5 Ways to Make Your Hospitality Business More Environmentally-Friendly
Before the pandemic, tourism was growing rapidly. While this benefitted hospitality businesses with increased revenue and created more employment opportunities, it left a bigger carbon footprint and negatively impacted the environment. According to the Nature Climate Change Journal, the tourism industry was responsible for 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally during 2018.
How can we tackle this environmental problem in the hospitality industry?
All promonent hotel companies including Marriott, Accor, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group have policies in place to decrease their negative impact on the environment, including the reduction of water wastage, energy conservation and lowering their carbon footprint. Hospitality businesses should plan initiatives that will help to decrease the negative effect on the environment.
The following five tips will assist businesses in advocating for environmental responsibility.
1. Encourage Guests to Be More Environmentally Conscious
Promoting sustainable travel, such as renting bicycles or car share will help to decrease the carbon footprint. BrewDog Hotel in Edinburgh offers free Brompton bike hire to their guests. Hotels should encourage guests to turn off the lights when they leave and re-use their towels when possible. Also, having recycling bins around and signs to advocate for "going green" can inspire guests to make an effort towards benefitting the environment.
2. Decrease Food Waste
There are many methods to reduce the amount of food thrown away. This includes storing food correctly at the right temperature, avoiding the purchase of too much stock and keeping a waste log. Restuarants can also partner with a local food bank to further decrease the amount of food they are throwing away, or register with an app that connects businesses who have surplus food to members of the public, such as Too Good To Go. La Suite West Hotel in London is registered with this app and frequently gives out "Magic Bags" filled with surplus food.
Your business can register for Too Good To Go here: https://toogoodtogo.org/en
3. Save Water
Each year, hospitality operators throw away more than 30 million (or 2,000 tonnes) of textile items, with most discarded sheets, duvet covers, pillow cases and towels ending up in a landfill or incinerators. It is important for businesses to carry out a water audit in order to identify where the major areas for improvement are, Adapting the businesses objectives to include a water saving goal will encourage employees to undertake more water-saving initiatives. This includes running dishwashers sparingly in the kitchen, installing dual-flush toilets in bathrooms, and investing in energy-efficient washing machines to wash laundry. Textile Service Association (TSA)'s Hygienically Clean Linen campaign offers laundry that is both sustainable and sanitary
4. Provide Training
Fifty Shades Greener is a leading environmental education company providing training programmes for the hospitality industry. Founder Raquel Noboa emphasises the importance of providing training for waste reduction and efficiency. "One of the most important aspects of a Green Programme is a strong, united team that works towards a common goal and follows a detailed action plan. Environmental sustainability is not just "the nice thing to do", it is "the smart thing to do"; it will save you money and build trust amongst potential customers, the community and your team."
5. Install Energy Saving Technology
About 75% of the negative environmental impact by hospitality businesses is due to excessive consumption. If budgets allow, businesses can save energy by installing energy-efficient appliances, such as A-rated fridges that use 40% less energy on average than other models. A Brutalist building in Connecticut has been reconstructed to produce zero emission by providing its own electricity, heat and hot water.
Being environmentally conscious as a business will encourage guests to act in a responsible way.
The hospitality industry is recovering after being hit hard by the pandemic, and it is likely to get a lot busier in the next year. This means that businesses should enforce initiatives to tackle this challenge and the environmentally-conscious culture should become widespread in the hospitality industry and guests worldwide.