“Going green” has never been more important for hospitality, and the role of hoteliers as carbon enablers means they have a responsibility to do more to reduce their establishments’ environmental impact.
The good news is that doing so is both financially viable and not as hard to achieve as one might think. According to a new report just published by Mews, cutting waste goes hand-in-hand with savings, while the demand for eco travel among guests continues to skyrocket. The Green Hotel of the Future explores seven key areas where you can become more sustainable without making dramatic changes to your property.
The guide to going green explains how to embrace sustainable hospitality and provides practical tips and advice across seven key areas, helping hoteliers to take concrete steps to reduce waste and energy use, as well as rethink certain processes. The seven areas are:
- Going paperless
- Energy and water efficiency
- Single use plastics and other waste
- Food and beverage
- Eco-friendly products
- Supporting good causes
They also get some inspiration from hoteliers around the world, as Mews looks at what some eco hotels are already doing to operate sustainably. Furthermore, there are plenty of hotel tech integrations that make it easier to go green, and this guide explores some of the best.
Example: Rethinking food and beverage
When it comes to F&B, these two areas should give food for thought: waste and provenance. Let’s start with waste. Almost half of all food served at hotels is wasted, and on average, food waste makes up 28% of a hotel’s total waste. These are not small figures.
Breakfast buffets are one of the biggest culprits. In Germany, a study found that 45% of food waste in hospitality is generated by buffets. Switching to an order-based system will reduce waste, but if you’re intent on keeping the buffet, studies have shown that actively measuring and monitoring food waste is a vital first step into detecting bad habits and devising prevention measures. Purely by understanding how and where waste happens, staff will begin to naturally change certain behaviours. Of course, measuring waste also tells you if you’re ordering too much. If 30% of your buffet food is thrown away, could you reduce your order by a similar amount?
The next question to ask yourself is: where is your food coming from? Are your suppliers local and sustainable, and do they provide organic produce? Not only does this help your community, it means that ingredients are fresher, with less carbon spent transporting them. And it’s also a great selling point. Guests are increasingly interested in sampling local cuisine, so you’re likely to see greater uptake in your restaurant and bar.
When it comes to food efficiency, companies like Oddbox have become popular in offices, providing fruit that would otherwise have been discarded, thus helping to reduce water and carbon waste. Could you do something similar for your staff?
Regardless of your own food tastes, make sure you provide varied vegetarian and vegan options. Meat-free diets are increasing in popularity, particularly across the western world. It’s estimated that 13 million Brits will be meat-free by the end of 2021 – that’s almost 20% of the UK population. If you want to be taken seriously as an eco-hotel, your menu needs to reflect sustainable dining choices.
PHOTO – TOP OF PAGE – Regatta SPA Hotel, Torikatu, Hanko, Finlandia, by Henar Langa / Unsplash