Water-wise sustainability now a reality for hospitality sector

A technological innovation in laundry systems that results in savings of up to 80% in water and 50% in electricity is now available in South Africa, promising sustainable solutions for the hospitality sector.

Hydrofinity laundry system for hotels

The hospitality sector’s consumption of water and electricity results not only in major expenses which are currently unavoidable, but also puts pressure on municipal grids and the environment. A solution, which would result in a sizeable decrease in these overheads, will also relieve the sector’s reliance on these scarce resources.

Escalating costs for resources mean reduced profits margins; the inevitable knock-on effect of which is a loss of jobs in the sector. With this in mind, it is obvious that eco-tourism goes hand in hand with green travel and the need for sustainable supply chains is no longer a pressing need but a necessity.

The average shower consumes 65 litres of water and lasts 8.2 minutes. At a 100-room hotel with 60% occupancy and 1.5 guests taking a shower each day in each room, about 90 showers a day are taken, using more than 5 600 litres of water daily. Over the course of a year, that’s more than 1.89 million litres of water per hotel.

Hydrofinity systems can reduce annual water consumption per guest by up to 24 000 litres. When you take into consideration that South Africa has 62 700 hotel rooms, if each hotel made use of Hydrofinity technology, the resultant collective saving would be the equivalent of 30.1 million daily water allowances of 50 litres per person – which totals a massive 1 504 800 000 litres! To make that figure easier to apply to one business, an average 250-bed hotel could save up to 6 million litres of water annually which translates into a saving of approximately R532 500 on water bills per year by making use of three Hydrofinity machines in their laundry facility.

A reduction in the amount of water and electricity consumed by any operation could be facilitated by the implementation of environmentally-friendly technology. Cost is obviously a huge factor for most establishments when moving towards sustainable practices, but when dealing with scarce resources it’s a good idea to play the long game. Environmentally-friendly technology might come at a cost, but when you look at the cost of electricity and water in the long term, and how the cost of both these resources are on an upward trajectory, you can no longer afford to live in the short-term. Simply put, water and electricity are going to continue to rise in costs, so the sooner you invest in equipment that uses less of these resources, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.

While Cape Town’s Day Zero was narrowly averted, the South African hospitality industry remains forever changed and the quest for innovations that provide sustainable solutions to water and energy saving has begun in earnest. From desalination plants to leak detection and control mechanisms, the world has turned to technology for answers.

Imported by local company fanute, the award-winning near-waterless washing system has the potential to revolutionise the local tourism sector.

A Hydrofinity system uses up to 80% less water than a conventional washing machine and a single 25kg machine can run 14 cycles a day, saving up to 2 million litres of water a year with just one machine. Energy consumption is also reduced, using up to 50% less electricity than a conventional machine. However, says Charl de Beer, manager of fanute, the energy and water savings don’t come at the cost of performance. “Tough stains are removed easily with award-winning technology, and linen life is extended due to a lower temperature and less detergent needed to clean. Less detergent also translates to lower costs, and staff won’t have to spend as much time pre-treating and sorting.”

Water usage is reduced by replacing 80% of the water conventionally used in a washing machine with polymer XOrbs. The beads gently massage the textiles and, combined with the supplied detergent solution, provide superior cleaning results by attracting the dirt molecules from the linen. The XOrbs are reusable for hundreds of washes and once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan, can be recycled.

When compared against the rising costs of water and electricity due to the growing scarcity of these utilities, the wisdom of investing in a sustainable solution are clear. Citing a case study of the Hyatt Hotel in Reston, VA, De Beer says, “With three 25kg Xeros machines, the hotel achieved savings of 5.3 million litres and the equivalent of R510 780 in one year, with the client reporting that Xeros delivered on promises of savings and superior performance.”

“There is no better time to invest in water and energy-saving equipment, especially when the results are this great. The hospitality industry has an important role to play in sustainability, and water reduction is an essential contribution to the future of tourism in South Africa,” says De Beer.

Charl de Beer, Founder of fanute Hospitality Solutions explains how sustainable the supply chain is in this video:



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