7 Ways Hotels Can Reduce Their Impact On The Environment

The growing concerns over environmental sustainability and ‘eco-friendly travellers’ is gradually pushing hospitality providers to adopt green principles in service delivery. A recent survey from PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) reports that 519 out of 721 surveyed hotels businesses (across 21 countries) include ‘sustainable development goals’ in their annual corporate reports.

Although most hospitality businesses embrace eco-friendly development goals due to the massive publicity it brings, there is more to it. Taking concrete measures and integrating these sustainability goals remains dubious, the PwC report identifies.

There are however great benefits of embracing sustainability goals and integrating into the core strategy of a hotel business. For instance, Marriott International mentions eco-friendliness (serving our world) as one of their five core values:

Benefits of Adopting Sustainable Development Goals

There are numerous benefits of going green in the hospitality industry. Verdemode detail some interesting insights on the effects of hotels on the environment in their remarkable infographic,

here are some amazing highlights from their article (all data is for US hotels):

  • Hotels create CO2 emissions equal to 19 volcanic eruptions, thats close to 60 million tonnes/year
  • Hotels have energy spending that surpass $7.5 billion
  • Hotels create 1.9 billion lbs. of waste each year
  • Hotels use over 219 billion gallons of water per year   

So what are the benefits gained from going green for US hotels?

Eco-friendly hotels can reduce 50%-75% waste, saving hotel owners millions of dollars in disposal costs. Using green energy sources can also reduce energy costs by 10%, which when aggregated to the entire industry can lead to savings of 8.5 kilowatts per year.

Eco friendly hotel design can also save 66 billion gallons of water per year. In addition, eco friendly hotels can reduce the carbon footprint of hospitality providers by 10%.

7 Ways Hotels Can Reduce Their Impact on the Environment

Now that we know how sustainable goals can affect the impact on the environment, let’s quickly have a look at seven way how to reduce this impact.

Using Green Energy Sources

Just in case you were wondering, there isn’t just one or two ways to generate energy for hotels. Leading US renewable energy providers are now offering a variety of technologies combined with conventional ones, offering hospitality providers several cost-effective solutions.

Some popular ones include:

  • Biomass
  • CHP – Combined heating & power
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Solar Photo Voltaic Electricity
  • Solar Thermal Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Micro Hydro Power
  • Deep Water Cooling

Reduce Plastic Waste

A great way for hotels to be friendlier with the environment is by reducing their plastic waste. Everything from plastic bags & covers, cutlery, soap & shampoo bottles, straws, stirrers and other guest essentials lead to massive plastic waste that takes more than a century to decompose.

Reducing this plastic waste footprint is not just brilliant for the environment but also cost effective for the hotel owner. For instance, Marriott informed in a corporate press release that they will completely remove plastic straws and stirrers from over 6500 properties.

The sad aspect of plastic is that it can practically last forever, and, most recycled plastic doesn’t necessarily gets recycled.  

Reducing Energy Consumption

Reducing overall energy consumption across the hotel is not just great for business, but an excellent way to improve the brand image. Most eco-friendly hotels reduce energy costs by conducting all power intensive activities during daylight hours. Similarly installing efflorescent LED light bulbs, using energy star compliant appliances, and ventilation systems can significantly reduce energy costs.

Reducing the number of high consumption appliances & electronics in your hotel will reduce power consumption, and the carbon emissions from your property. A lot of hotels are now deploying occupancy sensors to only power rooms that have guests in them.

Waste Management

Ever since the concept of eco-hotels went mainstream, several global hospitality brands are now participating in waste management programs, even incorporating it into their corporate guidelines.  

A small number of US hotels have already started ‘composting’ waste on their own properties. To compost means allowing organic waste to decompose and become a ‘nutritious conditioner’ for gardens & soil. Many hotels also have partnerships with waste depots, where organic waste is sent out to compost for community gardens and parks.

Use Recycled Products & Food

Eco-friendly hotels have strategic partnerships with vendors who provide them with only recycled toiletries, stationary, bags, linen, and other everyday consumables. Green vendors usually offer a variety of biodegradable products including cutlery, soaps & shampoos, bags, tissues etc. especially made for hotel guests and waste management programes.

Another great idea for hotels is to source food from local producers. Buying local food is an excellent idea because its fresh and is from the local environment. It supports the local food industry, and avoids unnecessary economic costs of sourcing food from international suppliers.

Conserve Water Everywhere

Considering the facts that water is the element that brings life and that its scarce, makes its conservation a high priority. Installing tank fill diverters in toilets, low-water consuming laundry machines, low flow showers, sink aerators etc. can all save on water wastage in routine operations.

A great way for hotels to conserve water is by conducting routine water audits. This can provide hotels with real time data to act on areas where water is being wasted, identifying both water and costs savings.

Hotels with swimming pools should also be proactive, since they can increase waste by up to 10%. To avoid unnecessary water waste, your management should conduct regular maintenance of swimming pools to check for leaks. Water drained from swimming pools can be recycled and reused, so look for ways to recapture the water. The use of push button showers is also great to save water waste in pool areas.

Charity Begins at Home

Being green demands you take bold steps as a hotel owner and as an employer. When you implement new eco friendly technologies, train your staff about green hotel best practices and the purpose of having a waste management strategy.

Teach them to adopt good habits that will make a difference to the environment and their hygiene. Apart from the cost savings, you will notice better employee morale and a green friendly work environment. Employees associated with power generation, swimming pool amenities, and I.T. systems should be continuously trained to ensure minimal resource wastage.   

See You Again Soon

We hope you liked our 7 ways hotels can be more friendlier with the environment. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments section below. In case we discover something really interesting we will update the article immediately.

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