Staff training

photo Staff training


Involving your staff in your energy action plan is not only essential for the success of your energy efficiency policy, it is also a very good way to motivate them and give new meaning to their work and the establishment. If you explain to your employees that energy efficiency is part of your environmental strategy, most will be delighted to contribute to efforts to make the establishment more sustainable.
To get your employees actively involved, we highly recommend that you give out information and train staff for the steps they must take to support your action. As the hotel's action plan must be constantly improved you can encourage employees to give their views and new ideas on ways to save more energy!
Staff information and training is a very effective way to improve the ways in which energy is used in a hotel.
• Although providing information and training to employees requires time and money, the resulting benefits will soon be seen, because staff practices have a direct effect on energy consumption (as does customer behaviour).
• Remember that a change in behaviour does not mean a loss of comfort or convenience: it simply means improving the way energy is used, and avoid wastage.




Suggested information/training strategy
Diagram "What subjects should be addressed by staff information and training?"
• Environmental impact of hotels: to increase their awareness you must first given employees information on the global environmental impact of the hotel industry. Here the main point is to recognise and show that many hotel services are large consumers of resources – energy, water, raw materials, and even the landscape, in some cases. In addition, various kinds of pollution are caused by hotel activities: greenhouse gas emissions due to energy consumption, solid waste, wastewater, chemical pollution from massive use of disinfectants and detergents, etc. This produces a large environmental footprint.
You can, for example, tell your staff that it has been found that hotels are the commercial establishments with the greatest negative environmental impact, after hospitals.
• The environmental impacts of your hotel: a very effective way to raise staff awareness is to communicate revealing figures or other indicators on the environmental footprint of your hotel. You can announce, for instance, the amounts of energy and water used each year, the amount of solid water produced, the carbon emissions generated by the hotel (if you have conducted a carbon assessment). You will need most of these figures if you intend to set up an environmental action plan, because an initial assessment is the starting point of this process.
• The hotel's environmental action plan: you must state the environmental objectives you have set for your hotel (if you have already defined them) and give information on the measures implemented or to be implemented to reduce environmental impact.
• Energy issues: first of all, it is important to explain that reducing energy consumption at the hotel is part of your environmental strategy. You can say, for example:
- "Hotels around the world use a great deal of energy, most of it fossil fuels, generating enormous quantities of greenhouse gases. To improve the energy efficiency of our hotel and avoid wasting energy, the hotel is taking steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and help preserve the natural resources of our planet."
Then you should outline your energy action plan. As a reminder, you can act on three different levels:
1. Assessment: an assessment of the energy situation at your hotel is essential for obtaining an overall view of the measures that your establishment must take to improve energy efficiency. This is generally the first stage.
2. Changes in organisation, practices and behaviour: setting up an energy action plan means defining clear objectives and instituting a monitoring system, which will unavoidably have an impact of organisational aspects in your hotel. Furthermore, for your energy policy to be successful, staff and customers must imperatively be implicated, to elicit sustainable practices.
3. Technical solutions: to improve energy efficiency in a hotel there must be investment in energy efficiency solutions. These can be "immediate" solutions, such as replacing light bulbs, or more ambitious plans. Whenever possible, buildings should be protected from heat and cold (thermal insulation, etc.)
• Targeted information and training on energy issues: the information and training furnished must be relevant to the daily tasks executed by staff. If your hotel is large, specific information and training can be distributed for each department. The table below lists some topics to be addressed:
Topics to be addressed
For all staff
• implications of energy policy in terms of organisation, responsibilities, etc.
• good practices to be adopted:
- try to keep windows and doors closed when heating or cooling is in operation,
- set thermostats to reasonable temperatures (20-22°C in winter, 25-26°C in summer),
- turn off devices when not in use (lamps, etc.).
For reception desk staff
• information to be given to customers upon arrival, on the hotel's environmental policy, energy action plan etc.

For cleaning staff
• good practices for room management:
- set thermostats to a reasonable temperature when leaving rooms (heating or cooling can be switched off if the room is empty),
- turn off the lights when leaving rooms,
- turn off television sets when leaving (avoid standby mode),
- close windows when heating or cooling in on,
- inform maintenance staff of water leaks.
• good practices for management of conference and meeting rooms:
- set thermostats to a reasonable temperature when leaving rooms (heating or cooling can be switched off if the room is empty),
- turn off the lights if the room is empty.
For maintenance and technical staff
• monitor energy consumption: investigate ways to track energy consumption for specific devices and equipment (boilers, etc.),
• Regulate heating/cooling/ventilation equipment: make sure that current settings are appropriate; take corrective action if necessary;
• HVAC maintenance and upkeep: make sure that this equipment is properly maintained!
• improve the building envelope: inspect the building envelope for deterioration and if maintenance work must be done, assess whether envelope improvements can be done at the same time (draught proofing, upgrading thermal insulation etc.),
• equipment upgrades: assess opportunities to upgrade or replace existing equipment to make them more energy efficient.

Encourage staff to express their suggestions for reducing energy consumption and boosting the hotel's action to protect the environment.

How can staff be informed and trained? Media (oral presentations, written procedures, etc.)
• The prime point is to engage in active communication (oral, written)
• Training sessions: Appropriate training must be organised for staff at least once a year. If the hotel is large, one or two annual meetings can be held to present the hotel's environmental action to staff and discuss issues, as well as more specialised and technical sessions for each department. If the hotel is small, all staff can be gathered for a general and technical information session.
• Written procedures and handbooks: depending on hotel size, specific procedures and handbooks may have to be drawn up for each department. For example, it may be useful for maintenance staff to have simple and regularly updated handbook on HVAC equipment operation, instructions for use and standard settings.
• Action aimed at new hirees • Hotel staff can rotate rapidly, and it is important to ensure that new hirees receive training within four weeks of starting work.






Staff involvement
A change to give new meaning to the enterprise!
• A global approach to environmental issues generally instils a new way of thinking that gives meaning to the enterprise as a whole, increasing employee satisfaction and inducing better overall performance for the hotel.
Reduced CO2 emissions
• It is difficult to quantitatively evaluate the reduction of carbon emissions obtained when customers participate in your efforts, but you can be sure that it is substantial.
• For a hotel of 1,000 m² that uses 350 kWh/m² of energy annually (47% electricity, 53% gas), and applying emission factors for France, a 10% savings in energy consumption represents:
4.05 t CO2 eq of avoided emissions each year
Emission factors for electricity in France: 84.3 g CO2 / kWh.
Emission factors for natural gas in France: 331 g CO2 / kWh (Source: ADEME).
Cost savings
Energy savings:
• Involving your staff in an energy efficiency action plan is an economical measure that will ensure substantial energy savings and cost very little.


• Ease of implementation: Easy(*)
• Best time: can be put into place at any time.
• Relevant initial situation: the hotel has no policy to inform staff of its environmental policy and of measures employees can take to save energy.