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Five ways to make your hotel more sustainable

Posted On: 02/03/20 Posted by: Mark Barber

Eco-consciousness is on the rise in the hospitality industry. In recent years the growth of ecotourism has grown significantly as travellers search for sustainable and authentic experiences. Many hotels have embraced green initiatives and have taken steps to make their practices more sustainable.

According to Booking.com, 55% of travellers are more determined than ever to make the sustainable choice when booking hotels. These same people say there’s a lack of options for putting their good intentions into practice. This fact highlights the scale of the opportunity for hotel owners. Accor, Marriot, and Intercontinental have been working to improve the sustainability of their global operations for the best part of a decade.

Many Hotel groups are going green

Accor has improved its waste management policies, which has helped its properties reach an objective of reducing food waste in restaurants by 30% by 2020. While it has also focused on more sustainable transport options across many of its hotels, adding electric vehicle charging points to hotels across its portfolio of brands to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet of vehicles.

The Marriott Group has also installed electric vehicle charging points at a large portion of its hotels in support of its efforts to get LEED Certification at 142 of its properties. LEED is an internationally recognised endorsement that verifies a company’s attempt to improve performance across metrics like energy saving, water efficiency, and CO2 emissions: characteristics that corporate clients look for when choosing places to stay.

In its battle to fight single-use plastic, Intercontinental has committed to removing mini plastic toiletries from guest rooms across its portfolio of hotel brands. The company says the change will remove over 200 million single-use plastic bottles from its operation per year.

Similarly, hotels across the world have installed Purezza systems as hospitality groups seek to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic bottles and packaging.

Purezza still water served in re-usable glass purezza bottles

Five ways your hotel can become more sustainable

Almost three-quarters of travellers want to stay in an eco-friendly hotel at least once in the coming year. Here are five eco-centric practices you can introduce to make your operation more sustainable.

1. Provide alternatives to bottled water

Three resources that have a major impact both on the environment and hotel costs are water, waste, and energy. Therefore, incorporating eco-friendly initiatives can not only be beneficial for the environment but also for the profitability of hotels. Hotels are now moving away from offering single-use bottled water to guests as standard. Instead, major brands, including Hyatt, are offering filtered water dispensers, carafes, and refillable bottles conveniently located in restaurants, bars, conferencing and meeting facilities — even poolside.

2. Prioritise ethical practices

Research shows that more than half of consumers are willing to pay more for services provided by companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

You can inspire your employees to act ethically by encouraging them to take a course in hospitality ethics, by hosting fundraisers, or by running not-for-profit initiatives that benefit the local area.

3. Source food from local suppliers

Food production accounts for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting local sourcing practices, not only reduces the carbon footprint of food production by 7%, it also minimises the need for plastic packaging and reduces transport costs. Purezza water dispensing systems use locally sourced water, which is bottled on-site and offered to guests. This eliminates the need to import expensive, single-use bottled water from overseas.

In 2016, Accor Hotels committed to planting 1,000 urban vegetable gardens by the end of 2020. Produce from its existing vegetable patches now makes up 30% of its hotel menus, while a further 50% comes from local suppliers.

local farmer holding a create of local produce fruit and vegetables

4. Use less energy without compromising the customer experience

Hotels are a 24-hour operation and use a lot of energy. However, venues are now working tirelessly to reduce energy use, all-the-while retaining the quality of the guest experience. Initiatives include using energy-producing elevators and heat-recovery chillers that use excess warmth to produce hot water. Hotels across the UK, including Hiltons, Novotel’s and Premier Inns, have switched to low-energy LED lighting: an aspect that has a significant positive environmental impact without compromising the quality of the customer experience.

A simple switch to near-waterless laundry systems could reduce the water usage of your laundry operation by up to 80%. If you replace showers, faucets, and toilets with low-flow alternatives, you could reduce the water usage of most fixtures by between 30% and 50%.

5. Reuse and recycle to reduce waste

The typical hotel guest produces roughly 1kg of waste per night. As a result, recycling programs have become the norm in hotels, with everything from morning newspapers to room-service food and beverage containers being recovered.

Premier Inns and Restaurants became zero waste to landfill by offering colour-coded recycling units, coupled with a plan to improve the collection and recycling of nearly every object used at the properties. By the end of 2019, Purezza had helped remove almost 40 million single-use bottles from the hospitality supply chain.

Woman holding a green recycling box containing cardboard paper and other recyclable materials

Sustainable practices can improve your bottom line

Nearly two-thirds of travellers prefer to stay in accommodation that can prove its eco-credentials. Including sustainable practices in your operations can improve occupancy as travellers seek more environmentally friendly options, as well as boost your bottom line.

Reduced water usage, lower energy consumption and less waste sent to landfill each translates into lower overall costs — with such actions quickly paying for themselves by offering an average return on investment of anywhere between 25% to 50%.

How your hotel can become more sustainable today

For a simple way to kick start your push into being more sustainable, consider a Purezza water dispensing system.

You can find Purezza in over 8,000 venues across North America, Europe, and Australia. Purezza helps hotels differentiate themselves with a range of sustainable solutions that provide premium-quality still or sparkling water, all while reducing your carbon footprint as you help eliminate single-use plastic from the hospitality sector. Our systems suit all areas of a hotel, including the restaurant, bars, conference areas, guest rooms, even public spaces such as the poolside.

Get started with your Purezza system today, contact us now.