Ahh sustainability, our new favourite word. Rightfully so, especially when it relates to the hotel industry. Hotels use incredible amounts of energy, water and food, and produce a significant amount of waste. I mean can you imagine a hotel with 500 rooms, each night how many showers, new bedsheets, plastic bags filled with rubbish happens ever single day?
When you really start to think about it from the outsiders perspective ( those of you who don't work in hospitality ) you can start to see the small things that all add up in contributing to waste. But you are on holiday and we do our jobs to the best we can so why would either of us care about the impact we have on the environment while being in hotels? Thing is, we do care and we care a lot and as the times have changed our guests have become more aware of just how wasteful we hotels can be. So enter the new age of guests. These guests want to see hotels making a difference in the world, tackling climate change and truthfully the more eco - friendly you are as a hotel group, the more you have that competitive advantage.
In the last few years, hotels and hotel brands have stepped up their games in the sustainability section and most now use it as part of their advertising. The biggest hotel brands like Hyatt, Marriot, Four Seasons etc. now all have sections on their website with their promises for the future while showcasing how they are managing right now.
Now if you are becoming a leader in a hotel, or you are already in charge of a section you, if your hotel is working towards sustainability you will probably have restrictions or goals that you would need to hit during the years, in terms of reducing you waste and energy by your teams. If your hotel is not yet involved this way its good for both guests and future leaders to know the new trends happening in hotels already.
Current sustainability measures used in hotels around the world and how to implement them
This new measure has been implemented almost everywhere in the world. You know those little notes you get in the room saying if you don't need to have your linen washed, or your towels to hang them up and if you do want them washed the guest must put the towels in the bath as a sign to be washed. something this simple reduces so much energy and water usage and also has the benefit of slightly reducing labor time.
2. Focus on recycling and composting
Hotels are in a fantastic position to contribute to recycling. Most of the waste consists of cardboard and food. Most hotels now share the importance with their staff about recycling and how to dispose of items thoughtfully. Since guests are more aware of this as well, hotels have been implementing recycling bins inside the room. They don't look much different and can suit any type of hotels. Not to mention that guests will love the initiative and will contribute to the effort.
3. Changing plastic for reusable or recyclable products
Gone are the days of abundant plastic water bottles and straws. Plastic takes around 1000 years to decompose and causes havoc pretty much everywhere. Hotels have now invested in metal or paper straws to combat this issue and are replacing plastic bottles with glass in the rooms. While metal straws can be pricey, they don't need to be thrown out and actually make your bar/hotel look a little more classy with this small touch, and best part, they don't hurt turtles!
4. Green Garden with veggies and herbs
So many great hotels are now building their own veggie gardens that are self sustainable and tasty. Guests absolutely love the idea of having part of their meal come directly from the garden to the plate. Having gardens on rooftops, or just out the back also creates a healthy
biodiversity and allows for great composting space from the hotel itself. It cuts costs on food, reduces waste, creates a new green environment and guests can taste the freshness of your dishes. What else could you want?
5. Reducing energy usage with special LED.
LED light bulbs are known as the most energy efficient bulbs to exsit. They have the longest lifespan ( lasting around 40 - 50 years ) and use the least energy. They do not contain harmful chemicals such as mercury or lead. Since the popularity of the LED has skyrocketed in American homes the price of bulb has reduced to about a 10th of what they used to be making them cost efficient as well. To put this in perspective an average household would
save around $10,000 for a 10 year period with LED. Can you imagine the savings in a hotel.
6. Support local Sustainable Businesses