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Hotels and venues around the world are now investing more time and effort into rolling out sustainable initiatives that lower carbon emissions while maintaining an enjoyable guest experience.
To make a venue more sustainable, there are a number of steps you can take. Discover what you can do to make daily operations run more effectively while becoming more eco-friendly.
Invest in virtual offerings
If your venue hosts events, consider offering virtual attendance options. Transitioning from in-person to virtual conferencing, for example, can substantially reduce carbon footprint by 94% and energy use by 90%.
Complementing a reduced carbon footprint, virtual events typically generate less paper waste, as well as waste associated with catering, travel, and transportation. However, even virtual events have an (albeit reduced) impact on the environment.
To make a virtual or hybrid event at your venue even more environmentally friendly, consider;
- Going paperless with e-tickets
- Reminding virtual attendees to turn off webcams when not needed (e.g. during longer presentations or keynote presentations)
- Encouraging attendees to view videos in standard definition (SD) rather than high definition (HD)
- Requesting presenters compress any media files before sharing with attendees
- Reminding attendees to delete any unneeded emails and files post-event
Case Study - TFE Hotels
In a continued commitment to sustainability, TFE Hotels unveiled New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star Hotel, the Hotel Britomart. The building’s efficient design avoids excessive heat, expelling 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than a building that meets the minimum requirements of New Zealand’s building code. By offering guests a Stay Green Package, the hotel also allows guests to partially offset their carbon footprint by having the Hotel Britomart planting a native tree at sister property, The Landing.
Additionally, 13 Sydney city hotels from the TFE Hotel group, including Vibe Hotel, Adina, and Travelodge have implemented several sustainable hotel practices. This has resulted in a total water reduction of 46 megalitres per year, and a total energy reduction of 115 megawatt hours per year. In tandem with a number of additional practices recommended by the City’s Smart Green Business Program, TFE Hotels have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 477 tonnes per annum, as well as reduced operational costs by $185,000.
Consider your supplies and suppliers
When running a venue, it’s more than likely you’ll be dealing with several suppliers on a daily basis. To make your venue more sustainable, invest in suppliers that share similar goals, and invest in proactive practices.
For supplies, re-think your current recycling practices, and consider where there is room for improvement. 21% of Australian event creators are now only working with vendors who have recycling initiatives in place. Think about the different ways you can reduce waste, or better yet, recycle. For events, consider ways in which you can re-use different materials (name badge sleeves, wristbands, reusable cups and cutlery), and if possible, avoid single use decorations such as helium balloons in favour of fresh flowers or fruit bowls that can be taken by guests or event attendees.
Additionally, for goods such as coffee, nuts, chocolate, seafood, and even decor including flowers and candles, ensure fair-trade products are sourced. Compliant with rigorous standards, being fair trade certified ensures goods are attained in a sustainable manner that protects both workers and the planet.
Take locally sourced one step further
Hotels and venue kitchens around the world are embracing sustainability in a range of innovative ways. On-site gardens have flourished as a means of growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, plants, and garnishes used throughout venue menus, while
Comwell Hotels is a champion for sustainable business practice in the venue and accommodation industry, dubbed Denmark’s most sustainable hotel chain and recipient of the Sustainable Brand Index Awards for the third consecutive year.
Comwell has several sustainable policies in practice throughout all venue departments. Food and beverage in particular focuses on prioritising sourcing organic, seasonal Danish products, fish and shellfish caught in Danish waters, and partnerships with local farmers on the delivery of meat products. In collaboration with the Hotel and Restaurant School, ambassadors from each Comwell kitchen have also implemented a Comwell Food Coordinator, training staff to learn better ways of utilising ingredients, and thereby reducing food waste.
Burleigh Pavilion is also invested in sustainable venue practice, housing their own rooftop colony of bees for producing honey and pollinating bush flowers and native plants in the nearby Burleigh Head National Park.
Case Study - Comwell Hotels
In 2016, management of Comwell Hotels made the decision to create their first formal sustainability strategy, refocusing business operations to highlight social, environmental, and economic principles. This was the beginning of a transformation that would lead to Comwell becoming recognised as Denmark’s most sustainable hotel chain.
As the recipient of the Sustainable Brand Index Awards for three consecutive years, Comwell has been an industry leader in sustainable hotel management.
Comwell has based their sustainable practices on three key parameters:
- Taking responsibility for resource consumption, minimising waste, and reusing as much as possible.
- Creating a balance by taking people and environmental practices into consideration each day.
- Acquiring new knowledge and skills to carry out sustainable practices without compromising on a quality guest experience.
Additional sustainable practices undertaken by Comwell include;
- Sourcing local, organic produce, compliance with three self-selected food-saving initiatives, and food wastage reduction training.
- Spa and housekeeping services balance comfort and environmental consideration by using paraben and fragrance-free treatment and cleaning products, opting for soy candles over scented, using natural and essential oils, and considering bathrobe and towel consumption.
- Operationally, Comwell Hotels have a range of sustainability initiatives in place, including using iVvy cloud-based venue management software to reduce printed materials, as well as changing to low-energy lighting, and optimising heat management.
Over the last few years, Comwell hotels have collectively reduced electricity, water and heat consumption by over 20%, with a goal to continue reduction by a further 2% every year. Comwell’s exceptional commitment to sustainable practices has resulted in acquiring a global reputation for engaging in eco-friendly practices.
Empower your guests
Inform guests about your venue’s sustainability goals and action items to achieve them. Furthermore, provide guests with the option to make more sustainable choices throughout their stay (i.e. reusing towels and sheets, supplying water fountains to refill water bottles).
Having guests play an active role in sustainability is an additional feel-good factor for choosing your venue. You can also use this as part of your continued communication strategy to touch base with guests and update them on any sustainability progress that’s been made.