It’s 2017, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and everyone is becoming evermore informed and concerned about the impact we have on the environment. That’s why it’s not hard to believe that 65% of global travellers expressed intent to stay at eco-friendly accommodation this year. That’s a large piece of the consumer pie you don’t want to miss out on!
Here are a few ways for your property to go green (and save money!) this year.
One of the most important steps you can take to become a greener business is to reduce waste. From complimentary toiletries to individually packaged condiments, the waste generated from a hotel property has a sizeable impact on the environment (and is difficult and expensive to dispose of!).
Try installing refillable shampoo and body wash pumps in bathrooms and cut down on those pesky plastic bottles filling up our landfills. Trade in salt and pepper packets for refillable pourers and replace plastic laundry bags with linen ones.
Look into partnering with organizations that can divert and repurpose your hotel’s waste. Always throwing away barely used soap from your guest rooms? Clean the World is a non-profit organization that collects used soap from hotels and recycles them for impoverished people around the globe.
Do your electricity bills feel exorbitant? Hotels can spend up to 10 percent of their revenue on energy, which means going green can offer your property huge annual savings. Changes you can make range from adjustments of simple habits to installing new systems, all while maintaining the comfort of your guest.
Swapping out regular light-bulbs for their energy-efficient alternatives is an easy step that can go a long way in conserving energy. Not to mention educating staff about eco-friendly habits like opening and closing drapes to reduce heating and turning off unused electronics.
Many properties are now using keycard systems in their rooms that require the guest’s access card in order to use lights and AC. This system cuts down on wasteful energy consumption and is responsible for massive reductions in their electricity bill.
Millions of liters of water are wasted by hotels each year. In a time when water scarcity has become a global problem, this is an important area for your property to address when going green.
Think about implementing a linen reuse program allowing guests to opt out of daily towel and linen changes. Less laundering reduces water and the energy required to heat it. Also consider installing low flow shower heads and faucets (which can reduce water usage by 30 percent) as well as water-efficient toilets (which can reduce water usage by 60 percent).
For more extreme changes to save water look into grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting programs.
Promote Green Activities
When planning your eco-friendly initiatives, it’s not just about what you can do as a business but also promoting green activities for your guests.
Why not include bicycles at your property for guest use? Also think about providing walking maps and public transportation information for attractions. You’ll be helping to reduce carbon emissions and your guests will have a more immersive experience exploring your local area.
Have you considered putting recycling bins in guest rooms? This will help with your waste reduction strategies and is a good way to show your customers your commitment to the environment.
Use a Cloud PMS
The type of management system you run also affects your property’s environmental impact. Management hardware requires the use of inefficient, on-site technology. But by switching to a cloud property management system (PMS) you can forgo the energy costs of running your own servers and cooling systems.
Certain features allowed by a cloud PMS further reduce your environmental impact. Save mountains of paper with the use of electronic signatures during check-in and minimize wasted energy by ensuring electronics are turned off immediately after checkout with mobile housekeeping reports.
Make a commitment to go green this year. Even small adjustments can have a big effect on the planet, save your property money, and are sure to be noticed by your environmentally conscious guests.