On October 31st, around 18:00 o’clock, a group of Young Reporters for the Environment from different countries went to the Hotel Baia to interview João Coruche, the Director and General Manager of the hotel.
João Coruche is responsible for the management of the entire hotel, as he separates his employees into different teams to work on each sector.
Mr. Coruche explained the development of the hotel into an ECO HOTEL. He says that every winter they are renewing one floor in matters of environmental causes. With regards to energy, he explained that all lights are replaced with low consumption light and L.E.D.s. Also the Baia Hotel is obtaining an Energy Certification. In their I.T. terminals they changed every electronic device to low consumption units. A problem that still exists is the heating of the hotel with gas, however João Coruche is planning on solar panels on the roof for the heating of the pool. With improvements to and the development of more efficient solar panel technology, it may become a more economically sound solution for the hotel.
Whenever they have guests visiting they fill the rooms starting on the first floor and going up as soon as one floor is full. The reason for this strategic planning is that energy is saved filling the rooms floor by floor. First of all energy will be saved for lights and heating, but also for the elevator.
The second thing they are working on to be an ECO Hotel is the water consumption. In every bathroom they have flux reducing devices, which saves a lot of water. Because of a water system in their house it is easy to prevent and finally find leaks so they can be fixed easily and less water is wasted. In the bathrooms the Hotel Baia optimized WC discharges, as well.
In terms of waste treatment the hotel is quite fortunate. Separating the paper, glass, organic and inorganic waste and chemical waste makes it easy to recycle. To make recycling easier they also installed Recycling points in service areas so that the trash out of the rooms can be separated by the maids. In the basement of Hotel Baia a waste treatment and storage area is created and the trash gets picked up to be recycled by an external company.
Since this sounds perfect, the YRE-reporters asked for problems that they have to deal with. When the reporters looked in the trash cans were either found empty or partly filled with the wrong waste. João Coruche explained that a major problem is the misbehavior of the staff. To solve problems like that it is necessary to teach the staff the importance of separating waste.
The hotel is moving in the right direction, especially since it is over 50 years old, but there still is room for growth. These positive changes take a great deal of time and money. Moving forward, the energy efficiency of the building needs to be improved as stricter management of waste treatment.