March 19th, 2015 by TRT Blog
We regularly write on sustainability and how it’s in line with the mission of the hotels, colleges and government organizations with which we work.
These organizations want to reduce their carbon footprint, environmental impact, and save their bottom line. To us, and our 22,000-plus customers, furniture asset management practices such as refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing are about being both environmentally responsible and fiscally responsible.
An advisory published by Hotels Combined and Accommodating Green talks about the business case for going green and how this impacts the bottom line, as well as a hotel’s brand value. The advisory shares some business cases of being green, with benefits, ideas and suggested processes to guide hotels that want to be more sustainable. Many of the points, for example: “to set a baseline to focus your efforts and measure success”, “have an action plan” and “train employees”, we agree with completely.
We would add some points to the suggestions, especially around benchmarking and setting a baseline through auditing. We have previously shared views on furniture asset management best practices such as audits and inventory management, and our 37 years of working with hotels has certainly honed our expertise. In that time we have refinished, re-upholstered and remanufactured more than 1.3 million rooms of furniture.
The report outlines the need for audits in engineering, laundry, general management, grounds and recreation, housekeeping, purchasing, kitchen outlets and front desk. This is part of the challenge of effective furniture asset management: it’s a substantial investment and needs to not just have a baseline but to be managed properly throughout its lifecycle and it needs to be an inter-departmental discipline.
Unnecessary furniture creation and unnecessary furniture waste contributes to carbon output. Cutting down a tree contributes an estimated 58 tons of carbon dioxide, transporting, making furniture and packaging adds a further 25-plus tons of carbon dioxide. Multiply those figures by hundreds of rooms in a hotel and you see the scale of the problem.
We applaud the advice from Hotels Combined and Accommodating Green but would add in the proviso that furniture, a substantial investment for any hotel, is audited, documented and tracked in a centralized furniture asset management plan across departments.
Yes, there is certainly a business case for sustainability, but don’t forget the furniture.
Want to understand how to manage your furniture? Contact one of our team today via firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about best practices and the business case for furniture asset management.