It was years ago when hotels started adopting sustainable policies and now it’s standard practice for them to use flooring that’s chemical free and to encourage you to re-use your bath towels and bedding. These were all good starting points. However, it’s during the past year that hotel sustainability has really hit its stride. The trend toward long-lasting sustainability has arrived.
Hotel Corporate Responsibility Trends
Hotel corporate responsibility is a major priority with many hotels adopting the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. They are also creating individual Sustainability departments within their organizations and hiring C level executives to oversee those efforts. The efforts not only save the hotel money, but they also attract guests who prefer staying in corporately responsible hotels. Initiatives include:
Waste management is being tackled in various ways like eliminating disposables in the company cafeteria, eliminating bottled water, and providing guests with recycling ideas. Hotels are also composting washroom paper-towels, training housekeepers on efficient sorting, and holding regular ‘green team’ staff meetings to encourage ideas from employees.
Energy consumption is also an area of improvement. Minimizing energy is possible through use of Energy Star appliances, utilizing energy rebates, using UV protection on windows, and contracting out laundry. During low season guests are appointed rooms on a limited number of floors so energy can be conserved on the unoccupied floors.
Minimizing food waste
Minimizing food waste is a no-brainer for conservation and a big money-saver for food and beverage departments. They are using Food Waste Audits that track what’s being thrown out, why it’s being thrown out, and how much is wasted. They’re adopting better first in, first out food inventory systems so food doesn’t spoil before it’s prepared. And they are also creating leftover plans, monitoring portion sizes, engaging their staff and of course, composting.
Green Sustainable Weddings
Weddings are almost as important to hotels as they are to the couple getting married. Couples often seek out hotels that offer sustainable options for their big day. For instance, outdoor weddings save air conditioning costs. Other practices include minimizing the use of plastics and buying locally sourced flowers, food, and wine. Other incentives to attract ‘green-sensitive’ couples involves efficient recycling of waste and re-using flowers.
Chemical-free pest extermination is also important to hotels, especially bed bug extermination. Hotels are training staff to recognize first signs. Then they are deep cleaning bedding and flooring and vacuuming thoroughly but instructed to dispose of debris before leaving that room. Other options are deep freezing with carbon dioxide and creating natural pesticides using tea tree oil (it’s toxic) or lavender oil.
Recent news headlines
Sustainable efforts by both large chains and independent hotels have drawn attention in the past few months. Here are a few recent headlines that made the news:
- IHG Announces Renovation Donation Initiative
- Hyatt pledges to hire 10,000 disadvantaged young people in hotels around the world
- Hilton Commits to Cutting Environmental Footprint in Half and Doubling Social Impact Investment
- The First Carbon-Neutral Hotel in the Caribbean Is in Aruba
- New IHG brand extends a sustainable invitation
Find Sustainable Hotels
If you’re interested in staying in hotels who take corporate responsibility seriously then check this list of hotel sustainability award winners spanning from 2007 to 2018. Green Hotelier also awards environmentally and socially responsible hotels.
And remember, you can find the perfect hotel by searching several travel search sites using Opptee.