Consumers are interested in sustainability and green practices – this isn’t exactly breaking news. Yet, the significance of that statement is still immense – green practices aren’t optional if you want success for your hotel, they are necessary.
The hospitality industry is an industry consistently at the forefront of the trends, and since the latest green practices tend to become “trendy,” hotels must try and be ahead of the trends, set the trends, and at the very least – follow them.
The green practices of five years ago are commonplace now – i.e. the friendly card in the bathroom explaining the option to reuse towels. If that’s the sort of green level your hotel is on, there may be some work to do.
In the eyes of your guests, wastefulness means a lack of commitment to sustainability, which translates into not having the same ideals as them. People choose to spend their money on things that are in alignment with their ideals.
Sustainable hotel practice action steps
First ask: What are you already doing? What more can be done? To help you get on the right track, here are some action steps to take to help propel your hotel in a positive and “sustainable” direction:
Create a “Green” team
• Things get done when there are people championing them do get done. If you have a collection of team members committed to helping your property improve in this area, a committee that holds everyone accountable, change will happen.
Know your plants
• A relatively simple way to save water is to landscape with a drought-friendly mindset. There are plenty of landscape artists who are experts in this area, and would be glad to advise you.
• A single hotel uses an army of products – why not opt for environmentally friendly ones? Everything from cleaning supplies, to paper products can be a part of your sustainability goals. This might be seemingly costly up front, but consider the long term benefits – including guest reactions and reviews of the environmentally minded practices of the hotel.
Involve the guests
• When it comes to Earth’s future, everyone is accountable and everyone can be involved. For starters, you can develop a rewards program for sustainable guests – i.e. discounts and restaurant vouchers for guests who donate old clothes, use fewer towels, leave unused amenities for the next guests, etc.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to green practices for hotels. Sometimes simply beginning to make the changes is the hardest part. Start small if you must, but by all means – start! Make a new, sustainable, beginning for your hotel and reap the rewards.
About the author
Young Yoon is the Corporate Director of Development, and is responsible for overall development of HMG Hospitality. He has more than 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including hotel and restaurant operations and corporate and brand management. Most notably, he managed operations for Sheraton, Warwick International Hotels, and NYLO Hotels, and as a part of the corporate office of InterContinental Hotels Group, he oversaw a portfolio of 63 hotels under six brands focusing on the Greater Los Angeles and Las Vegas regions. He studied at the Ceasar Ritz College in Brig Switzerland, an institution that specializes in hotel and restaurant management. While at Brig, he was a member of Eurochrie, an international organization supporting education and training for the hospitality industry.