or energy methodologies that signatory countries are
efficiency projects such as tree planting or to achieve. Kyoto Protocol was ratified by
renewable energy. Australia in 2007.

Ecotourism – travel to natural areas that Life cycle assessment – determines the
conserves the environment and improves the total quantities of resources that go into
well-being of local people. products from the production of their inputs
to the waste they produce when disposed or
Global warming – progressive gradual rise recycled.
of the Earth’s surface temperature thought
to be caused by the greenhouse effect and Mitigation – actions to reduce greenhouse
responsible for changes in global climate gas emissions and to enhance carbon sinks
patterns. aimed at reducing the extent of global
Global Warming Potential (GWP) – index
that compares the relative potential of the 6 Renewable energy – electricity generated
greenhouse gases to contribute to global from low or no-emission sources that are
warming, i.e., the additional heat/energy indefinitely renewable, such as wind, hydro
which is retained in the Earth’s ecosystem and solar.
through the release of this gas into the
atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been
designated a GWP of 1 and Methane (CH4)
has a GWP of 23.

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Appendix A
Table 12. Example template for calculating baseline use

Business Activity Indicator

The business activity indicator is a unit of measurement that represents the business
operation. Preferably it is the same indicator that your organisation uses to assess
business efficiency. For example:
>> For commercial buildings and shopping centres “leasable area” in m2
>> For hotels and hospitals “number of bed nights or meals”
>> For manufacturing and laundries “quantity of production” in tonnes or other units
>> For education “number of full time student equivalents”
>> For irrigators “area” (i.e., golf courses, show grounds reserves) in m2
>> For swimming pools, clubs and pubs “number of patrons”
Table adapted from NSW Government Guidelines for Water Savings Action Plans 200522

Table 13. Baseline Water Use (Sample Assessment)

Organisation Name
To be completed for all sites that are included in the organisations sustainability Action Plans
Site Description Normal operation Variation from normal operation
Address 123 Sydney Street 321 Newcastle Street
Sydney Water Account number 12 23456 789 987 65432 21
Baseline start date 1-Jan-2006 1-Jan-2006
Baseline end date 1-Jan-2007 1-Jan-2007
A = baseline water use per annum (kL) 50,000 50,000
Business Activity Indicator Tonnes Tonnes
B = Quantity of site business activity indictor per annum 1,800 2,000
(corrected for variations)
Is baseline representative of normal water use (Yes/No) Yes No
If no, description of variation (i.e., restrictions, shutdowns, Plant shutdown for
refurbishments, etc) (July – August 06)
C = Impact of variation on water use (i.e. variation from 0 -8,000
normal) kL per annum
D = A - C baseline water use corrected for variation (kL) 50,000 42,000
E = D/B baseline water use key performance indictors (KPI) 27.8 21.0
Baseline KPI units kL/tonne kL/tonne
Table adapted from NSW Government Guidelines for Water Savings Action Plans 200522

36 >
S E C T I O N 5

Table 14. Baseline Energy Use (Sample Assessment)

Organisation Name
To be completed for all sites that are included in the organisations sustainability Action Plans. Energy
consumption should be reported in most appropriate units – i.e., kWh, GJ, etc
Site number/name 1 2 3
Address 123 Sydney Street 321 Newcastle Street 456 Ballina Street
Energy provider Account number 123 4567 89 987 6543 21 654 4568 45
Baseline start date 1-Jan-2006 1-Jan-2006 1-Jan-2006
Baseline end date 1-Jan-2007 1-Jan-2007 1-Jan-2007
A = baseline energy use per annum (kWh) 50,000 66,000 65,000
Greenhouse Emissions Tonnes Tonnes
(see NABERS) 45 Tonnes 59 Tonnes 59 Tonnes
Business Activity Indicators m2 m2 tonnes
B = Quantity of site business activity 1,800 2,000 25,000
indicator per annum, corrected for variation
Is baseline representative of normal energy Yes No No
use (Yes/No)
If no, description of variation (i.e., restrictions, Increased energy Decreased energy
shutdowns, refurbishments, etc) consumption due to office consumption due to
refurbishment for 2 months March 2006 unscheduled
C = Impact of variation on energy use (i.e. 0 8,000 -3,000
variation from normal) kWh per annum
D = A - C baseline energy use corrected for 50,000 58,000 42,000
variations (kWh)
E = D/B baseline energy use key performance 27.78 29.0 2.48
indictors (KPI)
Baseline KPI units kWh/m2 kWh/m2 kWh/tonne
Table adapted from NSW Government Guidelines for Energy Savings Action Plans 2005 23

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Table 15. Baseline Waste and Recycling Generation (Sample Assessment)

Waste and recycling baseline

Complete separately for waste and recycling
Quantity Collected Number of containers collected multiplied by volume or weight of
the container
Your organisation has 10 wheelie bins of paper collected for
recycling (or waste) each month.
10 X 240L Bins = 2,400L of paper collected/month
2,400 X 12 = 28,400L per annum
28,000 ÷ 1,000 (to convert litres to cubic metres) X 0.24 (to convert
cubic metres to tonnes) = 6.9 tonnes per annum

Cost Number of containers multiplied by cost of pickup per container.

Waste contractor charges $5.50 to pick up each paper recycling bin
10 X $5.50/bin = $55.00 to recycle paper
Adapted from A WRAPP Guide to Conducting an Office Waste Assessment24

A simple alternative waste baseline determination method is to weigh waste materials over
ten normal, consecutive working days. Then extrapolate weight measurements over the
month or year to determine average waste generation. Certain times of the year, such as end
of financial year and school holidays, should be avoided when utilising this method. This
method can also be used separately for recycled materials.

16. Water Efficiency Rating Scheme (WELS) ratings6

Taps Showerheads Toilets Urinals6

Rating Specification (L/min) Specification (L/ Specification (L/ Specification (L/single stall or L/600 mm
min) average flush) of continuous length)
0 Star > 16 > 16 N/A > 2.5 serving a single stall or 4.0 for two stalls
1 Star > 12 and < 16 > 12 and < 16 > 4.5 and < 5.5 < 4.0 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengtha
2 Star > 9.0 and < 12 > 9.0 and < 12 > 4.0 and < 4.5 < 2.5 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengtha
3 Star > 7.5 and < 9 > 7.5 and < 9 > 3.5 and < 4.0 < 2.0 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengtha
4 Star > 6.0 and < 7.5 > 6.0 and < 7.5 > 3.0 and < 3.5 < 1.5 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengtha
5 Star > 4.5 and < 6.0 > 4.5 and < 6.0 > 2.5 and < 3.0 < 1.0 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengtha
6 Star < 4.5 > 4.5 and < 6.0 < 2.5 < 1.0 serving two stalls or equivalent continuous lengthb
must be fitted with demand driven or smart demand operation
must be fitted with demand-driven or smart-demand operation with a urine sensing device

38 >
S E C T I O N 5

Appendix B
Walk-through audits Step 3: Building management Step 4: Conducting an audit
To conduct a walk-through audit and get a assistance The next step is to conduct a walk-through
better understanding of your business’s Prior to the physical audit of the site, meet survey with building operations personnel.
consumption patterns and opportunities for with the building operations and Use direct observation and measurements to
improvements, follow the basic steps below. maintenance personnel to discuss the audit complete the enclosed audit checklists as
and learn about the building’s operating you survey the facilities. Identify and record
Step 1: Establish baseline and KPI
systems and maintenance projects. One of all pieces of equipment that use water and/
Prior to the physical audit of the site, the objectives of an audit is to provide or energy.
determine your business’s resource use via information that will help the building As you walk through the premises, be sure
historical/current utility bills and establish a operations personnel run the facilities more to take notes of any outstanding questions
baseline for water, energy and waste. efficiently. Therefore, it is recommended or areas that need follow-up information or
Convert baseline into KPI units. you invite the building operations personnel expertise. Discuss the feasibility and
Step 2: Information gathering to participate in the walk-through audit. opportunities for efficiency improvements
The operations staff will also be able to fill with the building personnel as you go
Prior to the physical audit of the site, obtain you in on maintenance practices and any through the building, this will help you
or draw the building floor plan and mark the issues with the building. Developing a good develop a savings opportunity plan after the
location of sources of energy, water and working relationship with the building audit is complete. Do not tamper with or
waste disposal. This will help you map out operations personnel is important to getting adjust any control settings or equipment,
where resources are most necessary and the most out of the audit and identifying leave this to the professionals.
identify areas of inefficiency, such as additional savings opportunities.
constant lighting in rooms that are Please note, the enclosed checklists do not
infrequently used. include every single detail which can be
included in an audit; rather they aim to
identify the largest energy, water and waste
areas as well as provide alternative solutions
to improve efficiency.

Invigorating Business Results > 39

Hospitality: Energy walk-through audit checklist
Facility floor size: __________ m2
Operating hours: __________
Average number of guests (or other KPI unit):___________
Baseline energy use per annum: ___________kWh
Baseline energy use KPI: ___________ kWh/guest/day
List energy using equipment and number: (Examples: computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, etc)

Other instructions:
1.  Mark the location of equipment, fixtures and amenities that need repair or maintenance on site plan
2.  Note areas or equipment that require follow-up investigation, such as energy efficiency upgrades of lighting or HVAC system.

Administration and communication

Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Communication and Has the critical need to be more >> Develop and post commitment policy
policy initiatives energy efficient been broadly statement
communicated within your business? >> Implement employee and guest education
and engagement programs
Has a management team been >> Create sustainability team involving senior
organised to provide strategy and management
leadership around energy efficiency? >> Include sustainability measures in business
strategy development
Has an energy management plan or >> After audit, develop an immediate and
savings plan been developed? long-term energy savings plan. See Table 7
Have internal policies and >> Use the audit findings to develop policies
procedures been developed around and procedures addressing the most critical
energy efficiency and management? and immediate energy efficiency measures
Employee and guest Are energy conservation/efficiency >> Display signage reminding staff to switch
engagement posters displayed throughout the off equipment and lights
Are reward/acknowledgement >> Develop engagement and rewards programs
programs provided for employees for staff
who conserve energy?
Are employees and guests provided >> Include energy efficiency training at staff
education around energy efficiency? meetings and provide information in public
areas such as bulletin boards and internal
>> Post signage with energy saving tips and
goals to engage guests in energy saving
Are employees provided regular >> Provide energy savings progress reports to
updates on energy usage and staff
progress towards energy savings? >> Create “competitions” between departments
to incentives areas that reduce energy
consumption by the largest percentage
Energy tracking Is energy usage regularly metered, >> Record energy usage and spending when a
monitored and recorded? bill is received
>> Determine baseline energy use
Is energy use benchmarked against >> After baseline is determined, benchmark
industry best practice? against industry standard
>> Alternatively, calculate energy rating via
NABERS website
Have energy savings targets been >> After baseline and benchmarks are
set? determined, set target savings
Are energy costs and program >> Add energy performance to financial
performance included in financial reviews and updates
and business reviews?
Energy billing Do you know your electricity costs >> Review and record energy data for every bill
associated with both use (kWh) and received
demand (kW)?
On an annual basis, are energy rates >> Include energy review at the end of reach
and supplier reviewed to ensure the financial year
most favourable rate structure?
Are monthly energy bills reviewed >> Double check energy usage vs cost when
for accuracy? recording energy activity for each bill
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Lighting use Are lights turned off when rooms or >> Post signage reminding staff and guests to
areas are not occupied? switch off lights
>> Install occupancy sensors
Are light switches labelled to denote >> Label light switches with corresponding
location of lighting? lighting area
Have energy conservation stickers >> Place energy saving reminders on light
been placed on light switches? switches
Are lighting systems wired so that >> Consider rewiring to separate switches
lights throughout a large area do not >> When remodelling, wire lights to separate
have to be on when only a small switches
section of the area is being used?
Is task lighting used to reduce >> Provide energy efficient desk lamps and
background or overhead lighting? reduce overhead lighting
Have occupancy sensors been >> If no, install occupancy sensors in key areas
installed in areas that are frequently
unoccupied (lobbies, bathrooms,
conference, rooms, storage rooms,
hallways, etc)?
Have timers been installed on >> Install timers to outside lighting or use solar
outside lighting? lighting
>> Update timers seasonally
Has housekeeping and security staff >> Remind security and housekeeping staff of
been advised to keep lights turned energy saving measures and that lights
off in unoccupied spaces? should remain off after hours
Lighting types Have older lighting fixtures been >> Install or convert old lighting fixtures to
upgraded or converted to T-5 lamps more energy efficient models
and electronic ballasts?
Have incandescent light bulbs been >> Replace all lights with CFL or more energy
replaced with compact fluorescent efficient models. See Table 8
light bulbs (CFLs)?
Do EXIT signs use light emitting >> Install LED fixtures to all EXIT signs
diode (LED) fixtures?
Has unnecessary lighting been >> Review lighting needs and eliminate
removed or disconnected, both unnecessary lights in all areas of building
indoor and outdoor?
Has unnecessary lighting been >> Disconnect lights in vending machines
removed from vending machines? >> Install timer plug in for all vending
machines to switch off out of business
Cleanliness and Are lamps regularly cleaned? >> Remind housekeeping staff to regularly
maintenance clean all light fixtures
Are broken lamps repaired? >> Notify maintenance staff of any lamps that
need to be repaired
>> Post signage reminding staff to report
damaged lamps
Have non-working lights been >> Notify maintenance staff of any lamps that
replaced? need to be changed out
>> Post signage reminding staff to report
non-working lamps
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Maintenance Is there a service contract agreement >> Contract regular maintenance to HVAC
to provide regular safety and systems
efficiency maintenance to the
Are systems regularly cleaned and >> Schedule regular HVAC maintenance
filters replaced?
Have leaks in system components >> Schedule repairs with maintenance staff
such as pipes, steam traps and
couplings been repaired?
Are thermostats regularly calibrated? >> Regularly calibrate HVAC system and
investigate/repair any abnormalities
Are exhaust fans turned off with the >> Program all available components of HVAC
HVAC systems when space is to be turned off out of business hours
Settings Are heating and air conditioning >> Set thermostat to:
thermostats set to the most efficient >> Summer: 23°-25°C
and comfortable level? >> Winter: 18°-20°C
Does system have thermostat >> If no, install sensors in main work areas and
sensors? away from heat or draughts
>> If yes, check to ensure sensors are placed
away from heat sources and draughts
Are thermostats tamper proof? >> Place covers over thermostats to prevent
staff from unnecessarily adjusting
Does HVAC system have a timer or >> Install or set timer to shut off system out of
programmable? operating hours
>> Install or set timer for portable systems
Is HVAC system setback when >> Program HVAC to switch off out of business
building is unoccupied? hours
Is air conditioning and heating >> Program HVAC to switch off when outside
setback when weather permits? temperature permits
Airflow Has supply air been adjusted to >> Calibrate airflow
match space requirements? >> Decrease flow in areas that are over
Are air deflectors installed on floor >> Install air deflectors to force air into the
ducts? centre of the room
Are doors fitted with automatic door >> Install door closers to prevent heat/cool air
closers? escape and draughts
Has direct conditioning of >> Program HVAC to be switched off or close
unoccupied areas (corridors, vents in unoccupied areas
stairwells, storage rooms, etc) been
Are outside air dampers controlled to >> Program all components of HVAC to most
close when conditioned space in energy efficient and savings settings
If economisers are available on HVAC >> Program all components of HVAC to most
system, are they set to utilise free energy efficient and savings settings
cooling when outside temperate
Location Is heat producing equipment such as >> Move any heat producing equipment away
printers, copiers and refrigerators from HVAC sensors
located away from HVAC thermostat
Kitchen ventilation
Do exhaust hoods have side panels? >> Install hood side panels to better trap
cooking grease, smoke and heat
Are appliances positioned as far back >> Push each appliance as far under exhaust
under exhaust hoods as possible? hoods as possible to maximise hood
Does exhaust hood have a variable >> Consider installing variable-speed exhaust
setting? fans if current models only have “on” and
“off” switch. A more moderate setting can
be used in slower times based on demand
Water use and heating
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Settings Is hot water heater set to the >> Reduce hot water heater to minimum
minimum level necessary for temperature permitted for your business
sanitation requirements? needs
>> Consider installing a solar hot water heater
Are aerator taps and efficient shower >> Install WELS aerated taps and showerheads
heads installed?
Are timers installed to switch off >> Install timer to switch off hot water heaters
water heater when facilities are out of hours and switch back on before
unoccupied? opening
Insulation Are the hot heaters and first 1-2 >> Insulate hot water heaters and piping
meters of piping insulated?
Maintenance Have leaks been identified and >> Schedule regular maintenance inspections
repaired? for leaks and repairs
Communication Is water conservation signage >> Post water savings and leak reporting
located throughout facility? reminder signage with maintenance contact
info in kitchens, toilets and break rooms
>> Sydney Water has examples
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Pools Is pool temperature set to minimum >> Lower pool, spa and jacuzzi temperatures to
required? minimum required for comfort
Saunas Are timers installed on sauna >> Install timers on sauna heaters
Gym equipment Is all equipment turned off after >> Ensure all equipment is turned off at night
business hours? >> Post signage requesting guests switch off
equipment after use
Kitchen equipment
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Settings Is equipment left on standby during >> Switch off all equipment when not in use
slow times or afterhours? >> Install timers as needed
Maintenance Is kitchen equipment cleaned >> Regular cleaning and flushing out of
regularly? equipment will keep it running properly and
most efficiently
Is regular maintenance scheduled? >> Develop a maintenance schedule to ensure
leaks and breaks don’t go unnoticed and
compromise efficiency
Operations Is the boiler door left open? >> Keep the door closed to avoid evaporation
and wasted energy
Do compartments frequently go >> If you only use 2 or 3 steamer
unused but remain left on? compartments, shut down the remaining
compartments during slow times
Settings Is the timer set on the steamer? >> Set timer to ensure steamer only runs on
full heat when needed, set to reduce heat or
switch off when not needed.
Equipment Are steamers connectionless? >> Consider upgrading to a connectionless
steamer which operates without a boiler or
drain- saving you money on energy and
Settings Can broiler cooking area be reduced? >> Turn off sections of the broiler when
unneeded, such as slow times
Equipment Is broiler aligned with exhaust hood? >> Be sure broiler is fully under the hood as
close to the back wall as possible
Pasta cookers
Settings Is temperature automatically set to >> Find the minimum setting required for
max to boil water? boiling rather than automatically setting to
Equipment Is oven a combination oven/steamer? >> If yes, operate in combination mode
sparingly, which wastes large amounts of
energy and water. Operate separately as
need per manufacturers guidelines.
Settings Is oven operated only when full? >> Try to schedule baking when oven is full,
minimising idle time
Maintenance Are seals and hinges operating >> Replace seals and gaskets if torn and make
correctly? sure door hinges are tight and aligned
Maintenance Are burners maintained and clean? >> If flames are uneven or yellow, cleaning and
adjustment of air shutter is probably needed
Equipment Does range use induction >> Consider upgrading to an induction range,
technology? which operate much more efficiently than
traditional gas or electric ranges
Settings Is griddle left on all day? >> Minimise idle time and switch off during
slow times
Equipment Does griddle have grooved and flat >> As a griddle is more efficient than a broiler,
surfaces? when purchasing a new griddle, consider
one with both flat and grooved cooking
surfaces- which will leave boiler-like char
marks on food and save energy by
minimising broiler use
Holding cabinets
Is hot food holding cabinet left on >> Switch off at night or install timer
Is holding cabinet well insulated? >> Consider upgrading to a more efficient,
insulated model
Operations Are dishwashers only run when full? >> Only run dishwashers when full and
consider cutting the wash cycles if possible
Does dishwasher have an internal >> Switch off after hours or install timer
hot water tank heater?
Settings Is the water temperature and rinse >> Follow manufacturers specifications for
pressure set to manufacturers both temperature and pressure settings
recommended settings?
Equipment Is dishwasher Energy Star rated? >> When upgrading, purchase most energy and
water efficient model
Are conveyor-style dishwashers >> Make sure conveyor-style dishwashers are
always operated in auto mode? always operated in auto mode, this saves
energy by only running the motor when
Does the dishwasher have wash >> Add and maintain wash curtains, which
curtains? operate more efficiently by trapping heat
Ice machines
Is ice primarily produced during peak >> Switch ice production schedule to run at
daytime hours? night during off-peak electricity hours when
demand and prices are typically lower
Is ice machine most water and >> When upgrading, look for most energy and
energy efficient? water efficient models
Does your ice machine fit your use >> Bigger ice machines can be more efficient
requirements? than smaller ones that are constantly
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Maintenance Are refrigerator doors and seals in >> To test, if you can easily remove a note from
proper condition to close tightly between the seal and frame, the seal needs
without leaks? to be replaced
>> If the seal is cracked or separated it should
be replaced
Are refrigerator coils clean and dust >> Regularly clean and maintain refrigerator
free? equipment
Do door gaskets need to be replaced? >> Replace refrigerator door gaskets that are
torn or loose
Are refrigerant levels at appropriate >> Make sure refrigerant levels are full,
levels? operating with too little refrigerant reduces
the efficiency of a refrigerator
Location Are fans and equipment >> Make sure there is a 15 cm gap between
unobstructed? the wall and the back of the refrigerator
Settings Are refrigerators set to most efficient >> Increase temperature to avoid over cooling
temperature? and freezing

Is the freezer frost free? >> Defrost any ice build up

>> Only defrost as long as you need to, avoid
excess heating
Are door heaters left on constantly? >> Switch off door heaters on refrigerators and
freezers and turn back on when frost begins
to build up or if water is dripping. Be sure
to never compromise safety or performance
of equipment.
Are timers installed to switch off >> Install timer plug ins on all appropriate
appropriate refrigerators when refrigerators (ex, only bottled beverages
facilities are unoccupied? that are non-perishable) to turn off after
hours and back on prior to opening
Equipment Are refrigerators most energy >> If refrigerators are older inefficient models,
efficient models? consider upgrading to Energy Star rated
Do walk in refrigerators have strip >> Install plastic strip curtains that trap air and
curtains? minimise air loss when door is opened
Do refrigerated display cases have >> Install night curtains on open display cases
night curtains? to cut down on wasted energy after hours
Are refrigerators appropriately sized >> Remove multiple mini refrigerators and buy
for facility needs? Example, 2 larger a larger more efficient model
refrigerators rather than 4
Are unnecessary refrigerators >> Remove or unplug unused refrigerators
removed or switched off?
Office equipment
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Settings Are computers, monitors, printers, >> Place signage near exits reminding staff to
copiers and other office equipment switch off
turned off when not in use? >> Use reward programs to incentivise staff to
switch off
>> Install timer plug ins on office equipment to
switch off after hours
Are computers, monitors, printers, >> Program or set all equipment to energy
copiers and other office equipment saving or sleep mode
set for “sleep” or energy saving >> Remove ‘screen savers’ these only waste
mode? energy
Equipment Is office equipment the most energy >> Consider upgrading older equipment to
efficient models (generally Energy energy efficient Energy Star rated
Is equipment recycled or properly >> Contract waste contractor about
disposed of at end of use? appropriate disposal rather than sending old
equipment to the landfill
>> Recycle old equipment
>> Donate old equipment to non-profit
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Maintenance Are seals, weather stripping and >> Replace seals that are cracked, dry or
caulking around openings in good missing
Does building insulation need to be >> Replace insulation that is no long effective
repaired or replaced?
Settings Are blinds and shades adjusted to >> Adjust the blinds throughout the day to
take advantage of daylight and minimise heat loss or over heating
utilise or avoid the impact of solar
Are operable windows used for >> Open windows and take advantage of free
ventilation whenever possible? fresh air whenever possible
Facilities Have thermal windows and glazing >> Consider replacing single paned windows
been installed to minimise heating the double or triple panes
and cooling loss? >> Consider glazing/tinting to minimise solar
Are ceilings, roof and walls >> Consider insulating all possible walls,
insulated? ceilings and roofing to maximise efficiency
Vehicles and transportation
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up action Responsibility
(no., type)
Maintenance Do company vehicles receive regular >> Schedule all vehicles for regular service
maintenance? inspections
Equipment Are company vehicles most fuel >> Consider retiring older or inefficient vehicles
efficient models available for your and purchase more efficient and/or hybrid
business’s requirements? and diesel fleets
When purchasing a new vehicle is >> Prioritise fuel efficiency when purchasing
fuel efficiency prioritised? new vehicles
Are vehicle GHG emissions offset? >> Consider purchasing carbon offsets for
vehicle related GHG emissions
Communication Are employees encouraged or >> Promote public transport to staff
incentivised for taking public >> Organise carpooling schedules
transport or carpooling? >> Offer travel passes pre-tax
Hospitality: Water walk-through audit
Facility size: __________ m2
Operating hours: ______
Average number of guests (or other KPI unit):___________
Baseline water use per annum: ___________kL
Baseline water use KPI: ___________ kL/guest/day

Other instructions:
1. Identify water flow rates for all toilets, urinals, showers, taps and sprayers. (Consult manufacturer’s user guide for toilets and urinals
and see flow rate test instructions below for showers, taps and sprayers)
2. C
 ompare water flow rates to WELS ratings on Tables 16 and 17
3. If accessible, read water meters regularly and compare actual water use to the facility’s water reduction goal. Large water users should
read meters daily.

Simple toilet leak test

To detect silent leaks – remove the toilet cistern lid, flush the toilet to empty the cistern and add a few drops of food colouring to the
cistern as it refills. If the tank is leaking, colour will appear in the bowl within 15 to 30 minutes. If your toilets are not of the standard
cistern and pan variety, (cavity mounted cisterns for example) then please do not attempt to investigate any leaks.
Note: Be sure to flush toilet after test is complete to ensure the food colouring does not stain toilet.

Shower and tap flow test

1. Fully turn on the cold-water tap of your shower or tap
2. Hold a bucket under the shower for 20 seconds
3. Remove the bucket and turn the water off
4. Measure the amount of water in the bucket by emptying a litre at a time into the measuring container
5. Calculate the flow rate (in litres per minute) by multiplying the number of litres by three. For example, if you collected 8 litres over the
20 seconds, the flow rate is 8 x 3 = 24 litres per minute

Administration and communication

Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Communication and Has the critical need to conserve >> Develop and post commitment policy
policy initiatives water been broadly communicated statement
within your business? >> Implement employee and guest education
and engagement programs
Has a management team been >> Create sustainability team involving senior
organised to provide strategy and management
leadership around water >> Include sustainability measures in business
conservation? strategy development
Has a water management plan or >> After audit, develop an immediate and
savings plan been developed? long-term water savings plan. See Table 7
Have internal policies and procedures >> Use the audit findings to develop policies
been developed around water and procedures addressing the most critical
conservation and management? and immediate water savings measures
Employee engagement Are water conservation/efficiency >> Display signage reminding guests and staff
posters displayed throughout the to conserve water in relevant locations, i.e.,
facilities? kitchens, bathrooms
>> See Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts
Do you provide rewards/ >> Develop engagement and rewards programs
acknowledgement programs for for staff
employee who are conserve water?
Are employees provided education >> Include water savings training at staff
around water conservation? meetings and provide information in public
areas such as bulletin boards and internal
Are employees provided regular >> Provide water savings progress reports to
updates on water usage and progress staff
towards water savings?
Water tracking Is water usage regularly metered, >> Determine water baseline
monitored and recorded? >> Record the location of water meters on
floor plan sheet
>> Record the meter number, reading, date and
>> Set up a monitoring schedule
Is water use benchmarked against >> After baseline is determined, benchmark
industry best practice? against industry standard
>> Alternatively, calculate water rating via
NABERS website
Have water savings KPIs and targets >> After baseline, KPIs and benchmarks are
been set? determined, set target savings
Are water costs and program >> Add water savings performance to financial
performance included in financial reviews and updates
and business reviews?
Water billing Do you know your water costs? >> Review and record water data for every bill
Are monthly water bills reviewed for >> Double check water usage vs cost for each
accuracy? bill
>> Review audit findings and bills for areas of
high water use, investigate cause and check
for leaks
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Meter reading Are there sub meters on amenities >> Consider installing sub meters on key
and hot water supply? equipment, such as pools, spas, cooling
towers, etc) to help monitor water use
Has leak detection analysis been >> Record meter reading afterhours then again
carried out by monitoring water before opening. If there is a change in
meters during zero flow periods i.e. meter reading, there are leaks occurring
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Toilets Are toilets single flush? >> Replace with dual flush (6/3 litre or 4.5/3
litre models)
If you have single flush toilets, can >> Consider reducing flush volume by adjusting
you reduce the cistern flush volume? cistern float arm or install a displacement
device or weight. Caution- may not be
appropriate for all models
Are toilets dual flush? >> Check volume, replace 11/5.5 and 9/4.5 litre
models with 6/3 or 4.5/3 litre models
Are the toilets leaking/running? (See >> Fix leaks and running toilets
test above)
Are the cistern rubber seals on toilets >> Replace every 2 years
replaced regularly?
Urinals Are urinals cyclical (‘fill and dump’) >> Replace with push button/pull chain or
flushing? automatic sensor flushing units
Do urinals have automatic sensor >> Check sensors are working properly and not
flushing? flushing more than once every 6 minutes
regardless of number of users
Is the flow rate within the >> If no, maintenance is required
manufacturer’s recommended range?
Sink taps (check all Are sink taps leaking? Check tap and >> Fix any leaks
taps- kitchen, pipes below.
bathrooms, etc)
Do sink taps have flow regulators >> Install flow regulators and aerators that
and aerators? (To check tap flow, see reduce flow to 6 litres per min
above) >> Look for WELS rated taps
Are taps mixed (both hot and cold >> Convert to mixed taps to minimise wasting
together) or separate? water-quicker achievement of optimum
Is the flow rate within the >> If no, maintenance is required
manufacturer’s recommended range? >> Install flow restrictors or replace with WELS
rated fittings
Showers Do showers have water saving >> Install flow regulator or aerator that
showerheads? (To check showerhead reduces flow to at least 9L/min
flow, see above) >> Replace showerheads with WELS rated units
Are showerheads leaking? >> Fix leaks
Is the flow rate within the >> If no, maintenance is required
manufacturer’s recommended range?
Large water boilers Are water boilers switched off at >> Turn off at end of each day or install timer
night? plug-in
Is temperature set too high? >> Reduce to minimum temperature needed
Are the boilers leaking? >> Check overflow valve, especially in older
Is the boiler used frequently? >> If no, discontinue use and supply smaller
more efficient kettle
Hot water heaters Are hot water heaters switched off >> If appropriate, install timer plug-in
at night?
Is temperature set too high? >> Reduce to minimum temperature needed
Are there leaks? >> Repair any leakage
Is hot water heater and piping >> If no, install insulation
Swimming pools
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Equipment Does swimming pool have a cover? >> Install pool cover on all pools and jacuzzis
>> Cover pool and jacuzzis out of hours
Does swimming pool have a sub >> Consider installing a sub meter on pools to
meter? help monitor water use and leaks
Maintenance Are filters cleaned through >> Double check that excessive backwashing is
backwashing on a regular basis? not occurring. Be sure that backwashing
occurs in accordance to health codes and
>> Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance
Have pool equipment and meters >> Repair any leakage
been monitored for leaks?
Settings Is indoor air temperature set 1C >> Adjust air temperature to 1C above water
above water temperature to temperature
minimise evaporation?
Is water temperature set to minimum >> Lower water temperature as appropriate
required for comfort?
Kitchen equipment
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Settings Is steamer set to standby mode? >> Set to standby mode, which typically
consumes minimal water
Is steamer timer control set? >> Setting steamer to timer should
automatically switch to standby mode after
a cook cycle, saving additional water and
Equipment Is steamer new model or >> Consider upgrading to a connectionless
connectionless? model which saves both water and energy
or a newer more efficient model
Combination ovens
Is combination oven (has dry and >> Consider upgrading to a boilerless model,
moist heat and steam modes) which saves both water and energy
Is combination oven used in >> Setting to convection mode can reduce
convection mode when possible? unnecessary water use, when appropriate
Pasta cookers
Is pasta cooker set to continuous >> Reducing the setting to simmer rather than
boil? rolling boil will reduce water use
Is wok range flow rate set too high? >> Consider reducing the flow rate on properly
insulated woks
Is wok waterless? >> Consider upgrading to a waterless wok
>> Subsidies are available for waterless woks
Ice machines
Is ice machine water cooled? >> If yes, significant water savings can be
found by upgrading to an air cooled model
Pre-rinse sprayers
Is pre-rinse sprayer low water flow >> Install a water efficient low flow sprayer on
model? all dishwashing stations
>> Free low flow sprayers are available through
Sydney Water
Does manual fill valve close >> Be sure valve is completely closed when
completely? wash tank is full. Repair if needed
Have dishwashers been calibrated >> Rinse cycles and pressure setting should be
recently? set to manufacturers specifications
Is rinse bypass drain on conveyor >> Adjust bypass drain if needed, improperly
type dishwashers properly adjusted? adjusted drain will cause excessive rinse
water to drain
Are rinse nozzles in good condition? >> Replace worn rinse nozzles
Are staff adequately trained to >> If dishwashers are operated in manual
operate dishwashers? mode, they may remain continuously “on”
– switch to automatic mode
>> Staff should be trained in most water
efficient use
Is dishwasher most water efficient >> Consider upgrading to a more water and
model? energy efficient model
HVAC (no cooling tower)
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Maintenance Are HVAC systems scheduled for >> Schedule regular maintenance and repairs
regular maintenance?
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Cleaning staff Are water management and savings >> Include cleaning staff in education and
actions communicated to cleaning awareness programs
staff? >> Provide educational signage and fact sheets
Are water hoses used for cleaning >> Use a push broom rather than water hose
floors, sidewalks and car parks? for cleaning
>> If water is required, use a water broom,
which are even more efficient than high
pressure hose nozzles
Outdoor space
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Landscaping Are there alternatives to potable >> Consider rainwater or stormwater systems
water for irrigation?
Are native vegetation and/or >> When landscaping, utilise native and
low-water plants used for low-water plant species
Is compost used? >> Use compost to improve soil and will retain
Are drip hoses used? >> Use drip hoses rather than sprinkler
systems, minimises evaporation and water
Water features Is water recycled? >> Consider water recycling options
Are there any leaks? >> Repair leaks
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Rainwater tanks Does building have rainwater tank? >> Consider installing rainwater tank
Hospitality: Visual waste audit
and waste walk-through checklist
Facility floor space: __________ m2
Operating hours: ______
KPI units (Kg/guest//day):___________

Visual waste assessment:

This option for conducting a waste audit consists of visually sampling the waste stream and recording types and frequency of waste found
in receptacles.
Main techniques:
>> Visual inspection of the different waste types and systems within the building
>> Estimate quantities of each waste type
>> Conduct site analysis
>> No physical sorting conducted
Before visual audit:
>> Check with the maintenance/janitorial staff to schedule the audit at a time of day when building receptacles are all at their fullest
>> Recruit two or three people to conduct the audit, depending on the size of the building and number of building waste receptacles
>> Observe any OH&S requirements, i.e. plastic gloves, etc
>> Ensure audit takes place on a ‘typical’ day, avoid times of unusually high or low waste activity such as holidays or end of financial year
Visual waste audit process:
1. Auditors should complete a walkthrough of the entire building, checking and recording the contents of 3-5 sample of waste bins on each
floor or department. You should not typically have to handle garbage, a visual survey should be sufficient. Remember this is an estimate
to gain a general idea of the types and amounts of waste being disposed of. Be sure to take notes.
2. Using the table below, estimate the percent bin is full, place a tick mark for each material observed in a receptacle and approximate the
material volume by percentage
3. Repeat for each type of sample waste container in all locations (i.e. desk side containers, lunch/break room, kitchen, and supply rooms).
4. After completing the walk-through and recording your findings, tally the tick marks for each material. This will demonstrate which
wastes were found most frequently throughout the building. For example, “copy paper was found in 5 out of 6 building waste
receptacles.” Also, be sure to account for percent bins are full as to not over estimate findings by assuming all bins are 100% full.
5. Repeat process for recycling bins, if applicable

Information found during a visual waste audit will help determine the types and amounts of wastes that could be recycled, reused,
composted or avoided to begin with. If you already have a recycling program, this audit will let you know if additional communication and
efforts are necessary to maximise recycling and reduce waste.

Terms used in audit:

Waste: garbage, trash
Materials: key supplies purchased, such as, stationary, paper, food, guest room items, cleaning supplies, etc
Recycling: recyclable materials such as paper, glass, metal, etc
Sample Visual Waste Assessment Worksheet
Location: Repeat table for each area and recycling receptacles
Key Areas: Kitchen, bars, guest rooms, break room, conference room, reception and central areas
Material: Sample Waste Sample Waste Sample Waste Sample Waste Sample Waste Sample Waste Average
Estimated visual (%) receptacle 1 receptacle 2 receptacle 3 receptacle 4 receptacle 5 receptacle 6 findings
% of bin full 100% 50% 25% 10% 25% 0% 35%
Bin size 25 L 25L 25L 40L 25L 25L 27.5 L
Days since collection 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 day
Food and organics × × × × ×
50% 50% 10% 25% 0% 0% 22.5%
Cardboard ×
Copy paper ×
Newspaper ×
Aluminium cans ×
Plastic ×
Mixed paper
Magazines ×

Waste walk-through checklist

Administration and communication
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Communication and Has the critical need to reduce waste >> Develop and post commitment policy
policy initiatives and recycle been broadly statement
communicated within your business? >> Implement employee education and
engagement programs
Has a management team been >> Create sustainability team involving senior
organised to provide strategy and management
leadership around waste reduction >> Include sustainability measures in business
and recycling? strategy development
Has a waste reduction and recycling >> After audit, develop an immediate and
plan been developed? long-term recycling and waste
minimisation plan
Have internal policies and >> Develop policies and procedures addressing
procedures been developed around the most critical and immediate waste
waste reduction and purchasing? reduction measures, i.e., recycling and
purchasing policies
Employee engagement Are waste reduction/recycling >> Display signage reminding staff to recycle
posters displayed throughout the and conserve resources
Are rewards/acknowledgement >> Implement engagement, education and
programs provided for employee who rewards programs for staff
recycle and reduce waste?
Are employees provided education >> Include waste reduction and recycle
around waste reduction and training at staff meetings and provide
recycling? information in public areas such as bulletin
boards and internal website
Are employees provided regular >> Provide waste reduction and recycling
updates on recycling and progress progress reports to staff
towards waste reduction?
Waste, materials and Are waste, materials (stationary, >> Record material, recycling and waste levels
recycling tracking paper, supplies, food, guest room and spending when a bills are received
products, etc) and recycling regularly >> Determine waste, material and recycling
monitored and recorded? baselines
Have material, recycling and waste >> After baselines are determined, set target
reduction KPIs and targets been set? savings against industry standard (when
available) with timeframes
Are material, waste and recycling >> Add waste reduction, material and
program performance included in recycling performance to financial reviews
financial and business reviews? and updates
Waste, material and Are monthly waste, material and >> Double check all bills for accuracy upon
recycling billing recycling bills reviewed for accuracy receipt
and efficiency? >> Review your material use by recording and
monitoring invoices for consumables such
as food, kitchen and hotel supplies, paper,
stationary and other common purchases
>> Review visual waste audit findings against
material purchases and look for supplies
that are consistently being disposed of-
can these be reused, reduced or avoided?
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
General waste Are there recyclable materials in the >> Communicate recyclable materials and
general waste, i.e. cans/bottles? goals to staff regularly
>> Post signage reminding staff and guests to
recycle and what materials can be recycled
Is there high contamination in >> Communicate recyclable materials and
recycling bins, i.e. garbage in paper goals to staff regularly
recycling bins? >> Post signage reminding staff and guests to
recycle and what materials can be recycled
Comingled Is comingled recycling provided? >> Consider providing comingled recycling
bins in offices, guest rooms and conference
Paper Is paper recycled? >> Provide comingled or paper recycling in
key areas, such as offices, conference
centres, guest rooms, lobbies and near
Are secure documents recycled? >> Contact your recycling provider and discuss
options for secure document recycling
Plastic Is plastic recycling available? >> Contact recycling provider
>> Consider comingled recycling options
>> Provide receptacles in key areas, i.e.
kitchens, restaurants
Aluminium/metal Is aluminium/metal recycling >> Contact recycling provider
available? >> Consider comingled recycling options
>> Provide receptacles in key areas, i.e.
kitchens, restaurants
Glass Is glass recycling available? >> Contact recycling provider
>> Consider comingled recycling options
>> Provide receptacles in key areas, i.e.
kitchens, restaurants
Location Are waste bins provided at each desk >> Remove waste bins from office desks and
in offices and guest rooms? replace with co-mingled or paper recycling
>> Provide recycling bin in each guest room
>> Provide centrally located waste bins rather
than individual bins
Are general waste and recycling bins >> Place recycling bins near printers/copiers
located in convenient locations? and high traffic areas such as lobbies
>> Only provide the minimum number of
waste bins necessary and have recycling
bins next to general waste bins
Awareness Are employees and guests informed >> Give regular waste reduction updates at
and provided information on staff meetings
recyclable materials and goals? >> Provide signage and information to guests
about waste reduction goals
Are recycling bins clearly labelled >> Label bins and post signs near waste and
with accepted recyclables? recycling bins noting accepted materials
Are waste and recycling bins >> Try to ensure waste and recycling bins are
consistent in colour and design different from each other and consistent in
making them the clearly colour and size to avoid confusion or
distinguishable? accidental waste disposal rather than
Are there examples of good practice, >> Place reuse trays and recycle bins near
i.e. reuse paper trays near printers, printers/copies
double sided printing signs near >> Post reminder signage
printers? >> Recycling bins near vending machines
Are cleaning/janitorial staff informed >> Review recycling procedures and accepted
on waste reduction and recycling materials with cleaning staff
initiatives? >> Include cleaning staff in waste and
recycling education initiatives
>> Update cleaning policies and procedures to
include waste reduction and recycling
principles of best practice
Supplies and purchasing
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Offices and conference centres
Paper Are paper and stationary products >> If yes, consider sourcing options with
made from recycled content? If yes, higher recycled content when possible
what percent is recycled >> If no, source options with recycled content
Are there paper or stationary >> Review paper and stationary needs and
products that are rarely used? discontinue unnecessary or duplicate
Toners Are toner and printer cartridges >> Rather than buying new cartridges, source
remanufactured? remanufactured options
Are toner and printer cartridges >> Recycle cartridges to manufacturer or
recycled? designated recycling facility
Purchasing procedures Is there obvious waste of unused >> Review purchasing procedures and avoid
items i.e. office stationary, food, etc? reordering unneeded supplies
Have staff that purchase supplies >> All staff who are involved in purchasing
been informed of waste reduction should be briefed on waste reduction
policies and initiatives? measures and sustainability purchasing
Are ‘green’ supplies purchased? >> When purchasing new office supplies, look
for green options such as ‘stapleless’
staplers, reusable clips and refills
>> Prioritise supplies that minimise packaging
or packaging can be recycled or returned
for reuse
Cleaning products Are cleaners supplied with >> Discuss changing to green products, i.e.,
environmentally friendly cleaning non-toxic, biodegradable, phosphate free
Are bathroom tissue and paper >> Source options with recycled content
towels made from recycled content? >> Source items that minimise packaging
Kitchen supplies Is food sourced from local producers >> Utilise local producers to minimise
whenever possible? transport and waste costs resulting from
long distance travel and spoilage
Is organic food purchased? >> Consider sourcing organic foods, which do
not use harmful chemicals and pesticides
Are there high levels of food in >> Look into composting options, i.e., set up
kitchen waste bins? compost in outdoor areas, community
garden, worm farm
>> Review kitchen procedures for ways to
reduce excessive food waste, examples,
minimise over prepping food, revise menu
to maximise food purchases, assess food
deliveries upon arrival and do not accept
spoiled food
>> Donate left over food to local charity or
Are there high levels of food in >> Consider reducing portion sizes
restaurant and café waste bins? >> Provide guests with environmentally
friendly takeaway containers
Takeaway and dining Are disposable dishes, cups and >> Use reusable utensils rather than
utensils used for in house dining or disposables for in house dining
takeaway meals? >> If disposables are necessary, source those
that can be recycled, reused more than
once and/or made from recycled/
biodegradable content
Do employees use disposable dishes >> Supply employees with reusable dishes and
and utensils? utensils
Are plastic bags automatically given >> Ask guests if they need a bag or utensils
to guests for takeaway meals? rather than automatically giving
Misc supplies Do maintenance and grounds >> Discuss changing to green products with
keeping staff use green chemicals or grounds and maintenance staff
less toxic alternatives to such >> Supply and source green product
chemicals as paints, fertilisers and alternatives
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Copiers, printers and Do all copiers/printers/faxes have >> Purchase multipurpose printers/copiers
faxes duplex capacity? with duplexing capacity
Number yes: >> Consider rationalising copiers and printers
Number no: into a fewer number of multipurpose
Are all computers and printers >> Set defaults to print double sided
default settings set to print double
Is office and kitchen equipment >> Avoid sending outdated equipment to the
recycled or properly disposed at end landfill, find a recycling centre or donate
of use?
Are mobile phones recycled? >> Collect mobile phones and chargers and
>> Set up a mobile phone recycling bin at
work. Visit
Check list Y/N Units Suggested follow-up actions Responsibility
(no., type)
Electronic Do you send paper invoices? >> Switch to paperless (electronic) billing
Do you send out paper >> Send advertisements via email
advertisements or promotions? >> Minimise throw away guest and customer
Is your mailing list regularly >> Remove duplicate and out of date
updated? addresses from mailing lists
1. U
 S Environmental Protection Agency, 10. F lex Your Power, Boosting Restaurant 19. D
 epartment of Environment, Water,
Climate Change Basic Information. http:// Profits with Energy Efficiency: Guide for Heritage and Arts (DEWHA), Waste and Restaurant Owners and Managers, Recycling in Australia, Commonwealth
html Efficiency Partnership, 2006. of Australia, 2008. http://www.
2. A
 ustralian Department of Climate 11. E nergy Star, Putting Energy Into Profits;
Change, Climate Change Science, Energy Star Guide for Restaurants, EPA publications/pubs/waste-recycling2008.
Commonwealth of Australia, 2007. US, 2007. pdf 12. S ydney Water, Best Practice Fact 20. C
 ommonwealth, State and Territory
science/faq/pubs/science-faq.pdf Sheets: Swimming Pools, Sydney Water government agencies, Green Office
3. A
 ustralian Department of Climate Guide, Commonwealth Australia, 2001.
Change, National Greenhouse Gas Publications/Factsheets/SwimmingPools. 21. T he International Ecotourism Society,
Inventory 2006: Accounting for the Kyoto pdf#Page=1 Definitions & Principles, http://www.
Target, Commonwealth of Australia, 13. S ustainability Victoria, HVAC TIPS
2008. (Heating, Ventilation and Air webarticlesnet/templates/eco_template.
inventory/2006/pubs/inventory2006.pdf Conditioning), aspx?articleid=95&zoneid=2
4. A
 ustralian Business Roundtable on 22. D
 epartment of Energy, Utilities and
Climate Change, The Business Case for 14. S mith, M., Hargroves, K., Stasinopoulos, Sustainability (DEUS), Guidelines for
Early Action, CSIRO Marine and P., Stephens, R., Desha, C., and Water Savings Action Plans, DEUS,
Atmospheric Research, 2006. Hargroves, S. Engineering Sustainable 2005.
5. P reston BL and Jones RN, Climate Change Solutions Program: Sustainable Energy 23. D
 epartment of Energy, Utilities and
Impacts on Australia and the Benefits of Solutions Portfolio, The Natural Edge Sustainability (DEUS), Guidelines for
Early Action to Reduce Global Greenhouse Project, Lecture 2.2. CSIRO and Griffith Energy Savings Action Plans, DEUS,
Gas Emissions, Commonwealth Scientific University, 2007. 2005.
and Industrial Research Organisation, 15. S cientific America Earth 3.0, vol. 18, no. 24. N
 SW Government Waste Reduction and
2006. 4, 2008 Purchasing Policy (WRAPP), A WRAPP
pdf images/SciAm_Earth3_0.pdf Guide to conducting an Office Waste
6. S ydney Water Corporation, Best Practice 16. S ydney Water, Water Conservation: Best Assessment, Department of
Guidelines for Water Conservation in Practice Guidelines for Hotels, Sydney Environment and Conservation (NSW),
Commercial Office Buildings and Water, 2001 http://www.sydneywater. 2006.
Shopping Centres, Sydney Water
Corporate, 2007. SavingWaterHotels.pdf#Page=1 Note: Website references current as of January 2009
7. N
 ational Australian Built Environment 17. S ydney Water, Best Practice Fact Sheets:
Rating System (NABERS), Hotel Ratings Laundries, Sydney Water http://www.
aspx FactSheets/SavingWaterLaundries.
8. S ydney Water, How to save water: Hotels, pdf#Page=1
clubs, restaurants and pubs, http://www. 18. S ydney Water, Best Practice Fact Sheets: Smart Rinse Program, Sydney Water
HotelsandClubs.cfm Publications/FactSheets/
9. C
 arbon Trust, Hospitality saving energy SmartRinseProgram.pdf#Page=1
without compromising service, Sector
Overview (CTV013), Carbon Trust, UK,
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