Blue Mountains Low Carbon Tourism

Building Sustainable Communities

Low Carbon Tourism: Building Sustainable Communities

Modified ratings system - Alex Baumber, May 2015

The proposed ratings system represents an integral part of the incentive mechanism for businesses to participate in the Low Carbon Tourism scheme and to reduce their carbon footprint. The ratings of participating businesses will be displayed on the program’s website and app, as well as being available for use by the businesses themselves for marketing purposes.

As of May 2015, the key developments around the ratings system are:

·       A review was undertaken in 2014 of other existing ratings schemes, such as TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program, Earthcheck, NABERS (hotel tool) and the Green Tourism Business scheme (UK-based).

·       A stakeholder forum was held in Katoomba in October 2014 at which a hybrid approach for rating businesses was endorsed. This system would take account of actual reductions in a business’ carbon footprint since joining the program (measured quantitatively), as well as the adoption of practices that are likely to have resulted in emissions reductions (measured qualitatively).

·       Draft ratings were prepared for ten participating businesses in January 2015, along with some recommendations for refinements to criteria and additional data needed from participants.

·       Second audits for two of the early adopters of the Low Carbon Business program (Lilianfels and Silvermere) have been progressing through Feb-May 2015.

·       An official launch of the ratings system has been on hold, pending the completion of a reasonable number of second audits and the decision of the CRC for Low-Carbon Living on future funding for the program.

Now that the CRC has decided to extend funding only until the end of 2015, a decision is required about when to launch the ratings system and what form it should take. The hybrid approach endorsed in October 2014 (see Box 1) sought to balance two key goals:

1.     A need for rigorous quantitative data that could demonstrate actual, verifiable reductions in a business’ carbon footprint since joining the program.

2.     A need to account for actions undertaken prior to joining the program and relative to opportunity (e.g. businesses that undertook most actions prior to joining the program as well as businesses in heritage-listed buildings that may have fewer options to overhaul their operations).

Box 1: Hybrid ratings system endorsed in October 2014

Gold would be awarded if the business:
- scores 70% or more on a scorecard of low-carbon actions; AND has
- reduced its carbon footprint since joining the program

Silverwould be awarded if the business:
- scores 35% to 69% on the scorecard; AND has
- reduced its carbon footprint since joining the program

Bronzewould be awarded if the business:
- scores 35% or more on the scorecard; OR has
- reduced its carbon footprint since joining the program

Businesses that don’t achieve either goal will remain as a Participant (all businesses would be Participants for their first year)

The proposed scorecard for the ratings system assigns 70 of its 100 points based on energy-related activities, with waste-related activities accounting for 20 points and water-related activities for 10 points. This is based on the typical contribution of these activities to the carbon footprint of businesses participating in the scheme, with further justification provided in Appendix A.

The energy, water and waste categories of the scorecard are further divided into sub-categories, with energy broken down into lighting, heating/cooling and appliances and waste broken down into food waste and paper/cardboard. Scores are assigned based on the actions that a business has undertaken to reduce emissions in each of these sub-categories, with these actions verified by our auditors during the initial assessment. Bonus points are also assigned in the energy and water categories for using alternative, low-carbon sources such as solar power or rainwater tanks.

Draft scores for the ten businesses that had completed their first assessment by January 2015 are shown in Table 1, with the calculation of these draft scores detailed in Appendix B. Based on the draft scores shown in Table 1, only one of the ten businesses would have a score of 70% or higher, with five businesses in the 35-69% range and four businesses with scores of less than 35%. Assuming they were able to show emissions reductions after one year, the end result would be one gold rating, five silvers and four bronzes. This would be lower if businesses failed to achieve actual reductions after one year.

 

Table 1: Draft scores for the ten audited businesses

Business

Energy: lighting (/20)

Energy: heating/cooling (/40)

Energy: appliances (/10)

Energy: bonus points (/70)

Energy: total (/70)

Water: efficiency (/10)

Water: bonus points (/10)

Water: total (/10)

Waste: food (/10)

Waste: paper (/10)

Waste: total (/20)

Overall score (/100)

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

8

2.5

2

0

12.5

4

0

4

3

8

11

27.5

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

8

25

5

7

45

2

3

2

9

7

16

63

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

20

6

2

0

28

0

0

0

2.5

7.5

10

38

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

16

18

5

7

46

5

0

5

1

6

7

58

Lily's Pad Café

2

6

5

0

13

2

0

2

2.5

7.5

10

25

Moments Guesthouse

10

7

5

0

22

0

0

0

2

8

10

32

Wild Valley Art Park

20

16

5

70

70

0

10

10

1

8

9

89

Yindi Day Spa

8

7

5

0

20

5

0

5

2

6

8

33

Brahma Kumaris

12

10

6

0

28

9

0

9

6

9

15

52

NPWS Heritage Centre

16

13

7

0

36

10

0

10

10

7

17

63

Average

12.0

11.1

4.7

8.4

32.1

3.7

1.3

4.7

3.9

7.4

11.3

48.1

 

Under the approach endorsed in October 2014, the scorecard represents only one factor in determining a business’ overall rating. The other factor is evidence of proven emissions reductions since joining the program. This element was a requirement imposed by the CRC, which must report on emissions reductions achieved through its projects. However, having to wait for verification of emissions reductions represents a major drawback of the hybrid approach. Under this approach, each business would be unable to obtain an official rating until they had undertaken two assessments at least a year apart (generally this takes at least 18 months due to delays obtaining all the data required).

One solution would be to assign ratings after a business’ first assessment based solely on the scorecard. That initial rating would be retained in future years if the business can prove that it has continued reducing emissions since joining the scheme. If not, its rating would fall until such a time as actual reductions could be verified. Table 2 shows how this system could work.

Table 2: Modified approach to assigning ratings

Score obtained at initial assessment

Rating assigned after initial assessment

Rating after second assessment (i.e. 1 year later) if..

Emissions have fallen

Emissions have risen

75% or higher

Gold

Gold

Silver

50-74%

Silver

Silver

Bronze

25-49%

Bronze

Bronze

Participant

Less than 25%

Participant

Bronze

Participant

Note that the scores used to assign each rating in Table 2 have changed from those that were proposed previously. Using this revised scorecard system, the draft scores for the initial batch of ten businesses would correspond to one gold, four silver and five bronze, as shown in Table 3 over the page.

The primary advantage of the modified approach is that ratings could be assigned after the first assessment (i.e. within a few months of joining the program). This means that the ratings system could be launched more quickly and with a larger batch of initial businesses included. Since the first ten businesses were rated in January 2015 another five have finished their initial assessments. This could provide the critical mass needed to launch the ratings system and demonstrate its value to existing participants (and potential new ones).

 

 

Table 3: Draft ratings under modified approach

Business

Overall score (/100)

Draft Rating

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

27.5

Bronze

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

63

Silver

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

38

Bronze

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

58

Silver

Lily's Pad Café

25

Bronze

Moments Guesthouse

32

Bronze

Wild Valley Art Park

89

Gold

Yindi Day Spa

33

Bronze

Brahma Kumaris

52

Silver

NPWS Heritage Centre

63

Silver

 

One possible disadvantage of the modified approach is that businesses could be annoyed if their rating falls one year into program due to a rise in emissions. They may claim that this unfair due to a range of extenuating circumstances and in fact they have continued to maintain or improve the efficiency of their practices. In certain cases there may be some validity to the claims, such an increase in customer numbers (i.e. an increase in overall emissions despite maintaining low emissions per customer) or a colder winter (which may increase emissions from heating despite maintaining efficient practices). The system could account for this by allowing emissions to increase under certain circumstances as long as these impacts could be verified (e.g. with customer or weather data) and any exceptions were applied consistently.

Another way of overcoming concerns about falling ratings is to give businesses an opportunity to address any increases in emissions before the drop in ratings becomes permanent (i.e. their new lower rating is published on the website). For example, they could be given six months to show that the increase in emissions shown on their previous electricity bills was only temporary. If the increase was due to waste emissions, a follow-up waste audit could be scheduled for six months later. As with the exceptions discussed above, this would need to be based on verifiable emissions data and be applied consistently and transparently (i.e. the methodology would need to be clearly available on our website).

If this modified approach is agreed to, there are a few remaining steps that would need to be undertaken before the ratings system could be officially launched:

·     Obtain additional data from some of the businesses that have been audited to fully address the scorecard criteria for which data is currently lacking, particularly the heating/cooling and appliances criteria (as discussed in Appendix B). A set of questions have already been developed to obtain this additional data (see Appendix C).

·     Refine the scorecard system by applying it to all 15 businesses that have been audited and then discussing any anomalies with the entire project team.

·     Publish the methodology for the ratings system on the LCT website to ensure transparency

·     Preparing the LCT website to publish ratings information about each business. This includes developing gold, silver and bronze icons that can be used on the website’s map as well as displayed next to each business’ entry. We may also wish to feature a short blurb about the categories on which each business has scored well under the scorecard.

·     Developing an overarching marketing strategy for the release of the ratings to maximise exposure and the perception of the program’s value amongst participating businesses. 

 

Appendix A – Justification for the scorecard system

An initial draft scorecard was developed for the stakeholder forum in October 2014, as shown in Table A1. This scorecard was based on a general assessment of audits undertaken as of that date and featured a breakdown of scores as follows: energy 60/100, water 20/100 and waste 20/100. Criteria were designed to be easily assessed from the audit data already obtained. However, further analysis is required regarding how well the breakdown of scores reflects actual carbon footprints for participating tourism businesses, how well the criteria match up with other ratings schemes and how easily the scores can be obtained from existing audit data.

Table A1: Draft Scorecard October 2014

Criteria – Relative to opportunity, has the business…

Max Score

Installed the most efficient lighting option for each lighting need?  (0-10)

10

Installed the most efficient cooling/heating options to meet the needs of customers? (0-10)

10

Installed timers, sensors or management practices to minimise energy use of lighting or appliances when not in use? (0-10)

10

Taken appropriate measures to improve the thermal performance of the building/s (e.g. insulation, curtains, shading, solar passive design), taking into account any restrictions (e.g. heritage listing)? (0-10)

10

Sourced any of its energy needs from renewable sources (e.g. solar panels, GreenPower, ethanol or biodiesel fuel)? (0-20 = 1 point for every 5% of energy sourced from RE)

20

Installed the most efficient option for each water use fixture (e.g. tap, showerhead, toilet flushing options)? (0-10)

10

Implemented management practices to reduce excessive use of water (e.g. fixing leaks, low-water garden, reduced use of showers etc.)? (0-10)

10

Implemented composting of food and other organic waste (taking into account % of food waste being composted and management of compost system)? (0-10)

10

Implemented appropriate separation of recyclable waste, with particular attention to the amount of paper and cardboard ending up in general waste (as it produces methane in landfill)? (0-10)

10

TOTAL

100

Breakdown of scores

Analysis of the carbon footprints for the ten businesses audited as of January 2015 is shown in Table A2. Energy generally makes up an even higher proportion of a business’ carbon footprint than was assumed for the first draft of the scorecard, with an average of 82% and a median of 92% (rather than the 60% initially assumed). Conversely, water makes up a smaller component (2% rather than 20%). Waste emissions average 16% of the total footprint for each of the audited businesses, but the median value (which could be considered a better indicator of a “typical” business) is only 6%.

 

Table A2: Breakdown of carbon footprints and reduction opportunities for audited businesses

Business

Breakdown of carbon footprint (%)

Breakdown of carbon reduction opportunities (%)

Energy

Water

Waste

Energy

Water

Waste

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

98%

1%

2%

92%

8%

0%

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

83%

3%

15%

27%

2%

71%

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

88%

2%

11%

43%

1%

56%

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

93%

1%

6%

30%

1%

69%

Lily's Pad Café

87%

2%

12%

27%

6%

66%

Moments Guesthouse

92%

2%

5%

34%

9%

58%

Wild Valley Art Park

0%

0%

100%

0%

0%

100%

Yindi Day Spa

94%

2%

4%

54%

2%

44%

Brahma Kumaris

93%

3%

4%

80%

0%

19%

NPWS Heritage Centre

95%

2%

3%

96%

1%

3%

Average

82%

2%

16%

48%

3%

49%

Median

92%

2%

6%

38%

1%

57%

 

While the carbon footprint data in Table A2 suggests that energy scores should be increased significantly at the expense of water and waste, there are a couple of other points that should be borne in mind. Firstly, there is a good argument that water should make up at least 10% of the scorecard so that the ratings system provides an incentive to improve water use efficiency. Reducing water use, especially the use of hot water by showers and dishwashers, is likely to bring with it an associated reduction in energy use that is not captured elsewhere in the scorecard. Saving water can also have other benefits, such as increasing water availability for environmental flows and preventing further dams or desalination plants from being built (which could have significant emissions implications that are not captured by a simple carbon footprint analysis).

A second key point is that opportunities to reduce emissions should be also be considered, rather than simply looking at a business’ existing carbon footprint. For example, the analysis of opportunities to reduce emissions for each business in Table A2 shows that, on average, the waste-related opportunities included in the reports to each business actually account for slightly more of the potential emissions reductions than energy-related opportunities. A key reason for this is that the report recommendations often focus on “low-hanging fruit” that can implemented quickly and cheaply, such as composting and ensuring that paper waste is recycled. It is important that participating businesses are given an incentive to take up this low-hanging fruit and that they are able to observe a noticeable increase in their scorecard scores when they do. This early success can increase a business’ motivation for undertaking actions with larger impacts.

With the above two factors in mind, it is recommended that the breakdown of scores be set at 70% Energy, 10% Water and 20% Waste.

 

Indicators and weightings

With regard to water, the questions in the initial draft scorecard were:

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business installed the most efficient option for each water use fixture (e.g. tap, showerhead, toilet flushing options)? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business implemented management practices to reduce excessive use of water (e.g. fixing leaks, low-water garden, reduced use of showers etc.)? (0-10)

With the score for water use being lowered to 10%, it makes sense to drop one of these questions or attempt to combine them. The most practical indicator to measure is the proportion of taps, showerheads and toilets that are water-efficient (i.e. highest WELS rating). Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are also high water users, but details of their water use or WELS ratings are generally not recorded as part of the audit process. Similarly, details such as whether leaks are fixed quickly or whether the business promotes shorter showers are generally not recorded for each business. As such, it is proposed to keep the first question but not the second one.

The scoring system should also recognise businesses that source their water from alternative sources, such as the Wild Valley Art Park, which uses an on-site dam with wind-powered pumps to achieve self-sufficiency in water. One way of recognizing this is through a system of bonus points (e.g. 1 bonus point for every 10% of water from alternative low-carbon sources). Bonus points would add to the score for efficient use, up to a maximum of 10 points (e.g. 7 points for efficient fixtures plus 4 bonus points results in a score of 10 not 11). Estimates would need to be made if good data on the quantity of water supplied by alternative sources is not available (e.g. if rainwater is used to water gardens but is not measured). It is also critical that the alternative source is actually low-carbon (e.g. water is supplied by gravity and/or pumps that run on solar or wind power). Tanks that rely on mains electricity for pumps can actually have higher emissions than town water supplies[1].

For waste, the questions in the initial draft scorecard were:

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business implemented composting of food and other organic waste (taking into account % of food waste being composted and management of compost system)? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business implemented appropriate separation of recyclable waste, with particular attention to the amount of paper and cardboard ending up in general waste (as it produces methane in landfill)? (0-10)

The initial scoring system was based on the fact that the two major contributors to GHG emissions for audited businesses are food waste and paper/cardboard, each of which release methane when disposed of to landfill (Figure A1). As these sources make up a fairly similar contribution to emissions (food is higher than paper but not double), it makes practical sense to make each worth half of the total score for waste (i.e. 10% for food waste, 10% for paper/cardboard = 20% overall waste score). In terms of indicators, it is difficult to estimate the percentage of paper recycled or food waste composted, as recycling bins and compost bins are generally not audited. An alternative indicator could be the level of food waste or paper/cardboard in the general waste stream relative to other businesses in the same category.

Figure A1: Average proportion of general waste emissions from each waste type across ten audited businesses

 

Within the 70% energy score, it is important that the scorecard incentivises both measures to improve the efficiency of energy use (e.g. using efficient lighting) as well as measures to source energy from low-carbon sources (e.g. installing solar panels). With this is mind, it is proposed that we employ a system of bonus points similar to that proposed for alternative water sources. Businesses can earn points out of a maximum 70 points for efficiency of energy use. However, they can also earn bonus points up to maximum of 70 points for the use of renewable energy. The total number of points would be capped at 70 (e.g. 50 points for efficiency plus 30 bonus points for renewable energy equals 70 not 80). This system means that high levels of renewable energy usage will earn the maximum score for energy, but at lower levels of renewable energy use, efficiency will still play a major role in determining the overall energy score.

Employing a bonus point approach would result in significant changes from the initial draft scorecard. The questions in the initial draft scorecard were:

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business installed timers, sensors or management practices to minimise energy use of lighting or appliances when not in use? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business installed the most efficient cooling/heating options to meet the needs of customers? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business installed timers, sensors or management practices to minimise energy use of lighting or appliances when not in use? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business taken appropriate measures to improve the thermal performance of the building/s (e.g. insulation, curtains, shading, solar passive design), taking into account any restrictions (e.g. heritage listing)? (0-10)

·       Relative to opportunity, has the business sourced any of its energy needs from renewable sources (e.g. solar panels, GreenPower, ethanol or biodiesel fuel)? (0-20 = 1 point for every 5% of energy sourced from RE)

Under the proposed revisions, the final question would be used to assign bonus points rather than forming part of the main scorecard. The other four questions relate to the use of energy for lighting, appliances and heating/cooling. It is important that the weightings assigned to these questions are consistent with the actual proportions of energy used for each of these purposes. The data from the audited businesses is not particularly useful for assessing the breakdown of energy use, as some energy use activities (e.g.  lighting) are recorded in much more detail than others (e.g. appliances and heating/cooling). Industry-wide statistics for the hotel sector are shown in Figure A2.

 

Figure A2: Average end-use shares for electricity (left) and gas (right) for Australian hotels 1990-2020.Reproduced from: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2012

 

Combining the electricity and gas figures from Figure A2 and converting them into GHG emissions[2] results in the breakdown of overall energy-related emissions shown in Table A3.

Table A3: Energy-related emissions for hotels based on combined electricity and gas use

Emissions %

 

Heating & cooling (electric HVAC + gas space heating)

49%

Lighting (electricity only)

18%

Equipment (electrical equipment + gas use in kitchen & laundry)

12%

Pool heating (electric + gas)

6%

Domestic hot water (electric + gas)

3%

Other

11%

 

Based on the breakdown of emissions shown in Table A3, it is proposed that the 70 points for energy be allocated as follows: 40 points for heating and cooling, 20 points for lighting and 10 points for appliances/equipment. Pool heating is not a major issue across the businesses involved in the program. Domestic hot water use will be included under the appliances/equipment category (noting that hot water use by taps and showers is also considered under the 10 points assigned to water).

In term of indicators, lighting can be easily assessed by calculating the percentage of light fittings that qualify as “efficient”. Appliances and equipment are often not recorded in detail in the audits, so may need to be measured qualitatively by looking at the practices followed by the business (e.g. Is gas or solar used for hot water? Is gas used for cooking? Are clothes dried outside or in a dryer? Has the business taken steps to ensure that efficient appliances are used?). Heating and cooling is also not measured quantitatively in the audits so will require qualitative questions to assign scores (e.g. Is gas used for heating rather than electricity? Is air-conditioning used in the premises? What steps have been taken to improve the thermal performance of the building?).

 

Comparison with other schemes

The Tripadvisor Green Leaders program provides the best comparison for our scheme, as it features a scorecard system in which a business’s score is based on the percentage of green practices they employ out of a pool of relevant practices. The scores are assigned based on the business’ response to a questionnaire, resulting in scores that are much more qualitative and involve a much higher degree of self-reporting than for our scheme. The Tripadvisor website states that the scheme was developed in consultation with UNEP, EarthCheck and EcoTourism Australia. Earthcheck and the Green Tourism Business Scheme (UK) also have scorecard approaches, but their scorecard methodology is not as accessible and transparent as Tripadvisor’s.

Table A4 outlines the key differences between our scheme and the Tripadvisor scheme, noting which Tripadvisor features could be of value for the development of our scorecard.

 

Table A4: Tripadvisor Green Leaders features and their relevance to our scorecard

Tripadvisor Green Leaders features

Relevance to our scorecard?

Includes filter questions to tailor questions (e.g. do you have a kitchen, pool etc.)

Could be used to filter out questions on pools, kitchens, laundries etc. which only apply to some businesses

Categories are: energy, water, waste, purchasing, site and innovation & education

Purchasing is not covered by our carbon footprint analysis. Tripadvisor’s site questions are mostly related to energy (which we capture elsewhere) or factors not covered by our scheme (chemical use). Innovation & education is mostly about communicating results and does not link directly to carbon footprint

A large proportion of the questions are related to policies and practices, such as communication and training programs, whether energy/water usage is recorded, and open-ended questions about what actions have been undertaken to reduce impacts.

We don’t gather information on policies or training for most businesses, but we do collect much more direct measurement of fixtures and appliances that have an impact on carbon footprint. All our businesses track their energy and water use by participating in our scheme. We should rely on actual outcomes rather than policies wherever possible when designing our scorecard.

75% of lighting must be CFL, LED, T5 or T8 to qualify for the program

We could adapt this approach to our lighting scores to ensure that 75% is considered a “pass mark” and top scores are given only to businesses that exceed 75% (e.g. 75%=5 points, 80%=6, 85%=7, 90%=8, 95%=9 and 100%=10).

Tripadvisor allows heritage fixtures to be excluded from the lighting count

This is not practical for our scheme, as information on heritage fixtures is rarely recorded.

Scores are only given if 90% of appliances have energy rating labels (e.g. TVs, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioning units).

This information is not usually recorded for all appliances under our scheme.

Renewable energy earns points depending on the amount used, with >30% being the highest category

Our proposed system of bonus points more accurately reflects the impact of using renewable energy.

Scores are only given if 90% of taps, showerheads and toilets have flowrates below set levels (6 L/min for taps, 4.5 L/flush or dual flush for toilets, 6 L/min for showers)

These levels differ from what we recommend to businesses, but are probably good for taps and toilets. Possible benchmarks: 6 L/min for taps (5-star WELS), 9 L/min for showers (3 star WELS) and 4.5 L/flush or dual flush for toilets (from Tripadvisor)

Points are given for alternative sources of water that are used for toilet flushing, fire suppression or gardens

Our proposed system of bonus points more accurately reflects the impact of using alternative water supplies.

Waste questions cover special waste types such as batteries, furniture, paints etc.

These wastes may have negative environmental impacts but are not a major source of GHG emissions, so we can leave them out.

 

Appendix B – Draft scores using data from audited businesses

The aim of this section is to develop draft scores for the businesses audited so far and in the process to test the scorecard system. The same ten businesses cited in Table A2 have been used for this purpose.

 

Energy – lighting (worth 20 of the 70 points for energy)

Following Tripadvisor, efficient lighting is taken to include CFLs, LEDs, T5s and T8s. Furthermore, in recognition of Triadvisor’s view that 75% should be considered a “pass mark” and to reward those businesses that have achieved the highest possible levels of lighting efficiency, weightings have been assigned as follows:

1-15% of lighting: 2 points

16-30% of lighting: 4 points

31-45% of lighting: 6 points

46-60% of lighting: 8 points

61-75% of lighting: 10 points

76-80% of lighting: 12 points

81-85% of lighting: 14 points

86-90% of lighting: 16 points

91-95% of lighting: 18 points

96-100% of lighting: 20 points

 

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Efficient lights/total lights

Percentage of lights with efficient lighting

Score (/20)

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

104/184

57%

8

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

42/88

48%

8

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

13/13

100%

20

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

1710/1983

86%

16

Lily's Pad Café

2/18

11%

2

Moments Guesthouse

77/111

64%

10

Wild Valley Art Park

59/59

100%

20

Yindi Day Spa

38/71

54%

8

Brahma Kumaris

671/864

78%

12

NPWS Heritage Centre

174/194

90%

16

 

Challenges:Some lighting listed in the audit datasheet is not described in enough detail to determine whether it is efficient (such lights were assumed to efficient unless otherwise noted). Also, there may be lighting that has not been recorded at all (especially for Lily’s Pad, which had very little lighting listed in the audit datasheet). A simple count of lighting also fails to take into account the level of usage. For example, Brahma Kumaris have argued that they won’t replace the halogens in the meditation hall as most of them are only used a few times a year, but the sheet number of these fittings drags down their efficient lighting % and score.

 

Energy – heating/cooling (worth 40 of the 70 points for energy)

The following questions were used to assign scores to each business, with each scored out of 10:

·       Which forms of energy are used for space heating? (Electricity = 0, Gas = 5, Wood = 8, None/solar passive = 10 - if a mix of heating types are used, the final score may fall between these ranges)

·       Which technologies are used for space heating? (Resistance heaters = 0, Oil fin heaters = 2, Electric heat pump/reverse cycle A/C = 3, Electric heat pump with geothermal heat exchange = 5, Gas fireplaces or radiant heaters = 6, Gas heaters with air circulation = 7, Wood = 8, Gas-boosted solar heating = 9, None/solar passive = 10 - if a mix of heating types are used, the final score may fall between these ranges)

·       Which technologies are used for cooling? (Air conditioning = 0, Floor fans = 4, Window fans = 5, Ceiling fans = 6, None/natural ventilation only = 10 - if a mix of heating types are used, the final score may fall between these ranges)

·       Which measures have been undertaken to improve the building’s thermal performance? (up to 2 points each for: insulation, enhancing natural ventilation, appropriate glazing and use of blinds/curtains on windows, zoning, light-coloured roofs & walls (or green roofs).

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Forms of energy (/10)

Heating tech. (/10)

Cooling tech. (/10)

Thermal perf. (/10)

Overall score (/40)

Comments

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

0

2.5 (A/C plus oil fins)

0

0

2.5

Centralised A/C system, loss of heat due to open doors

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

6

7

6

6

25

Gas fireplaces, some wood, no A/C

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

0

2 (oil fin)

4

0

6

 

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

5 (gas)

7 (central-ised gas?)

0 (A/C?)

6

18

Use of zoning, presumably insulation & blinds too

Lily’s Pad Café

0

2

4 (fans rather than A/C?)

0

6

Electricity used, but tech unknown. Recommended changes to building envelope.

Moments Guesthouse

3

2

0

2 (blinds yes, others?)

7

Gas + bar heaters used. A/C set quite low for cooling.

Wild Valley Art Park

0

0 (electric?)

6 (fans?)

10 (eco-design?)

16

All electricity is solar PV

Yindi Day Spa

0

7 (gas)

0

0

7

Blinds, zoning & insulation recommended

Brahma Kumaris

2 (LPG and electric)

3 (LPG, oil fin, reverse cycle A/C)

0 (A/C)

5 (??)

10

Mix of gas & electric heating. Thermal perf. unknown

NPWS Heritage Centre

0

1 (mixed electric types)

6 (fans)

6

13

Zoning used, insulation and ventilation assumed

 

 Challenges: Thermal performance of buildings is difficult to assess from the data collected by auditors. Standardised questions for either the business owner or the auditor covering insulation, zoning, blinds, glazing, etc. would assist with scoring this category.

 

Energy – appliances/equipment (worth 10 of the 70 points for energy)

The following question was used to assign scores to each business:

·       To what extent has the business attempted to employ the most efficient options for its major energy-using appliances?

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Score (/10)

Comments

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

2

Energy saver modes not used on computers. TV screen efficiency unknown

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

5

Unknown. Not enough detail in report to assess fully.

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

2

Vehicles are the major energy use for BMAC, with efficiency unknown but not prioritised at present

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

5

Unknown. Not enough detail in report to assess fully.

Lily's Pad Café

5

Unknown. Not enough detail in report to assess fully.

Moments Guesthouse

5

Unknown. Not enough detail in report to assess fully.

Wild Valley Art Park

5

Unknown (energy 100% solar PV)

Yindi Day Spa

5

Efficiency of appliances and hot water system unknown

Brahma Kumaris

6

Dishwasher efficient, some solar/gas hot water systems, dryers used instead of clothes line

NPWS Heritage Centre

7

Computers powered down, lighting sensors installed, heating appliances not efficient

 Challenges: This item is the most difficult to score using existing audit data. E3 star ratings are generally not recorded for appliances during audits. Estimates of energy use are sometimes recorded but it is difficult to determine what degree of efficiency these estimates represent. Standardised questions for either the business owner or the auditor would assist with scoring this category (e.g. Is the hot water system solar, gas or electric? Is gas used for cooking? Are clothes dried outside or in a dryer? What are the major appliances used and has the business taken any steps to ensure that the most efficient option is being applied?).

Energy – low-carbon energy sources (provides up to 70 bonus points for energy)

Businesses have been assigned bonus points based on the percentage of their overall energy use that is provided by renewable or other low-carbon sources of energy. Solar PV installed on rooftops is likely to be the most common category of renewable energy. Greenpower purchased from energy retailers can also count towards the low-carbon percentage (although none of the participants reported Greenpower purchases). Other low-carbon energy sources can also be counted, such as Lilianfels’ energy-recovery facility, which reduces the need for electricity and gas consumption.

Bonus points have been awarded as follows:

RE % greater than zero but less than 10% = 7 points

RE 11-20% = 14 points

RE 21-30% = 21 points

RE 31-40% = 28 points

RE 41-50% = 35 points

RE 51-60% = 42 points

RE 61-70% = 49 points

RE 71-80% = 56 points

RE 81-90% = 63 points

RE 91-100% = 70 points

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following bonus scores:

Business

Bonus points (/70)

Rationale

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

 

 

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

7

Solar PV averages 11.7 kWh/day, making the carbon footprint from energy  6% lower than it would be if this electricity came from the grid.

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

 

 

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

7

Energy recovery system provide heat for pool and some hot water, which is probably 5-10% of total energy use.

Lily's Pad Café

 

 

Moments Guesthouse

 

 

Wild Valley Art Park

70

100% of electricity is from solar PV. No gas use reported.

Yindi Day Spa

 

 

Brahma Kumaris

 

 

NPWS Heritage Centre

 

 

 

Challenges: All forms of energy have to be converted into MJ (although this can be easily automated in the GHG calculations sheet once the scorecard is finalised). Some energy sources are difficult to estimate, such as Lilianfels energy recovery system. Silvermere and Wild Valley provided good data on their solar PV systems, but we will need to ensure this is provided by all relevant businesses when we do the audits.

 

Water – efficiency (worth all 10 points for water)

Following Tripadvisor, scores are assigned based on the proportion of water use fixtures with efficient water usage (e.g. taps <4.5 L/min, showerheads <9 L/min, toilets <4.5 L/flush or with dual flush). As with the lighting scores, weightings have been assigned as follows:

0-15% of water fixtures: 1 point

15-30% of water fixtures: 2 points

30-45% of water fixtures: 3 points

45-60% of water fixtures: 4 points

60-75% of water fixtures: 5 points

75-80% of water fixtures: 6 points

80-85% of water fixtures: 7 points

85-90% of water fixtures: 8 points

90-95% of water fixtures: 9 points

95-100% of water fixtures: 10 points

 

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Efficient water fixtures/ total fixtures

Percentage of fixtures that are efficient

Score (/10)

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

5/9

56%

4

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

4/16

25%

2

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

0/3

0%

0

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

247/334

74%

5

Lily's Pad Café

1/4

25%

2

Moments Guesthouse

0/8

0%

0

Wild Valley Art Park

Not audited (all water from on-site dam)

0%

0

Yindi Day Spa

2/3

67%

5

Brahma Kumaris

213/232

92%

9

NPWS Heritage Centre

11/11

100%

10

 

Challenges: Some fixtures are not measured for water flow in audits. In other cases terms such as “old-style” and “efficient” are used to differentiate between fixtures. This requires a degree of judgement about what score should be awarded, particularly for ….. Also, the criteria for determining efficiency (taps <6 L/min, showerheads <9 L/min, toilets <4.5 L/flush or with dual flush) could be adjusted.

 

Water – alternative sources (provides up to 10 bonus points for energy)

Bonus points have been applied for water from alternative sources (rainwater, greywater, onsite dams, bores etc.), provided that the supply is low-carbon (i.e. minimal pumping or use of solar or wind for pumping). Up to 10 bonus points may be awarded, as follows:

1-10% of water from low-carbon sources: 1 point

11-20% of water from low-carbon sources: 2 points

21-30% of water from low-carbon sources: 3 points

31-40% of water from low-carbon sources: 4 points

41-50% of water from low-carbon sources: 5 points

51-60% of water from low-carbon sources: 6 points

61-70% of water from low-carbon sources: 7 points

71-80% of water from low-carbon sources: 8 points

81-90% of water from low-carbon sources: 9 points

90-100% of water from low-carbon sources: 10 points

 

Bonus points are added to a business’ score, but can only be used to bring it up to a maximum of 10 (e.g. 7 points for efficient fixtures plus 4 bonus points results in a score of 10 not 11).

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following bonus points:

Business

Bonus points (/10)

Rationale

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

0

 

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

3

Rainwater harvest across roof area 555m2 with 1400 mm annual rainfall = 700 kL annually out of total water use of 2443 kL (29%). Water is used on lawns, assumed to be gravity fed.

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

0

 

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

0

 

Lily's Pad Café

0

 

Moments Guesthouse

0

 

Wild Valley Art Park

10

100% self-sufficient from on-site dam with wind-powered pump

Yindi Day Spa

0

 

Brahma Kumaris

0

 

NPWS Heritage Centre

0

 

 

Challenges: In future cases, it may not be easy to determine whether a given water source should qualify as “low-carbon”. Some systems may rely largely on gravity, with minimal pumping (e.g. greywater for gardens, rainwater used to flush toilets), while others rely on electric pumps.

 

Waste – food waste (worth 10 of the 20 points for waste)

Scores have been assigned based on two measures:

1.     Whether or not a business has implemented composting (on-site or off-site). If the business has a well-run composting program or worm farm, they automatically receive 5 points out of a possible 10. If they have no composting program they get zero. If they have a composting system that is not being optimally managed, they get a score between 1 and 4 (depending on the quality of the system).

2.     The amount of food waste in their general waste also earns points. Points are awarded based on the amount of food waste they have in their general waste relative to other businesses in the same category (adjusted for the number of customers they serve). No compostable waste earns 5 points, the lowest level amongst their peers earns 4 points, the highest level earns 1 points and mid-levels earn 2-3 points (zero is reserved for businesses with emissions far above all their peers).

  

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Composting score (/5)

Food waste score (/5)

Total score (/10)

Comments

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

0

3

3

 

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

5

4

9

 

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

0

2.5

2.5

Only business in their category. Assigned 2.5 as default.

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

0

1

1

 

Lily's Pad Café

0

2.5

2.5

Only business in their category. Assigned 2.5 as default.

Moments Guesthouse

0

2

2

 

Wild Valley Art Park

0

1

1

 

Yindi Day Spa

0

2

2

 

Brahma Kumaris

3

3

6

 

NPWS Heritage Centre

5

5

10

 

 

Challenges: The measurement of food waste could be expanded to “compostable waste” to include compostable paper towel. However, this adds to the data analysis task and paper towel is captured by the next item on paper/cardboard anyway, so probably unnecessary. Some businesses are hard to compare to others, e.g. Lily’s Pad and BMAC, which were assigned 2.5 as a default.

 

 

Waste – paper/cardboard (worth 10 of the 20 points for waste)

Scoring is the same as for food waste, with two components:

1.     Whether or not a business has implemented recycling of paper and cardboard. If the business recycles both paper and cardboard, they automatically receive 5 points out of a possible 10. If they recycle only certain types of paper and cardboard, or they only recycle at certain times, they may get a score between 1 and 4. The quality of their source separation practices is not assessed here, as it is determined by the second part of their score.

2.     The amount of paper and cardboard waste in their general waste also earns points. Points are awarded based on the amount of paper and cardboard they have in their general waste relative to other businesses in the same category (adjusted for the number of customers they serve). Zero paper/cardboard earns 5 points, the lowest level amongst their peers earns 4 points, the highest level earns 1 points and mid-levels earn 2-3 points (zero is reserved for businesses with emissions far above all their peers).

If the business recycles some paper and cardboard, they automatically receive 5 points out of a possible 10. If they have no recycling they get zero. However, the amount of recyclable waste in their general waste also earns them points. Points are awarded based on how much recyclable waste they have in their general waste relative to other businesses in the same category (no paper/cardboard = 5 points, lowest levels = 4 points, middle level = 2 points, highest level = 0 points).

  

A review of audit data for the ten businesses produced the following scores:

Business

Recycling score (/5)

Paper/ cardboard score (/5)

Total score (/10)

Comments

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

5

3

8

 

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

5

2

7

 

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

5

2.5

7.5

 

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

5

1

6

 

Lily's Pad Café

5

2.5

7.5

 

Moments Guesthouse

5

3

8

 

Wild Valley Art Park

5

3

8

 

Yindi Day Spa

5

1

6

 

Brahma Kumaris

5

4

9

 

NPWS Heritage Centre

5

2

7

 

 

Challenges: Not all paper is easily recycled (e.g. wet paper towel). Including this in a business’ recycling score may lose them points unfairly, However, this is balanced out by the fact that paper towel is not included under the composting item, which means the same businesses are probably unfairly earning more points than they should under that item. As with food waste, some businesses are hard to compare to others, e.g. Lily’s Pad and BMAC, which were assigned 2.5 as a default. The biggest issue with recycled is that audit data generally does not state whether a business has recycling or not. All businesses were assumed to have some level of paper recycling. Maybe it is too generous to assign 5 points automatically for something that all businesses have but that some may not be using correctly.

 

Overall scores

Business

Energy: total (/70)

Water: total (/10)

Waste: total (/20)

Overall score (/100)

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

12.5

4

11

27.5

Silvermere Guesthouse (incl. Restaurant Nineteen23)

45

2

16

63

Blue Mtns Adventure Company

28

0

10

38

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

46

5

7

58

Lily's Pad Café

13

2

10

25

Moments Guesthouse

22

0

10

32

Wild Valley Art Park

70

10

9

89

Yindi Day Spa

20

5

8

33

Brahma Kumaris

28

9

15

52

NPWS Heritage Centre

36

10

17

63

Average

32.1

4.7

11.3

48.1

 

 

 

Appendix C – Additional questions to obtain data required to fill gaps identified for scorecard.

Question

Response

Which forms of energy are used to heat your building/s (e.g. electricity, gas, wood, solar passive design, none)? If a mix of heating types are used, please indicate the relative proportion of the heating task met by each fuel.

 

 

Which technologies are used for space heating (e.g. resistance/bar heaters, oil fin heaters, electric heat pump/reverse cycle A/C, electric heat pump with geothermal heat exchange, gas radiant heaters/fireplaces, gas heaters with air circulation, wood, gas-boosted solar heating, solar passive, none)? If a mix of technologies are used, please indicate the relative proportion of the heating task met by each.

 

 

Which technologies are used for cooling (e.g. air conditioning, floor/pedestal fans, window fans, ceiling fans, none/natural ventilation only)? If a mix of cooling technologies are used, please indicate the relative proportion of the cooling task met by each.

 

 

Have any of the following measures been undertaken to improve the building’s thermal performance?

-        insulation

-        enhancing natural ventilation

-        appropriate glazing and use of blinds/curtains on windows

-        zoning (only heating/cooling certain areas)

-        light-coloured roofs & walls (or green roofs).

 

 

How does your business meet its hot water needs (e.g. electric, gas, solar, solar with gas boosting, energy recovery)? If a mix of technologies are used, please indicate the relative proportions of each.

 

 

 

Apart from lighting and the heating and cooling of buildings, what are the major energy-using appliances for your business, e.g.

-        ovens/cooking appliances

-        fridges/cool rooms

-        clothes dryers

-        audio-visual equipment

-        vehicles (if transport is a major component of your business)

 

 

What steps have you taken to reduce energy use for the above appliances (assessor to record any details provided of energy star ratings, energy use estimates or brands/models of key appliances)?

 

 

Apart from showers and taps, what are the major water-using appliances for your business, e.g.

-        dishwashers

-        washing machines

-        swimming pools/spas

-        garden irrigation

-        vehicles (if transport is a major component of your business)

 

 

What steps have you taken to reduce water use for the above appliances (assessor to record any details provided of water star ratings, water use estimates or brands/models of key appliances)?

 

 

 

 



[1]e.g. average from one study was 1.48 kWh/kL or 1.554 kg CO2-e/kL, higher than 1.32 kg CO2-e/kL for Sydney Water. See: http://www.urbanwateralliance.org.au/publications/forum2012/UWSRA%20Science%20Forum%20-%2019-20%20June%202012.pdf

[2]This calculation assumes that overall energy use by hotels (in MJ) is 65% electricity and 35% gas (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2012) and that the emissions intensity for electricity and gas are 0.292 and 0.0663 kg CO2-e/MJ respectively.