Every hotel property faces different challenges. A business model that works for one establishment might not go over well for its competitor across the street. Even so, developing a model for sustainable hotels has become more critical than ever.
Consumers want to support brands that value their eco-friendly lifestyles. They won’t book rooms at properties that increase their carbon footprint. Hoteliers can use the following ideas to make their properties more sustainable, even if they’re already up and running.
Establish a Recycling Program
Current procedures might prevent a hotel from developing and maintaining new sustainable guidelines. Hotel properties produce garbage in guest rooms and on-site amenities, so management teams might look into starting a recycling program to create a greener business future.
On average, hotel guests throw out 2 pounds of trash each day, so recycling would keep a significant amount of that out of local landfills. Recycling companies could even offer on-site pickup for an easy alternative to current waste procedures.
Start From Scratch
Hoteliers looking to build a sustainable property or start major renovations should evaluate building materials. There are always other options to the traditional plastics and wood varieties that would otherwise add to global pollution.
Bryce Canyon Lodge is one venue that updated its roof to sustainable materials once the original showed signs of aging. The simple switch used fire-treated cedar shingles in place of standard roofing materials because cedar is an easily renewable natural resource that still performs remarkably well.
Hoteliers replace their carpeting almost as often as their roofing. When it comes time to look into new carpets, search for eco-friendly alternatives that use organic cotton or bamboo fibers. As long as the rug is biodegradable and made without pesticides, it’s more sustainable than the name-brand versions that typically line hotel floors.
Make Short-Term Changes
It may take time to create a new sustainable hotel model, so hoteliers can start with short-term changes to make an immediate positive impact. Invest in water-efficient washing machines and demonstrate the difference for future guests. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that hotels use 15% of all water consumed by American commercial and institutional facilities. Cutting back on water usage saves that natural resource and empowers guests to contribute without limiting their fresh towels or laundry access.
Installing energy-efficient lightbulbs is another quick fix. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs cost more than traditional incandescents, but they use less energy and last longer. Environmentally concerned guests who read about this new change on a hotel’s website will be more likely to book. They don’t want to hurt the planet while they’re away from their smart plugs or lighting features at home.
Plan for Future Conservation
Developing a model for sustainable hotels should be an ongoing effort long past the initial startup or installation. Guests want to book rooms and return to properties that keep up with their green efforts. After hoteliers decide what will fit into their annual budget, the solution to going green becomes clear.
About the Author
Are Morch provides social media consulting for hotels and resorts. He works closely with hotels to create social media strategies that fit their needs and properties. Through social media, hotel blogging and hotel communities, Are identifies the values that will make your hotel’s performance stand out. He helps hotels build a social media foundation that impacts occupancy and revenue, and makes the social media tasks for your hotel easier.