Hoteliers are always on the lookout to amend their practices according to guest demand, and in recent years an increasing number of guest prospects are choosing to make environmentally conscious choices.
Hoteliers see many benefits to going green, the two biggest ones being budget-saving on utilities, and of course the chance to label yourself as a green hotel. But achieving sustainability in a business is a multifaceted endeavour, and with budgets being cut short this last year, many hoteliers might feel put off the idea itself.
Going green however does not always need to cost a fortune, here are 6 sustainability tips you can try to get you started on your road to becoming a green hotel:
- Bring Your Staff on Board
- Your staff is going to be the real engine behind any change you implement. If you wish to go green, they need to understand the importance of the cause you are championing and how it is meant to improve life not just for your guests but for the community as a whole.
- Few cities can boast a perfectly balanced ecosystem and no general environmental issues whatsoever. Take account of all the most current problems your city is facing, and emphasise how your establishment is currently adding to the problem.
- Read more: GreenStar | Carbon Neutrality and Investing in The Future Of Hospitality
- Your staff will likely begin to chime in, blaming city officials or systemic issues that have been plaguing your city for far longer: high traffic, air pollution, large chain stores killing small businesses, and so on. Everyone has a grievance and by allowing them to voice it, you are allowing them the chance to empathise with your cause.
- It will be easier to ask them to amend their practices and know that they would follow through:
- Compost effectively – the compost is used to fertilise the city’s parks;
- Exchange cleaning materials with eco-friendly ones – less risk to their health and to that of the guests;
- Involve guests in maintaining suite hygiene – your cleaning staff will have to spend less time to completely ready a room;
- Put in a self-check-in kiosk – fewer crowds at the front desk, less paper wastage, fewer grumpier staff and guests all around;
- As long as you involve your staff in the process of change, and presented as something that directly benefits them, the change will be implemented with much greater ease and far more effectively throughout your establishment.
- Involve Local Vendors
- Imported goods effectively drive up your hotel’s environmental footprint. Yes, you might pick them up from your local mart, but many of these items came from overseas or at least from across your borders.
- It would be impossible to expect of you to give up lucrative partnerships in favour of local flavour, but you don’t really have to. Many of the changes that would involve local vendors do not hurt your business with such brands.
- Local produce growers, farmers, and butchers can provide you with much better quality products for the same price, and in many cases, you can negotiate the price down. You might consider changing up your hotel restaurant’s menu unnecessary, but if you will you can try the following: present guests with an alternate menu with the local ingredients, and label it as such.
- Guests tend to want a taste of local flavour when travelling, it might be just a seasonal menu, but it certainly going to get a mention in their review later on.
- Encourage Self-Service
- Hospitality culture has changed drastically over the decades, so it is safe to say that asking guests to do some of the work for themselves would not be the end of the industry.
- Guests feel a certain freedom when staying at a hotel, they can take long showers and not have to consider what it would cost them later, they can leave the light on when they leave their room, even though they probably never do so at home, and they can go through towels like napkins.
- Naturally, hoteliers look for ways of balancing the cost of a guest’s stay with the rates they charge, but with competition booming thanks to online travel agencies, they often settle for less and hope on guests upgrading or spending more on other services.
- Guests’ bohemian behaviour is no longer cost-efficient, so it needs to be reshaped in their minds if they are to be your guests at all. Provide guests with reminders, that their water and energy wastage plays a bigger role in the world that they care to remember, a simple note on the bathroom door should be enough. Also, leave out a reminder that asking for extra towels would involve an additional charge to their room. They might complain about this, but with many other establishments implementing the practices, that would hardly make anyone bat an eyelid.
- Involve Digital Solutions
- You probably already have a hotel property management system for your daily operations, but do think about the consumer side of this endeavour. Guests spend a great deal of their time on their phones, so why not let them browse what you have to offer on your hotel self-service app. Consider the huge amount of waste involved in printing single-use menus (COVID-19 measures encourage discarding reusable ones), and awareness posters for any sale and new deal you offer at the moment: all of it is redundant if a guest can see it on the app. Your hotel app also allows them to shop for said services and keep track of their spending, while the charge is directly updated in your PMS.
- Self-service kiosks are your round the clock employee. They allow guests to register, check-in, upgrade their suite if they wish, and pick up their key card at any hour of the day. How is this green hospitality?
- Read more: 5 Ways Hotel Self Check-In Technology Can Help You Through 2020
- The process can be completed in a matter of minutes, without having to involve additional staff and paperwork. The efficiency of the service allows guests to travel at times that are most convenient for them, as having a kiosk means that there is no restriction to check-in times.
- This freedom means that a guest is more likely to favour you over the competition as it allows them to take their time reaching your location: they can take less power consuming means of transport, as there is no actual deadline for them to meet.
- Tip: How Self-Service Technology Improves Guest Experience
- Involve Local Organisations
- In all likelihood, there are at least several organisations in your area, or nationwide who are actively campaigning for environmental change. Seek out their representatives and offer to get involved.
- It can be a local wildlife organisation trying to raise awareness of certain practices which put some species at risk, or it can be a nationwide campaign encouraging the general public to recycle plastic bottles in order to raise funds for a good cause. Either way, guests and staff will be more inclined to get involved with causes organisations if they are made aware of them, every time they pass your lobby.
- There are many other steps you can take to turn your establishment into a more environmentally conscientious one, but the above represent only the most direct and cost-efficient routes you can take to get you started. Of course, once, you see the payoff, you are likely going to dive deeper into environmental hospitality.
You may also find interesting:
Man vs. Machine: What is the Best Way to Build Guest Loyalty
The Five Ways in Which Hospitality Technology Can Improve Hotel Efficiency
Hospitality 2.0: Strategic Planning for a Better Tomorrow
About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.