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How hotels can prepare for an environmentally conscious future

How hotels can prepare for an environmentally conscious future
How hotels can prepare for an environmentally conscious future

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The following post is by Tom Spillane, Vice President of Engineering Excellence at Vivreau. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

In recent years, the issue of sustainability has become increasingly important in the hotel industry, due to increased environmental awareness among hoteliers and changing consumer behavior.

According to Booking.com’s latest Sustainable Travel Report, 67% of travelers prefer Accommodations with consistent sustainability certification or labels. More Studies confirm this findingand noted that sustainable practices have been shown to have a positive impact on guests’ willingness to pay and their intention to revisit a particular hotel.

This increasing demand underscores the urgent need for hotels to step up their sustainability efforts, not only to meet the expectations of environmentally conscious guests, but also to reduce their ecological footprint.

One way to achieve this is through water management, which has become a major issue in recent years, especially in water-scarce destinations. Cities such as Cape Town in South Africa, São Paulo in Brazil and Chennai in India have had to ration water to protect their scarce resources, and hotels are contributing significantly to this problem, according to the World Sustainability Hospitality Alliance. The average hotel in these regions was found that they use more water daily than the local population.

In order to protect the environment and not contribute to its destruction, the hotel and catering industry must develop further in this area – and beyond – in order to conserve resources.

Reduce plastic waste in hotels

Hotels’ leading sustainability efforts focus on three key pillars: promoting reusable amenities, eliminating single-use items, and educating guests and staff.

Hotels can significantly reduce plastic waste by encouraging guests to use refillable dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. These dispensers not only reduce the number of small plastic bottles ending up in landfills, but also simplify inventory management for hotel staff. Additionally, providing reusable water bottles in guest rooms and installing refill stations throughout the hotel can effectively eliminate the need for single-use plastic water bottles. This approach not only reduces waste but also provides convenience for guests, who can easily refill their bottles during their stay, encouraging a culture of reuse.

Replacing plastic straws with paper or reusable alternatives and choosing wooden or metal cutlery instead of plastic can also have a significant impact. These alternatives offer a durable and eco-friendly option that can be reused multiple times. By making these changes, hotels can significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic that contributes to pollution.

Additionally, opting for compostable containers for takeaway meals instead of plastic containers is an effective strategy for reducing plastic waste. Compostable containers decompose naturally and do not release harmful chemicals into the environment. This switch not only meets environmental goals, but also resonates well with guests who are increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint.

Strategically placed informational signs throughout the hotel can promote a sense of responsibility and awareness of the impact of plastic waste. From bathrooms to common areas to elevators, these areas remind guests to embrace sustainability by using refillable toiletries and reusable bottles.

In addition, training staff to minimize plastic use in daily operations is critical to a successful sustainability program. Staff should be familiar with the hotel’s eco-friendly practices and be able to help guests maintain those standards. Regular training and workshops can keep staff up to date with the latest sustainability trends and practices and ensure that the hotel’s commitment to reducing plastic waste is consistently maintained.

By involving both guests and employees in these efforts, hotels can develop a coherent and effective strategy to reduce their environmental impact.

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