We want to be sustainable for a lot of obvious reasons.
Sustainability saves us money by reducing spending and waste. It helps our environment. And it also gives us a public relations advantage over competing operations that don't care about efforts to be "green". But there's another important reason for hotels and the hospitality industry to embrace sustainability.
No matter where you look in food and beverage, travel and tourism, or hotels and hospitality, there's one common theme of which everyone should be aware.
Millennials are gaining spending power, and they're driving the current trends.
One of those trends? Millennials are demanding sustainability on their vacations. They are driving the ever-expanding ecotourism boom. And they want hotels that embrace green and sustainable practices.
"Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues, and expect brands to not only manage their impact but communicate it," Diana Verde Nieto, co-founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, said in a recent article.
Need more proof?
Credit Suisse issued their 2017 Global Investor report, and it states that "companies must deliver good social and environmental performance and engage in sustainable practices or their future growth could be at risk."
So if we all agree that sustainability is good for cost savings, for the environment, for the positive PR, and to entice a growing demographic, then what can hotels do to engage in these efforts?
How to Make Your Hotel More Sustainable
REUSE AND RECYCLE.
One of the easiest ways to start -- and the one thing environmentally conscious people look for over just about anything -- is the ability to recycle and reuse. There's nothing worse for a recycling-happy hotel guest to have to throw a soda can into the trash.
In addition, towel and sheet reuse programs let guests know you're serious about conserving resources like water and energy. Of course, conserving these things is also more cost efficient.
Training is a critical part of any sustainability efforts, because at the end of the day, it's people who will have to enact the policies. Teach staff members to turn off lights. Encourage housekeeping to dispose of trash in the right receptacles. And make sure everyone is on board with the overall sustainability efforts of your property.
GO WITH VENDORS WHO GO GREEN.
Finally, the products you use in your hotel will directly impact the overall sustainability efforts of the operation. From commercial refrigeration that cuts down on refrigerant and energy use to buying locally sourced ingredients from a regional farmer, and from selecting socially conscious porcelain to getting rid of linens and using alternatives on a buffet line, the purchasing department has a lot of say into how "green" the operation will be.
Many vendors will carry certifications as to their own commitments to sustainability, so check into how products are manufactured.
Would you like to learn more about ways to enhance the green initiatives in your hotel or hospitality business? Check out the BauscherHepp Design Guide to see our socially conscious and environmentally friendly resources.