After graduating from Les Roches, BBA alumnus, Stephane Kilidjian, headed to UAE and into Sales with Sheraton Abu Dhabi. A year later, he made the short hop to Dubai to become Regional Manager for an innovative hospitality manufacturing company. We caught up with him to hear how IHS is using fresh thinking to help hotels operate more sustainably and cut costs.
Overall, hotels are reducing their impact on the environment. The last five years have seen the average carbon footprint of a hotel stay drop globally by 10%, but there’s still more to do, and that’s where businesses like IHS come in. “IHS is a boutique manufacturing design company”, says Stephane, “The founder, Nick, used to be an in-room dining waiter for Hilton in the 80’s. He saw that hotels would spend hundreds of dollars just covering a low-quality table and he thought he could do something much better. The result was IHS.
“Our designs are backed up with a 10-year manufacturing warranty. These products are not destined for landfill anytime soon.”
“We design operational equipment to be beautiful, functional, and as environmentally sustainable as possible. Our ranges across in-room dining, banquets/conferences, buffets, bars and live cooking use recycled stainless steel and we only purchase wood from sustainable forests, plus everything we make is durable and designed to last for a very long time. We’ve also created bespoke systems for transportation, so our equipment is protected from the usual wear and tear that lesser products endure in transit and storage. Our designs are backed up with a 10-year manufacturing warranty. These products are not destined for landfill anytime soon.”
Products that increase productivity
As well as delivering elegant products that can impress discerning 5-Star hotel guests, as Senior Sales Manager Stephane is also keen to convey the reduction in the labour needed to set up the equipment. “Our equipment is designed in a way that an army of staff are not required for setup and breakdown. It remains easy for a small team to operate, thus reducing labour costs. The products are designed to avoid excess carrying and possible injuries. In fact, our Rollaway conference tables never need to be lifted, they roll off their storage and transport trolleys straight into place.”
Justifying the cost
Every business in hospitality is aware that it can play a role in fighting climate change, and while there is plenty of goodwill there is still a focus on how green investments will impact the bottom line, an objection that Stephane frequently handles. “The direction that IHS is headed in terms of durability and sustainability for the hotels, is that we, for example, produce such beautiful banquet tables that a client doesn’t have to use linen, so they cut costs there, and on laundering. Our products will help properties reduce their energy consumption. Plus, there’s the opportunity for hotels to leverage their sustainability efforts through marketing and PR.
“For everything we supply, we can evaluate through an ROI calculator the impact that it’s going to have on reducing costs at the hotel. From a financial point of view, hotels will realize that investing a little more in the short term will have a larger positive impact on finances and operations in the long term.”
Interested in reading more about sustainability in hospitality? We’ve got you covered:
- World’s most sustainable hotel
- Sustainability challenges and opportunities for hospitality
- Alumnus, Tiago Brito, bets on sustainability