Note: This article was originally published in Hotel Business.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—As part of its Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility program, Hilton has used building analytics technology from Entic to reduce energy usage by 10% at properties where it is deployed.
“The relationship between Entic and Hilton all started at one of our first customers, The Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood, Curio Collection by Hilton in South Florida, located close to our main office,” said Carlos Diaz, Entic’s co-founder and EVP. “After deploying the Entic technology at that property, the director of engineering witnessed a significant reduction in energy costs.”
When Entic is brought into a property, it conducts a building assessment and collaborates with hotel management to understand historical utility spend and document an operational and mechanical equipment strategy. A real-time energy performance “picture” of the HVAC systems is created.
“Then, we install wireless communication to push sensor and BMS data to our cloud, allowing this data to inform our analytical platform,” said Diaz. “With clarity into how the HVAC systems interact on a daily basis, we apply our analytical tools to examine performance to help ensure that systems are operating in an optimal manner. We identify key areas of waste and provide timely recommendations—we call them prescriptions—for action. Our remote engineering support team works with the in-house facilities engineering staff to implement changes and resolve issues.”
He continued, “The hotel operators then actively and continually leverage Entic’s analytics to ensure properties are operating at peak performance, without negatively impacting guest comfort. Our customer success team holds a series of calls, conducts quarterly business reviews and provides a scorecard that shows key metrics.”
The system is now in 22 Hilton properties. “We were impressed with Entic’s nimble engineers and their willingness to collaborate with us to create a customized solution for our building analytics needs,” said Randy Gaines, SVP of operations and new project development with Hilton. “We worked together to develop some proofs of concept, and they helped us to build a model that enabled us to collect real-time data and leverage their analytics to reduce inefficiencies. Entic’s ‘less is more’ approach really resonated with us because they are able to help us optimize our building systems without being too capital or resource intensive… We are now in the process of rolling out Entic across all of our hotels that fit into the model criteria we have created.”
Hilton’s properties are using Entic’s analytics to continually implement changes. “Entic helps our property teams zero base the building, then they measure our performance and identify a set of prescriptive changes we need to make to run the building as efficiently as possible,” said Gaines. “They help us to set realistic goals for each of the areas of the building operations, and they then run weekly accountability calls to help our teams track and implement changes. This continual monitoring and enforcement is really valuable in helping us implement best practices and realize efficiencies. Visibility of our opportunities has resulted in increased accountability among our engineering teams, which ultimately benefits everyone.”
Hilton has found an added benefit when its teams are able to focus on Entic’s specific prescriptions. “It brings a heightened sense of pride in managing the building,” he said. “We track utility performance for all of our hotels globally using our LightStay system, and we’re able to see that, to date, we’ve achieved a 10% reduction in overall utilities across the properties where we’ve deployed Entic. We expect to continue to see this type of reduction as we continue to work toward full deployment.”
Entic’s analytics have helped Hilton achieve some of the goals of its Travel with Purpose program. “We have set the goal to cut our environmental footprint in half by 2030, as part of our Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility commitment,” said Gaines. “Partnering with a company such as Entic helps us to reduce our energy, carbon and water, while simultaneously reducing operational efficiencies and saving on utility costs.”
Hilton began the Travel with Purpose program in 2010. “We have been focused on sustainability and being good stewards of natural resources for many years, and we have actively engaged in managing our utility consumption since the 1970s when we first created energy-management manuals for our hotels,” said Maxime Verstraete, VP of corporate responsibility with Hilton. “We continued to focus on our environmental performance over the years, but lacked a company-wide overarching strategy.”
He continued, “Since we began measuring our portfolio-wide performance in 2008, Hilton’s Travel with Purpose efforts have saved our owners an estimated cumulative $1 billion through operating sustainably. To achieve these savings, we reduced our energy and water consumption by 20% and our carbon and waste by 30%.”
The company undertook a full revamp of the program this year. “In May, we set ambitious long-term targets to double our social impact and cut our environmental footprint in half by 2030,” said Verstraete. “A major component of our environmental commitment are our science-based carbon targets, which align with the carbon reduction levels stipulated in the Paris climate agreement. We believe in the importance of demonstrating leadership in tackling global climate change, and we are proud to be the first major hotel brand to set science-based greenhouse gas targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).”