The Switch-Asia Greening Sri Lanka Hotels Project has published the first of its research findings on energy and water usage amongst 78 percent of registered tourist hotels in the country.
Notable amongst the research report’s findings was a significantly higher adoption of energy conservation measures, in stark contrast to water conservation measures, which have seen a much lower adoption in comparison, according to Senior Environmental Engineer to the project, Professor Niranjanie Ratnayake.
She noted that lower adoption of water conservation measures was likely due to the availability of water at a relatively low cost in most areas of the country, where energy costs remain an issue for all industries.
Initiated in November 2009, the European Union funded project was initiated with a view to enhancing the environmental performance of Sri Lankan hotels through improvements of energy, water and waste management systems.
“Green initiatives are gathering momentum and we are finding that there is a stronger business case to be made for going green, both in terms of cost saving and even more importantly to the tourism industry, marketing. This is the final year of the project but we are looking at options to continue the project as it has grown to become a central point for green initiatives in the tourist sector,” Project Director Srilal Mithapala said. “It is vital, particularly in light of the huge developments taking place in tourism, now that we look after this pristine environment, if for no other reason, that we risk killing the goose that is laying the golden egg. The European Union is already taking the lessons that we have learned and implementing similar programmes across the world and while our funding reaches its end this year, we hope to continue this initiative on some level.”
The report is the first of a series to be issued by the project which entered its final year last November, having exceeded its mandated targets at the end of 2012.
The Switch Asia Greening Sri Lanka Hotels Project reached a total of 494 hotels, 351 of which have signed on with the Switch Asia programme.