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Greening of Hospitality Industry
Cinnamon Grand Most Intelligent Building In Sri Lanka

At the cusp of realizing its Sustainability Vision of becoming the most sustainable five star city hotel by 2015, Green Globe certified Cinnamon Grand
today holds the pioneering stance of being the country's most intelligent building. The state-of-the art-Schneider Building Management System (BMS) is the first in a hotel in South Asia, controlling, monitoring and quantifying energy usage across the entirety of the hotel. The world's first magnetic bearing chiller technology from Smardt chillers has also been installed to conserve energy used for the extensive air-conditioning system. The Rs 170 Mn investment has infused extraordinary measurable benefits, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Guaranteed to save at least Rs 50 Mn to Rs 60 Mn per year with an ROI estimated at three years, Cinnamon Grand reduces nearly 4,000 tons of GHGs (Greenhouse gases) annually, an impact that surely has impressive positive impacts on the earth's sustainability and makes it a standard bearer in the reduction of GHGs in the whole of Asia. In addition, electricity usage across the hotel has reduced significantly, instituting a saving of about 9 million KwH, adding impressive impetus to the hotel's bottom line.

Commending the stance taken by Sector Head – City Hotels of Cinnamon Hotels &Resorts Rohan Karr , chairman and managing director of Lanka Energy Conservation Pvt Limited , the global arm of PerthEcoPower , Dammicca Wickramarathne says, “It is commendable that a leading corporate entity like Cinnamon Grand would buy into a vision and make it happen. This hotel now stands as one of the leaders in sustainable energy management in Asia, given that this system is a trailblazer in energy management around the world.” In fact, Wickramarathne's sentiments are well founded, given his three decades of experience in energy conservation. A recipient of the West Australian Energy Conservation Award in 1994 and the Energy smart Government Business Award 2004, Wickramarathne was also a Finalist in the Australian Citizen of the Year Award in 2007 in the Industry&Commerce category, for saving over 20,000 tons of GHG emissions.

Having first studied the inherent features of the mechanical electrical system that existed at this hotel for over three decades, Wickramarathne says, “We ultimately integrated the entire mechanical electrical system cohesively onto a single platform, having gathered data on analysis of how each plant functions, usage patterns, varied temperatures and consumption. Our task was to customize efficiencies according to the hotel's needs, replacing the existing equipment from automation to integration without disrupting the hotel's operations. During Stage One, we installed the BMS, recording the data that emerged to build the platform for us to replace necessary equipment, which was Stage Two. Then we began feeding the data into the system, wherein almost immediately the cost savings to the hotel began emerging.”

Wickramarathne also elaborates about the health and safety positives that accrue with this commissioning. “Because required oxygen levels are maintained, the air that circulates now at Cinnamon Grand is truly cleaner and healthier because the system ensures that air circulation in every area of the hotel is monitored.” With two hundred sensors placed around the hotel, the system is ultra-responsive, flagging any negativities, shortfalls or breakdowns instantly and pushing solutions into place immediately. “Every area within the hotel can be monitored individually as well, so that at any given time, the air quality, energy saving, cost efficiencies, temperature and water flow can be monitored. The system itself institutes corrective measures if the need arises.”

Wickramarathne asserts that the system and chillers is a first to this part of the world. The system integrates different communication portals onto one platform. There are over 16,000 meters of fiber optic cables around the hotel which connect the sensors to the system, linking front and back end machines from fans, to motors, exhausts, speed drives and pumps.” Running at 80,000 rpm, the chiller installed at Cinnamon Grand is a first in the world, running without oil, magnetic or electronic bearings and with no friction losses.

As Karr elaborates on Cinnamon Grand's Sustainability Policy, 'Grand Indulgence: Not a guilty pleasure', he says the four key areas Cinnamon Grand is focusing on in achieving the Sustainability Vision is the wise use of energy, wise use of water, waste management and recycling and supporting community activities and creating awareness. “Having always been a pioneer in the industry, we strongly believe that our status as a role model in the industry must be multifaceted. Not just in offering indulgent innovative products with superlative service, but also in ensuring that our carbon footprint is minimized and we leave a healthy planet for future generations. This is why we have been enthusiastically working towards being the Most Sustainable City Hotel by end this year, pioneering a number of eco-firsts along the way.”

These green firsts include ‘Nuga Gama’, the village in the city being the named Asia's First Carbon Neutral Venue, the ‘Banners to Bag’ (B2b) project which was endorsed by Nobel prize laureate Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, the ‘No Time to Waste’ the e-waste awareness campaign in schools, the ‘Delicious Waste’ chef's competition to minimize food waste based on the 3R cycle and launching the Green Corridor.

A slew of accolades and certifications have added laurels to Cinnamon Grand's vision realization. “From maintaining uninterrupted certifications in OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001&ISO 22000, to the Green Globe Certification and awards at the Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards, the EU-SWITCH ASIA Greening Hotels Awards, National Green Awards and Health and Safety Excellence Awards, our goal is to benchmark ourselves against accredited standards. Being one of Asia's first hotels to commission this state of the art BMS and chillers, we are once again urging the hospitality industry to follow our example and gain the benefits that we have in quantitative sense and qualitatively enjoy the rewards that come with being a sustainable green-friendly entity.”

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