Eco-friendly hotels are expected now
Hotels and resorts have been going green for years, but what used to be a trend is now an expectation for eco-friendly travelers.
Sustainable hospitality does less harm to the environment, lowers costs, and garners goodwill from guests.
Hotels must continue investing in green infrastructure to stay current with traveler expectations.
Google clearly recognized these green-driven user searches and recently launched a feature on their hotel search engine for travelers seeking accommodations utilizing sustainable practices.
Google’s designated ‘green leaf’ tag identifies hotels that are “eco-certified.”*
Here are some suggestions on how to make your accommodations more eco-friendly by reducing waste and water usage, sourcing locally produced products, and energy conservation initiatives necessary for sustainability.
See link on Google requirements to be “eco-certified.”
Energy consumption affects revenue management, plain and simple. Common energy efficiency practices include:
- Digital thermostats in the guest rooms
- LED light bulbs
- Daylighting/Occupancy sensors, in rooms and in common areas
Cut down on single-use plastic:
- To reduce the use of plastic water bottles consider offering reusable branded bottles to hotel reward program members.
- Add a water-bottle filling station in your lobby.
- Many hotels are phasing out disposable plastic toiletries altogether. Consider installing refillable toiletry options for shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc.
- Create signs encouraging towel and linen reuse.
- Save on laundry use by installing additional towel racks in bathrooms to make it easy for guests to reuse towels.
- Implement slow-flow showerheads and more efficient laundry machines.
Food & Beverage
- Consider menus with more vegetarian, vegan, or meat alternatives.
- Build relationships with local vendors for consumables.
- Replace single portions of cereal, yogurt, and jam at your breakfast bar with glass containers.
- Incorporate reusable dishes, silverware, glasses, and mugs and cut down on the use of straws, plastic serving ware, and paper plates.
These efforts will lower supply costs and waste management.
Invest in green infrastructure
Consider infrastructure for long-term sustainability:
- Solar panel installations will often include up to 30% tax credits while lowering energy bills by 35% – 45%.
- Energy Star-rated heating and cooling systems will also increase energy savings.
- Geothermal cooling towers are worth research and consideration for your property.
- Water recovery and recycling systems are sustainable for years.
Consider recycling bins in guest rooms and compost bins in Food & Beverage areas.
Encourage guests to minimize their environmental impact by skipping housekeeping service in exchange for hotel credit or loyalty points.
*To receive an eco-certified badge, hotels must contact a globally recognized and reputable agency to conduct an on-site audit of the hotel’s sustainability practices. The evaluation must focus on environmental impact from at least four categories: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and sustainable sourcing.