Posted on 11/01/2019 by Lukas James
Acting as a responsible steward of the earth is no longer a moral imperative, it increasingly makes good business sense as guests are expecting more from hospitality providers.
It’s not difficult to take steps towards increasing your environmental credentials and simple steps can make a big impact on margins.
Watch Your Waste
Along with being terrible for the environment, food waste has a major impact on the bottom line of hotels. The first step in combating this is to undertake a food waste audit so that measurable steps can be taken against to prevent the unnecessary production but and to have appropriate management plans to take care of any food waste generated.
With already slim margins in the industry, steps taken towards eliminating waste generally have a positive return on investment within the first year as wasteful patterns are identified and eliminated. Find out more on how to tackle food waste here.
Get Your Staff Involved
Having a strong commitment towards environmental issues from management is an important step in fostering a workplace that values and respects our environment. It is equally important to have your staff involved and invested in this process too, as any plans are only as robust as the front-line staff that execute them.
Wasteful and environmentally destructive patterns and habits are often the ‘easier’ way and it can take some training and time investment to make sure that everyone is working together on eco initiatives. Give your staff have ownership of the process by incentivising them to find creative ways to minimize waste and suggesting eco-friendly alternatives. AN example is to introduce an element of competition with departments awarded bonuses based on successful im or achievement of goals or in meeting particular reduction targets.
You can only change what you can measure so it’s important to conduct a thorough audit of where the most waste is being produced by your property. Track energy, water and food waste use monthly through an internal tracking system or through Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Getting complex data can be difficult so where possible, bring in an energy consultant to assist in this process.
A simple checklist could include:
Eliminate SIngle Use Items
Hotels are huge consumers of ‘stuff’ and some statistics report that packaging alone can account for up to 40% of a hotel’s waste stream. Some of the most unnecessary plastic usage in properties include sewing kits wrapped in plastic, glasses in the bathroom wrapped in plastic and tea bags wrapped in plastic but for a bigger impact, start looking at:
Let’s Talk About It
A 2013 survey of 1,300 U.S. travelers by TripAdvisor.com showed that nearly two-thirds of travelers often or always consider the environment when choosing hotels. It is an important issue for many many customers, but it needs to be carefully managed to make sure the message is clear for all guests.
By crafting a personal and meaningful message to guests, you can advise why you are taking this route, promoting the positive difference it can make and explaining how guests can support it. There’s a far higher likelihood that hotels can bring customers along on the journey with them and stimulate broader change.
Going green is not as hard as it may seem. With a coordinated effort, hotels can make a positive impact on the environment and their bottom lines, creating a happier and healthier world for all its inhabitants.
Photo by Gustavo Quepón
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