10 Sustainability Tips For Your Hotel
Hotels – an integral part of the travel experience – rely heavily on the health of their surroundings. If the environment within which they function deteriorates, the truth is that people don’t want to visit. Find out how you can contribute positively to the people and environment which support your hotel, with these ten sustainability tips.
A new kind of demand
In 2021 a demand for sustainability speaks for itself. Before booking a room, increasing numbers of people want to know whether their money is supporting people and the planet, or causing environmental harm. In Australia, a staggering 53% of people suggest that they would pay more for goods and services that have positive environmental credentials. This percentage increases hugely with Millenials and Gen Z. A demand for a better world is becoming clear.
The fact is, if your hotel wants to remain resilient to climate change and stay competitive within a modern day market, you need to start caring more about its impact on the world. In this article we share ten sustainability tips for your hotel, helping you to be one part of protecting the future of your region and your business.
Sustainability tips for your hotel
1. Source local products
Food miles contribute to your hotel’s carbon footprint. If you currently source your products from afar, reassess your suppliers and consider working with local companies. In doing so, not only will you be supporting those in your region but the carbon emissions from the planes and trucks used to reach your venue will be cut right down.
2. Introduce vegan and vegetarian options to your menu
It’s no surprise in the current day to hear that a vegan or vegetarian diet results in fewer carbon emissions. In fact, research from Loma Linda University found that a vegan diet typically results in 41.7% fewer carbon emissions compared to a meat-eater’s diet. Whilst we aren’t asking that you take all animal products on the menu, ensure that your offerings cater to people who have decided to ditch meat for plants. You’ll be welcoming wider audiences and contributing to improved sustainability at your hotel.
3. Revise and streamline your recycling processes
Hotels are naturally very wasteful. With plastic, food, cardboard, bottles and much more being thrown away on a daily basis, waste is a scary part of the hospitality indsutry. We can all – and should – therefore learn a thing or two about recycling. Whether you have two streams of rubbish, three or four, your hotel can work to make sure that it is separating waste properly. Introduce signage at your hotel, for both guests and staff members to ensure that things are going into the right bin. If you don’t already, introduce a recycling bin into hotel rooms to make sure that recycling becomes a hotel-wide effort (guests included)!
4. Invest in green infrastructure
The time is now to start investing in green infrastructure at your hotel. Big-ticket items which are available to hotel owners with an interest in sustainability ROI include things such as: solar panels, water recycling systems, geothermal cooling towers and energy star-rated heating or cooling. Not only will you feel proud of your swap to more sustainable operations, but you’ll also save money in the long-run.
5. Monitor energy usage and set goals
Integrate energy efficiency and monitoring into your hotel’s monthly operations. Become acquainted with how much electricity and other resources you use per month and set a goal with your staff to decrease this for the coming month. Focusing on turning off unnecessary lighting, running heating and cooling systems only when necessary and running your laundry on ecological settings might be a great place to start. Once you’ve reached your goals, see how far you can go to reduce it even further!
6. Ditch single-use plastic
Single-use plastic -at your hotel bar and restaurant or in your guests’ in-room refrigerator – has no place in 2021. If you sell water in plastic bottles, use plastic cups, plastic straws, takeaway cups or offer anything else plastic, it can all be replaced. Make the switch. Plenty of options exist today when it comes to non-plastic items. Extend your no single-use plastic policy to guest rooms too, and use only refillable soaps and toiletries.
7. Partner with a charity or organise impactful events
Supporting local organisations that are doing their bit for the environment is a great way to directly have an impact on the local environment. Perhaps request optional $1 donations with every meal and put it towards a local conservation charity, or hold a music event that sees a $5 entry fee sent to an organisation that holds beach clean ups. Your contribution to local communities and the environment will not go unnoticed by your guests and could be a catalyst for further action in your region!
8. Share your efforts on your website
Whilst greenwashing is not something your hotel should ever take part in, you can certainly share your sustainability efforts on your website or social media platforms. Exaggerating your efforts, lying, or broadly claiming to be a ‘sustainable’ hotel are all things to be avoided. However, sharing your steps towards more sustainable hotel operations and being modest with your learning process is a great idea. Not only does this appeal to guests with an environmental mindset (53% of which would pay more for a sustainable service!), but it helps to make sustainability a more central feature within the hospitality indsutry.
9. Provide sustainability training
Implementing eco-friendly operations at your hotel will have a lower than desired impact if you don’t train your staff members to support these operations. For example, if you decide to introduce a further waste stream and don’t provide appropriate training, staff will likely not take advantage of the great step that you’ve taken. Even if it’s only a fifteen minute session once per month, remind your team of how they can best work towards positive change at your hotel. Signage will also help you to maintain a higher level of involvement amongst staff.
10. Consider offsetting
Carbon offsetting is very often associated with the aviation industry, but did you know anyone and anything can offset their carbon emissions? Whether it’s offsetting a car journey or offsetting the entire operations of a hotel for one year, anyone can offset just about anything! If your hotel offers a shuttle service to the airport, offset the carbon emissions for one year and let guests know about your achievement. Alternatively, support guests in their decision to be sustainable, by rewarding them with a freebie if they decide to offset their car journey to you.
Sustainability isn’t something which can simply be ‘achieved’, the journey is long and there’s always more to be learned. Having said this we highly recommending implementing some new initiatives at your hotel and sharing your progress with guests. Not only will you be working for a better world, but you’ll be ticking all the boxes for eco-minded guests as we move forward into an increasingly eco-conscious future.
The 1834 Hotels systems are optimised and supported by the skill of the 1834 Hotels Management team. The 1834 management team will see that your business is getting the best results possible. We keep things running smoothly and manage all the bits and pieces you don’t want to hear about but will keep you informed around the bits you do. We assist our Hotel Managers in resolving employee management issues, including legislative advice and more.
For more information about how we can help, contact us here.