At The Refinishing Touch our customers not only want to reduce their carbon footprints, they want to know precisely how much they are cutting it. This makes a lot of sense to us. Forward-thinking businesses are always keen to share their innovation and success stories, and the clearest way for them to do this is […]
We hear this a lot: “Going green is too costly”. It’s a damaging misconception – damaging to the environment, and damaging to bottom lines. Because the truth is, sustainable practices, products and initiatives more often than not can reduce budgets.
Last month, the Los Angeles Times’ Hugo Martin, delved into how hoteliers can save some green by going green, citing three studies done by Cornell University professors. While the majority of guests may not spend more money to stay at an environmentally-responsible hotel, establishments with impressive LEED ratings are less expensive to operate, thus generating higher profits.
Sustainable initiatives can stretch to all aspects of hotel operations and maintenance. Energy efficiency cuts costs dramatically, while guest-focused programs such as linen reuse encourage loyalty. It’s also important for hoteliers to remain eco-conscious on big decisions.
As brands evaluate new PIPs and move towards renovation, alternatives to buying new should be considered. By instead choosing furniture asset management – the refinishing, reupholstery or remanufacturing of existing pieces – carbon emissions are dramatically reduced, harmful landfill waste is eradicated and costs are cut.
Take the Doubletree Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina for example. For its specific project scope, new furniture would have cost $403,599.18. Instead, it chose refinishing. Its total cost ended up being only $55,359.00. That’s a 71% cost saving the location was able to reallocate to other needs. And through the use of low-VOC lacquers and on-site work, the project protected the environment.
One of the best parts about working to make the world a greener place is the opportunity to learn from others that share our vision. This week, we spoke with Mary Rose and Karl Ostrom – executive directors at the Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability (NBIS) of Seattle, Washington – about its latest ventures in sustainability.
Mary and Karl founded NBIS in 2003 with a mission of guiding regional businesses, across sectors and industries, towards best practices that create healthy ecosystems and prosperous communities through the power of business. Over the past year alone, NBIS has made a significant difference.
NBIS’ By-Product Synergy NW, is a long-running initiative bringing companies together to reuse and repurpose waste into new products. In conjunction with this, NBIS has developed an online portal, the Materials Innovation Exchange, which provides users an outlet to sell, buy, trade or donate a variety of products ranging from heavy-duty industrial equipment and chemicals to fabrics, plastic and wood. The Materials Innovation Exchange helps turn waste to revenue by showcasing innovative reuse strategies for unneeded materials.
“We’ve been working with business leaders on new strategies for accelerating sustainability to reduce impact,” said Mary. A recent whitepaper by Karl, New Challenges Reshaping Corporate Social Responsibility, highlights the importance of this work and urges all businesses to incorporate visionary benchmarks of environmentally and socially responsible business performance into their frameworks.
“The goal is to illustrate the need for more aggressive sustainability leadership to move beyond incrementalism. We aren’t going fast enough and we’re not having the impact that the planet needs,” Mary continued.
Leading responsible businesses doesn’t come without its challenges. Mary stated the need for collective and collaborative strategies to break down common barriers, such as the: “race to the bottom – the pressure for lower prices, lower wages, and all the pressures that keep companies from taking full responsibility for their impacts.”
Karl shed light on the damaging anti-regulatory mindset of many companies, “They need regulation to level the playing field when it comes to getting rid of toxic chemicals or lowering carbon footprints in supply chains. They really need to learn to work together to lobby government for policies that make sustainability the profitable thing to do. Instead of rewarding the people that externalize environmental and social impacts, the marketplace uniformly needs to allow everybody to do the right thing without reducing their own competitive advantage. Everybody can win, but it requires a different mindset.”
NBIS advice? Build strong relationships, learn from each other and showcase sustainable success. Developing business coalitions to address challenges collectively is the foundation for innovative, win-win solutions.
It may surprise you to know there are over 50 green holidays to celebrate throughout the year. Earth Day, World Water Day, and Zero Emissions Day are amongst the most popular, but did you know that there’s also World Car Free Day, National Wildlife Day, and Clean Up the World Weekend? If fact, Clean up the World weekend just wrapped up on Sunday.
These holidays serve as an opportunity to not only embrace sustainability, but to raise awareness about our carbon footprints and ways in which we can lower our overall environmental impact. Could you car pool on the school run, ditch the bus and walk, turn the lights out when you leave a room or perhaps take shorter showers?
At The Refinishing Touch we provide sustainable onsite furniture asset management services to the hospitality, government and higher education sectors and actively encourage a green approach wherever possible. For businesses, the first hurdle is acknowledging the need to invest in sustainability. Green practices have proven to reduce costs over time, and improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. We actively encourage all businesses and individuals to take a closer look at ways in which they can lower their environmental impact for a cleaner, greener tomorrow. Here’s to celebrating a greener tomorrow!
We pride ourselves on being as green as can be and taking an innovative approach to environmental management. Our onsite furniture asset management services are clean, non-toxic and eco-friendly. Revamping furniture, rather than replacing, puts less of a burden on forests – and it even reducing budgets.
Our latest infographic demonstrates the environmental impact of manufacturing new furniture. We investigate how hospitality, government and higher education facilities worldwide can lower their carbon footprints and overall impact on the environment simply by deploying a furniture asset management strategy.
There are approximately 15 steps in the manufacturing process journey. It all starts with cutting down the tree, which emits a whopping 58.3 tons of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, transporting the tree to a factory for manufacturing expels 3.7 tons of CO2. From tree to table the overall carbon footprint equates to an astonishing 125.32 tons of carbon dioxide.
To date, our onsite refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing services have saved two million trees, reduced 124.08 tons of CO2 per 100 rooms and completed 1.3 million room refinishing projects sustainably. To learn more, see the full infographic here.
If you’d like to learn more about the work we do at The Refinishing Touch, or how we can help reduce costs and carbon emissions through our furniture asset management services, please email us at email@example.com.
We spend a lot of time on our blog, and we’re so grateful that you do too – that’s why we never let a week go by without your feedback. Our weekly blog polls help us learn more about our readers, our industries and common misconceptions surrounding sustainability.
Our furniture asset management services provide an eco-friendly alternative to purchasing new assets in the government, higher education and hospitality sectors. We’re proud to increase the green credentials of the establishments we work in, but can’t help but wonder if there’s truly enough being done to go green across the board.
Throughout the last few weeks we asked our readers if they feel the higher education and hospitality industries are incorporating environmental principles into core objectives. The results are in:
- An overwhelming 75% of you feel that colleges and universities across North America are doing all that they can to decrease their carbon footprints. The remaining 25% feel that they could be doing a bit more, but the movement isn’t being ignored.
- When it comes to the hospitality industry, 50% of those polled feel as though hoteliers are as green as can be while 25% feel they could be doing a bit more. The remaining 25% feel as though the industry isn’t doing its part at all.
Want to weigh in? Come back and visit us on Wednesday, August 19 to let us know if you think the government sector is doing its part.
Have an idea for a The Refinishing Touch blog poll? Tell us your questions on Twitter at @RefinishTouch.
As professionals immersed within the hospitality sector – with a strong passion for sustainability – we like to stay engaged in relevant news and were eager to read Cornell University’s recent ‘Hotel Sustainability: Financial Analysis Shines a Cautious Green Light’ study.
In this study of 9,000 hotel sales and rates, professors Howard G. Chong and Rohit Verma ultimately found that eco-friendly, energy-conserving and sustainable practices, processes and development had a neutral effect on revenue – essentially, that sustainability practices will not boost sales, nor deter them.
Much of the discussion surrounding the study has focused on the lack of profits made by going green. However, one aspect of the study, which we’ve witness throughout our experience providing furniture asset management services to hotels for more than 35 years, has proved just the opposite – implementing sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives does not result in a financial deficit, and in fact ends up saving hoteliers tens of thousands of dollars on average in the long run.
The misconception that going green is too expensive is one that The Refinishing Touch and thousands of other service providers, environmental professionals and activists have been attempting to dispel for years. And while these commitments to environmentalism may not directly boost revenue, green accolades bring better community relations, global reputations, guest satisfaction and often-times, improved business efficiency.
When planning for routine maintenance – such as upgrading a guest room, lobby or event space – it is important that facilities professionals be mindful of sustainable options. Repurposing and refreshing existing furniture assets, rather than replacing, can cut the cost of your renovation by as much as 82%. With the reallocation of this budget, you just may be able to boost revenues – whether (whether it be directly, or indirectly).
For the full ‘Hotel Sustainability: Financial Analysis Shines a Cautious Green Light’ report, please click here. To learn more about furniture asset management and how it can boost your green ratings, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town officials in Oxford, Maryland are considering equipping government buildings with solar power to improve the town’s environmental impact. While the concept has positive intentions, there have been concerns expressed that the project may compromise the town’s quaint aesthetic.
Solar panels can present tough decisions, particularly for local governments with tight budgets. Just consider the $750 million renovation of the Herbert Hoover Building that has been indefinitely delayed due to budget cuts, which we covered on our blog earlier this year.
Renewable energy initiatives like these can be challenging to embrace, but we have seen time and time again that when communities take steps towards sustainability, all parties benefit. We’ve seen these results with our own government customers – including local government projects across the continental U.S., as well as federal projects including the White House, Department of Justice, U.S. Congress, U.S. Military and U.S. Coast Guard. These projects not only improved facility environmental impacts – the final products turned out within budget and as aesthetically appealing as buying new.
We applaud Oxford’s local government for its foresight in using solar power for government buildings – and its take on gathering local support. It is important for elected officials to engage local opinions and perspectives on public restorations, while also keeping a close eye on environmental and economic impacts.
If you’d like to learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s work within the government sector, please visit our project page here.
Guest author: Patricia Griffin
Patricia is the founder of “Green” Hotels Association ®
Now more than ever before, hoteliers are seeking sustainable initiatives that are not only environmentally-friendly, but that are also fiscally responsible and undisruptive to guests. With sustainability as a newfound priority within the industry, the “Green” Hotels Association is proud to bring together property managers who believe in such environmental causes, in an effort to raise awareness around the topic.
At the “Green” Hotels Association, our members consist of both vendors and hoteliers who place an importance on sustainable practices, materials and construction in order to move our planet, and businesses, forward. Whether an establishment is at the beginning phase of their environmental plans or a full-fledged green institution, the “Green” Hotels Association provides them with the guidance needed to take the next step.
Inspiration to become a more sustainable facility happens unexpectedly. For example, on a trip to Europe, a sign was displayed in my hotel room prompting me to inform a staff member if I wished to have my towels and linens washed for re-use. It was a simple concept, but a powerful one. Shortly after this encounter, the “Green” Hotels Association and our ‘Towel and Sheet’ cards were born.
In a day and age where customers are increasingly concerned with green practices, the act of offering them the chance to participate is key. The gentle reminder that throughout their stay, sheets and towels can be used more than once will save a hotel up to 5% on utilities alone.
Although it’s getting easier, sustainable change within a well-established organization is never easy – management is reluctant based on cost, and staff is weary of new routines. However, implementation of cost-efficient, eco-friendly practices, like furniture asset management, can save on budget for years to come, increase the value of a property, improve customer retention and result in better ratings – just to name a few benefits.
With companies like The Refinishing Touch pioneering the field, sustainable hospitality and tourism will surely continue to rise, and at a fraction of the cost. More often than not, going green implies a costly price tag, but thanks to sustainable alternatives, which the “Green” Hotels Association avidly supports, I am confident that we will see green standards become the industry norm.
To learn more about the “Green” Hotels Association and membership, please visit their website today. For more information regarding furniture asset management and how it can save your company money and reduce carbon emissions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sustainability is universally imperative, not only for the future of our planet, but for business success and growth. At The Refinishing Touch, our expert production team works with hoteliers, government entities and universities to further their green initiatives through furniture asset management. Throughout our 35 years in the business, we understand that as consumers become more environmentally-conscious, property managers must also consider customer retention, ROI, and brand compliance when it comes to implementing new sustainable practices.
Each week, in an effort to hear the voice of our readers, The Refinishing Touch takes to our blog to ask some of the most pressing industry-wide questions in sustainability, renovations and cost-efficiency. Due to the latest increase in sustainable-minded individuals and businesses, we asked ‘Which North American country is perceived to be the leader in consumer recycling?’ Thanks to poll participation, we found the following:
- 71% of respondents believe Canada is the leader in regards to its worldwide recycling initiatives
- The remaining 29% of readers perceived the US to be at the top of consumer recycling
- All surveyors felt both countries were not equally green
With extensive experience working in the US and Canada, The Refinishing Touch is proud to have contributed to the decreasing rates of waste worldwide. By delivering furniture asset management solutions, including furniture refinishing, re-upholstering and remanufacturing during renovations since our inception in 1977, we’ve saved an estimated 2,250,000 pounds of wood from piling up in landfills across both countries. In an effort to boost recycling habits, organizations worldwide should consider furniture asset management, in partnership with other green tactics, to truly become a sustainable facility.