Sustainability In Hotels: 6 Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

As people become more and more aware of their environmental impact, travellers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Consequently, if you want your hotel to attract guests, it is essential that you embrace eco-friendly practices too.

The hotel industry currently contributes to around 1% of global carbon emissions. Big hotel chains, such as Marriott and IHG, have already started adopting sustainable practices. They’ve removed all single use toiletries from their hotels. Not only did this strategy save them millions of dollars, but it also improved their brand image in the eyes of their customers.  But what exactly makes a hotel sustainable?

A green hotel, that is, a hotel engaged in sustainable practices, are those that aim to reduce their carbon footprint. They implement eco-friendly practices in their hotels, both when it comes to their products and services.

Hotels should make an effort to be more environmentally conscious. Not only is this beneficial for the environment, but it will also save them money and raise their standing in front of customers. There are many ways to reduce the environmental impact of your hotel – continue reading to learn how you can join the sustainable movement.

1. Conducting A Sustainability Audit

The first thing that you need to do is find out how sustainable your business currently is. To that end, you’ll need to do a sustainability audit. You can do this by noting down how much waste is being generated by your business, and track its journey through to disposal. Keep note of water waste, energy consumption, and food and plastic waste.

Make sure to document any existing sustainability practices that your business has in place. Your audit can provide you with a clear understanding of how environmentally-friendly your organisation is at present, and allow for the formation of strategies that support further green initiatives.

2. Reducing Water Consumption

Guests will be able to manage their water consumption in the rooms, but it’s important that they understand why saving water is significant. Educate and inform them about sustainability by adding a discreet sign in each bathroom – encourage them to think of resourceful ways to use less water.

You can place notes near sinks and let people know that by switching off the faucet while brushing their teeth or washing their hands, they can save gallons of precious H2O. While they brush their teeth or soap their hands, ask them to keep the tap turned off. Sometimes it takes a bit of mindfulness to save water, and they’ll be sure to appreciate it.

To further reduce the amount of water being used in your hotel, consider installing low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets. Moreover, you can leverage technology to better manage water usage – some showerheads come with LED lights that show how much is flowing out; others release a combination of air and water for additional savings.

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3. Energy Conservation

Hotels end up using a lot of energy. But what if there were ways for you to save money on energy costs? Instead of using normal light bulbs, opt for LED lighting. These produce the same level of brightness, but at a lower cost. This is as you’re using less energy to run LED lightbulbs, and will save your hotel money in the long run. In addition to this, you can also consider installing light sensors and timers in hotel rooms so that

For maximum energy efficiency, installing smart thermostats is a must. Smart thermostats can also be used to cut down on heating or cooling costs; they adjust the temperature automatically depending on occupancy levels and room activity. This way, even if your guests forget to switch off the heating or cooling when they leave their room, it will take care of itself – saving you money and stress in the long run.

One of the most important ways to reduce your hotel’s environmental impact is to use renewable energy sources. Renewable energies such as solar and wind power are efficient, clean, and sustainable sources of energy that are much better for the environment than fossil fuels. Many hotels have already adopted this strategy, making it easier for customers to choose environmentally friendly hotels.

4. Waste Reduction And Recycling

Hotels generate an abundance of plastic and food waste, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Replace plastic straws with more sustainable options such as metal or glass ones, ditch those single-use toiletry bottles in the bathrooms for recyclable items, and say goodbye to disposable cutlery.

Additionally, install colour coded bins around your hotel that are specifically designated for different types of materials. Furthermore, adding a separate bin inside each room just for non-recyclables can further reduce waste from being sent to landfills.

When it comes to dealing with food waste, one way to help the environment is by composting. Composted food waste requires less energy to decompose and produces fewer greenhouse gases than un-composted food waste. Be sure to sort out your compostable items, and then you can use a local service provider to take care of it – or even consider doing it yourself!

When you’re running a hotel, dealing with a certain amount of food waste is unavoidable. Instead of focusing on short term waste reductions, think of how you can reduce plastic and food waste in your hotel over the long run. Uncover the startling amount of food carelessly tossed out each week and month. Instead of discarding it, donate those leftovers to charities that help feed people in need. You should also make a commitment to reduce waste by utilising companies who will collect your food scraps, bags, and other recyclable items from you.

5. Green Cleaning Practices

The cleaning products that your housekeeping staff uses should be environmentally friendly as well. Many cleaning products have harmful chemicals in them, which are dangerous for the environment. Make sure to check the ingredient list of the cleaning products, to ensure they are eco-friendly.

You can also save on costs and help the environment by using reusable cleaning cloths and mops instead of disposable materials. Reusable cloths can be washed, reducing the amount of waste created through single-use cleaning products.

Finally, provide your staff with training on how to recycle properly and dispose of chemicals responsibly. Educate them about how to conserve water, electricity and other resources. This will help to make sure that your staff are doing their part in helping the environment.

6. Educating Guests On Sustainable Practices

It’s your guests that are the main consumers of energy and water resources, in your hotel. This is why they should join you on your sustainability journey, and adopt green practices. Ask your guests to be mindful about how much energy and water they are using. Also ask them to separate their waste in your hotel.

You can also present your guests with various upselling deals and discounts that are ‘green’. For example, you can provide a free breakfast or plant a tree to mark their stay, for guests that don’t require daily rooms cleans. Or, you can sell a variety of eco-friendly services, such as bike rental or compost pick-up, at a discounted rate.

Taking steps to educate your guests on sustainable practices is essential in making sure everyone does their part for the environment. When you supply helpful information about sustainability that can be utilised both during and after a stay at your hotel, not only do you contribute to environmental awareness, but you may even enhance your standing as an eco-friendly establishment.

These are just a few of the ways that you can help make your hotel more sustainable. With the right policies in place, and a dedicated staff, you should be able to start seeing results soon. So, don’t wait any longer – get started on making your hotel greener today.

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About the author

Kendra, the Marketing Content Manager at Preno, brings her expertise in Marketing and Communications to help hoteliers stay ahead of the curve. With a deep passion for the industry, she is committed to providing valuable insights and strategies for success.

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