Renaissance Indianapolis North- Water, Waste & Plastic Evaluation

My report is on the Renaissance Indianapolis North hotel located in Carmel, IN. The length of my stay was just one evening.

Water Conservation:

In my eyes of the hotel guest, there was not much being done that I could tell in regards to water conservation. There were no low flow toilets in the room or in the lobby restrooms. The shower head and faucets in the hotel were standard as well. My bathroom sink and tub faucet both had a leak that were called in (and not tended to) during my stay. I had asked an employee if there was anything done to conserve water at the hotel, she said not that she was aware of (that employee might really not know either way). One incentive (that helps with water conservation) was presented upon checking in. Since I am a Marriott Rewards member, I was able to receive 500 bonus points by refusing housekeeping during the length of my stay. This does save on the washing of all room linens and prolong the linens life. There could be efforts of conservation, behind the scenes that I was unable to obtain information about, within the kitchen/ bar areas, a possible grey water system, laundry system or grounds (summertime). I did go on this specific hotels website and could not find any sustainability information.

On Marriott’s corporate website it does state that their environmental goals for the company were to: further reduce energy and water consumption 20% by 2020 (Energy 20 percent per kWh/conditioned m2; Water 20 percent per occupied room (POR). Baseline: 2007), to educate and inspire associates and guests to conserve and preserve and to address environmental challenges through innovative conservation initiatives including rainforest protection and water conservation (Marriott Hotels , 2018).

The property could improve their conservation by installing low flow faucets on sinks and shower heads. Offer incentives for all customers to refuse housekeeping services during their stay, not an incentive to just Marriott Reward members. Instead of points customers could receive a dollar amount off of their bill or maybe a free menu item from the restaurant or bar. Education cards and/or signs, with facts about water conservation or tips that customers can do to conserve water during their stay, could be placed at key point locations (ice machines, by sinks, bathrooms, drinking fountains, etc.). In the company’s environmental goals it is mentioned to educate guests, there was no education anywhere within the hotel. If the hotel does not have an efficient ice machine, they could be turned off at night or at low occupancy (one is not needed on every floor). Ice machines use more water than what is just frozen.

Waste reduction:

Hotels can be wasteful in several areas including basic (hotel staff and guest) trash, recyclables, food waste, administrative offices, furniture/fixture disposal, light bulbs, etc. I was not able to interview anyone, with my short stay and limited staff available. It would have been insightful to see what the hotel does (if anything) behind the scenes to help with waste reduction in the areas mentioned above. From what was visible to me as the guest, not much was being done. The hotel needs to have recycling bins within the public areas and/or in the guest rooms. I did not see one recycling bin anywhere during my entire stay. There were newspapers delivered to every room. This is a huge waste, as many people do not even read the paper. There were magazine and newspapers also throughout the lobby area of the hotel. A reduction in this waste could be to just keep several in the lobby or to simply not have a newspaper delivered to everyone. The lobby restrooms had paper towels to use instead of hand dryers. That could be (and typically is) a debate though of hand dryers using electricity. 

Marriott properties have made mention to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025 (The Rockefeller Foundation , 2018), but at the hotel I could not find an answer of what was being done with their food waste (donations, etc.).
As noted above in the water conservation section, there should be signage at key areas throughout the hotel with education for the guests about waste reduction facts and what they can do to help.

Eliminating  plastic:

This hotel could definitely reduce their plastic use in several areas. Upon my arrival, a guy next to me ordered a Coke at the bar. The server gave the can of Coke, a plastic cup along with a straw. This could be very simple elimination of two forms of plastic. It was at a restaurant, so there were glasses available (if did need one). One plastic use at this hotel that was interesting, was plastic cups offered at the water cooler in the workout room. A water cooler usually is offered to eliminate the cost and use of water bottles. Most water coolers offer small paper cups (which is still wasteful). A water cooler does not need to be offered at all or offer small recyclable paper cups at the water cooler to eliminate the plastic cup use. In the guest rooms were the standard small travel size plastics shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash bottles. One option could be having the shampoo, conditioner and body wash in refillable containers that are installed on the shower walls. Another option to help recycle this particular plastic use is to partner with a program like Clean the World, which recycles our guests' leftover toiletries to reduce waste while simultaneously providing essential items to impoverished communities. Some hotels keep all toiletries at the front desk to have more “control” over the wastefulness of the toiletries. Guests can request what they need at check-in or call down.


For water conservation, waste reduction and plastic elimination, this hotel could improve immensely on just doing very basic simple things to start with. The main key is topic related education within the property and offering avenues that the customers can take to help in those particular areas. The company has items listed as environmental goals for their properties in their sustainability report, specifically recycling and topic related education postings throughout properties, but this particular property is missing these very important items.

Marriott Hotels . (2018). Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved from Marriott :
The Rockefeller Foundation . (2018, February 21). Food Waste. Tackling Food Waste in Hotels: Q&A with Marriott International .




Allen, H. (2018). Renaissance Indianapolis North- Water, Waste & Plastic Evaluation. Retrieved from

1 Comment

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Heather Van Allen (Author) wrote: 02-24-2018 22:52:06

My pictures will not copy over with the text