It seems like no matter where you look, sustainability is becoming one of the most talked-about issues facing society. The impact that people, and their actions, have on the environment is becoming clearer by the year and conscious consumption is an integral part of the modern conversation. Once considered ‘just a trend’, eco-friendly initiatives are increasingly popular and sought-after as solutions to a growing issue.
Whether hotel guests travel for business or leisure they want to feel good about the accommodation they’re staying in. According to the Sustainable Travel Report 2018 by Booking.com, 87% of global travellers want to travel sustainably, and 68% of guests intend to stay in an eco-accommodation.
But it’s not just travellers have a desire to go green. Luxury hotels go to great lengths to expand their knowledge on sustainability and continually adopt environmentally friendly practices. Hotels who successfully adopt eco-friendly changes can capitalise on this momentum and will attract even more guests whose values align with theirs. So, how can you maximise your green credentials and implement a strong CSR strategy? Start with these 3 initiatives:
- Start Simple by Using Less
The quickest way to make a difference is to start with energy and resource conservation. These efforts will help the environment, as well as reducing your utility bills. Energy is typically a hotel’s biggest expense, and it’s possible to lower energy usage by 20-40% by using automatic control systems and occupancy sensors that go into energy-saving mode when a guest leaves their room.
Water usage is another great place to implement sustainable changes, especially when you consider the fact that a hotel uses approximately 450-900 litres of freshwater every day for an occupied room. Re-using towels, installing low-flow showers and toilets, and recycling grey water are all great ways to cut down on costs while benefiting the environment.
Guests are starting to expect to see requests to reuse towels, and they’ll feel validated in their choice to book with you when they do. New technology such as hotel apps can easily provide a tutorial or push notification to inform your guests of any environmental measures your hotel is taking.
- The Three Rs: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste
One of the biggest ways you can make an impact when it comes to reducing waste is to replace small, single-use toiletry bottles with refillable pump bottles. Marriott is a great example of how this seemingly little change can have a massive impact. About 1000 of its hotels have added refillable toiletry bottles to their bathrooms. This prevents about 500 million smaller bottles from going to landfills every year. That adds up to about 1.7 million pounds of plastic and a 30% reduction from their current plastic usage.
Looking for smaller steps you can incorporate in your hotel? You can:
- Place recycling bins in each room to make it more convenient for guests to use
- Make sure bins are visible and accessible in all public areas
- Introduce filtered water dispensers and begin phasing out bottled water, and
- Reduce paper and have guest information stored in your own mobile app
- Go Digital with Room Keys
Typical key cards are made of a PVC-based plastic, which is made through a toxic manufacturing process that has a terrible impact on the environment. Some hotels are switching from PVC cards, which have a very short life span, to new keys made of wood, paper, or other types of plastic.
But each of these still takes a toll on the environment and digital door keys are a great solution. A mobile app is more durable, harder for a guest to lose, and easily the most sustainable option for a hotel looking to make eco-friendly changes. Plus, it enhances your guest experience as guests can check-in using their own phone. No need to look through every pocket to find their key; it’s already in their hand.
Looking for more eco-friendly ideas for your hotel?