The hospitality sector is historically considered to be one that has a negative impact on the environment. This is due to excessive energy and water consumption, use of consumable and durable goods, along with significant solid and hazardous waste creation. Hotels consume vast amounts of energy from heating, lighting, fuel, and other power needs. Water is used in large quantities for guest bathrooms and showers, as well as other general operations (cleaning, and maintenance). Waste is generated through the disposal of paper, batteries, bulbs, furniture, equipment, appliances and much more.
There is a widely held belief that a green operation is more expensive and that guests are not interested in sustainability. In fact, the reverse is true. Recent advances in technology related to renewable sources of energy (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.) have improved the economics of using alternative energies even for smaller businesses.
Hospitality is beginning to understand that they can provide an enhanced guest experience by integrating natural elements, there has been an evolution in “green thought” in the community. There are six factors to consider if the hospitality sector wishes to become truly sustainable:
1 Cost Savings
Cost is always a driving factor and reducing operating costs provides a compelling incentive for hoteliers. Cost reduction and efficiency strategies can be achieved by investing in better operational procedures and emerging environmental technologies.
Many hotels now employ a variety of strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Other areas to consider include sustainable procurement, indoor environmental quality (focusing on air quality and chemical/cleaning product use), and employee training programs, which can also facilitate improved performance and higher levels of employee satisfaction/retention.
2 Economic Incentives
Our government has enacted a variety of economic incentives to encourage the development of environmental retrofits and the construction of ‘green’ buildings.
3 Regulatory Changes
Current environmental regulations targeted toward the hotel sector are largely focused on facility operations. However, a wide range of current and future legislative activities will continue to impact both directly and indirectly, on hotel design, construction methods and operational approaches etc.
4 Guest Experience
A greater number of hoteliers understand that investments in environmental technology can have a direct positive impact on guest experience. More than ever, guests are looking at hospitality sustainability credentials.
5 Corporate Brand Image
Adopting a sustainable culture can provide a distinct advantage in terms of attracting and retaining talent and customers. Sustainability—and a company’s commitment to it—is top of mind for employees and customers.
6 Business Sustainability
Most major hotel brands have incorporated some level of sustainability platform into their brand definition. But companies really need to put their plans into action and make sure it’s just not greenwashing.
By 2025, climate-risk assessments will be mandatory for listed companies, large private businesses, and the financial services sector. Becoming sustainable has the potential not only to positively impact the ability to secure investment and your bottom line, it’s also pivotal to brand reputation.
If you are thinking about where to start your sustainable journey, please give us a call and together we will put sustainability at the very heart of your business.