Tuesday, June 9, 2009

China Aims to Build 10,000 Green Hotels

The publication ChinaCSR.com is reporting that China will try to build 10,000 green hotels by 2012. Di Jiankai, the director of the Trade Service Division of China's Ministry of Commerce, disclosed the plan to the Chinese media. Of the 10,000 hotels, 1,000 will be created in 2009, 2,000 in 2010, 3,000 in 2011 and 4,000 in 2012. When compared to their predecessors in China, these green hotels are expected to reduce water consumption by 20 percent, cut electricity consumption by 20 percent, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45,000 tons over four years.

According to ChinaCSR.com, Han Ming, a director of the China Hotel Association, told a recent conference that a national green hotel working commission has been established by the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, The State-owned Assets Supervision, the Administration Commission of the State Council, the National Standards Commission, and the China Hotel Association. Han said that, from now on, five-leaf green hotels will be appraised by a national appraisal department and four-leaf and below hotels will be accredited by provincial level departments.

What the article fails to bring up is the net impact these 10,000 new hotels will have on the environment in China. Ten thousand new buildings are going to require a lot of energy, a lot of water, and they certainly will generate a lot of waste. How many new power plants will have to be built to generate the electricity for these new buildings? How many of those plants will be fueled by dirty coal? Yes, it is great that if hotels are going to be built anyway, they should be efficient, but their overall net impact has got to be considered—especially when one is talking about thousands of buildings. The media has got to ask the tough questions. Understandably, in China that may not be so easy.

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