Sustainability is one of the most important issues right now. Have you seen those crazy floods and fires all over the world? Global warming is real, and it's giving us a little preview of what's to come if we don't make any changes.
For decades we've known we must take steps as a society to help protect our planet. The global atmosphere is already 1.2C warmer than the preindustrial average. And if you remember, ideally we want it to stay under 1.5C. So, we're really reaching our limits.
Sustainability is equally as important for the hospitality industry. Nobody wants to see beaches covered in plastic bottles, seas with no fish or coral reefs, nor ski resorts without snow! Well, at least I don't... So, if you want to know why hospitality should and can be sustainable, keep reading to find out!
The Impact of Hospitality on the Environment
The hospitality industry is one of the oldest industries known in the world. And throughout those hundreds and hundreds of years, it impacted the environment in many ways. Mainly through water and energy consumption, single-use goods and harmful waste creation. And the Covid-19 pandemic hasn't helped that either.
The pandemic pushed the health security of employees and guests to the forefront. So, disposable masks, menus, cups etc., were widely used to keep everyone as safe as possible. However, now that we're seeing things slowly come back to 'normal', it's time to think about making that comeback more sustainable. But, why? Okay, I'll tell you...
Why Should Hospitality Make Sustainable Changes?
Well, we should ALL take part in making sustainable changes in our lives. Nevertheless, hospitality as an industry can do so much more.
Everything we do has an impact. And not just for the next couple of years. More like a couple of decades. Roman Krznaric, in his book "The Good Ancestor", mentions Native American groups that don't make decisions without thinking of the consequences for the 7th generation.
Maybe we should all start thinking this way? As an industry, hospitality can set an example for future businesses and other sectors. So, let's be the change we want to see!
Considering Conscious Consumerism
If you haven't heard, conscious consumerism is in! From dining to travel and tourism - eco-friendly accommodations and sustainable hospitality have quickly become the trend.
Millennials are driving this trend by demanding sustainability even on their vacation. They are more likely to support brands that really care for the environment and want to be 'green'. Plus, it's a great way to market your business and attract that clientele.
Forget the myths that being sustainable = expensive. Did you know that by saving the planet you can also save money? Well, you do now! For example, you can cut down costs by lowering your water usage or installing solar panels. And like I said before, it gives your PR team an advantage over your competition! But please don't just SAY you're 'green', make actual sustainable changes within your business. In the end, nobody likes a liar or a cheater.
Make Sustainability Part Hospitality
If I convinced you to take the next step in becoming sustainable - thank you. On behalf of all humanity and our lovely planet Earth, thank you! I'll now give you a couple of ways you can make that change.
Minimise Water Usage
As I've already mentioned, cut the costs by cutting how much water you waste! From the kitchen to housekeeping, there's always a way to use less water.
- Put signs in hotel rooms to encourage guests to use less water
- Use dishwasher pre-rinse to avoid rinsing them under the tap
- Use rainwater harvesting
- Plant drought-resisting plants to minimise watering the lawn
And so much more!
Say No To Plastic Products
Where you can - avoid using plastic. There are many fun and interesting ways to substitute them. Plus, it will give your place a classy and chic look too! So, where can you stop using plastic?
- Get rid of disposable shampoo bottles
- Start using eco-friendly cleaning supplies
- Stop using plastic cups and water bottles, use glass instead
- No more plastic bags, offer paper and tote bags
Honestly, there are so many ways you can stop using plastic the list would get too long. So, take these 3 suggestions as an inspiration and look for more yourself.
No More Wasting Food
Okay, SOME food waste is unpreventable. However, it doesn't mean you can't take steps to minimise it.
- Talk to your chefs and ask them if there's a way they can come up with zero-waste menus
- Figure out where most of the food waste comes from and start there
- Consider growing your own produce or sourcing food locally
So, get creative and hear everyone's ideas.
Monitor Your Carbon Emissions
Did you know that hotel emissions account for 1% or all carbon waste and is said to increase? And on top of that, hotels have to reduce carbon emissions by 66% per room by 2030. Do want to know how? Okay, here are some tips.
- Turn of air conditioning for unoccupied rooms
- Hire a professional to conduct a conduit an energy audit
Again, these are just a few ideas. If you consult professionals they will be able to give you the best recommendations. Not only will you become sustainable but will also reduce operating costs!
Sustainability should be at the forefront of all businesses - hospitality included. Our future is at stake here so we must act now before it's too late. Luckily, sustainability is becoming more trendy and people are more conscious of the impact we have on the environment. So, if you want to share your knowledge and educate others, look at the hospitality vacancies we have on our website and shake things up!