The hospitality industry is responsible for approximately 1% of all global carbon emissions – and customers are taking note. 68% of consumers view climate change as an emergency and, as a result, the demand for sustainable travel has grown.
Hotels that adopt eco-friendly practices and reduce their carbon footprint are deemed more attractive to 73% of tourists, who are prepared to spend 75% more per night in return.
But how do you balance the expectations of guests – and what they’re willing to pay – with effective sustainability practices that work towards real change?
Strategies that dominate the conversation
Mostcurrent sustainability efforts focus on reducing water and energy consumption, minimizing food waste, avoiding single-use items, and opting for locally sourced, organic products with recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
What they all have in common is that they can either be used to justify a rate increase, or represent a saving in cost. Here are a few examples:
- Use of green technology, such as solar panels, energy-efficient LED lights, and smart thermostats, to increase efficiency and minimize carbon emissions.
- Sustainable guest transportation, like hybrid or electric vehicles, as it’s supposed to be kinder to the environment and save on long-term fuel and maintenance costs.
- Water consumption control through water-efficient products like water-saving filters or shower heads.
- A shift from single-use plastic to reusable alternatives to offset the 200 gallons of plastic waste per room each month contributing to the 8 million pieces of plastic that enter our oceans daily.
- Use of organic and locally sourced products made with natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals. These eco-friendly products – from cleaning products to fragrances – are safer for guests and have a lower carbon footprint.
- Implementation of recycling programs that help manage waste properly and limit pollution.
- Food waste reduction initiatives,like sourcing food locally and food donation programs, can help minimize the 8% of greenhouse gas emissions caused by wasted food.
The million-dollar question is, how effective are these sustainability practices?