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Heritance Ahungalla, the First Sri Lankan Hotel to be ISO 50001 Certified

Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka’s leading five-star resort, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011. Heritance Ahungalla is the first hotel to receive ISO 50001:2011 certification in Sri Lanka. The certificate was presented to Mr. Malin Hapugoda, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels by Dr. Srilal de Silva, Chairman of Quality International Certification Services (QICS) at the hotel on 09th December 2011.

Dr. de Silva stated that Heritance Ahungalla staff had demonstrated their commitment to reduce energy and the need of sustainable development for today’s business with the implementation of ISO 50001. The owning company of Heritance Ahungalla, Aitken Spence Hotels, had initiated to introduce ISO 50001:2011 as a tool to reduce energy consumption, having recognized the ever escalating energy cost and the impact on global warming due to the efforts to generate more energy.

With the introduction of Energy Management System, Heritance Ahungalla will now be able to effectively manage energy consumption without compromising the guest comfort. It will also enable the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory energy efficiency targets and requirements of green house gas (GHG) emission reduction legislations.

The preliminary work was initiated in March 2011 based on BS EN 16001 standard, which is the British Standard on energy management systems. However it was reconfigured to suit the requirements of ISO 50001 which was released in June 2011. Dr De Silva stated that the certificate which was issued by QICS will be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) in the near future.

Mr. Refhan Razeen, General Manager of Heritance Ahungalla explaining the approaches made in developing the system stated the declaration of the energy policy was the first step taken to develop the system. This was followed by independent energy audits to identify areas which involve significant energy consumptions and energy objectives and targets were established to address these areas. The findings of energy audits were used to determine energy baselines for the development activities.

A Sustainable Development Committee was established with the representative of departments and this committee headed by Chief Engineer Jayantha Madanayake was responsible for developing the action plan to achieve the targets. The committee outlined the action plan adopted to achieve the targets stated that already the hotel had saved significant energy savings and reduction in operational cost is significant.

“We at Aitken Spence Hotels have been setting trends for energy reductions. Setting up the first gasifier in the hospitality industry at Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara to be the first net-metered hotel and now Heritance Ahungalla first ever hotel to be certified as its energy management system based on ISO 50001, are few of the milestones achieved. We always try to establish the best practices and set examples for the industry” said Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Mr. Malin Hapugoda the Managing Director of Aitken Spence while recognizing the services rendered by all staff at Heritance Ahungalla in developing the system stated that Aitken Spence Hotels will always be recognized for continual improvement of the energy management system in their hotels.

With the ever increasing energy cost and limitations of supplies especially in Sri Lanka, this step by Heritance Ahungalla is expected to bring in a significant saving of energy consumption as well as reduce cost of operations. The improved energy efficiency of the operations is expected to drive the company towards greater productivity and this will enable the hotel to be competitive while reducing its dependence on the national energy supply.

The hotel has already reduced the cost of energy significantly through their improved best practices and was awarded with the Bronze Flame in the Large Hotel Sector at the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2011.