As the hospitality industry continues to prioritise sustainability as an essential component of its business model, hotels are taking significant steps to reduce their carbon footprint. From energy-efficient lighting to reducing water consumption, sustainable practices a fast becoming a core component of hotel operations.
With over 60 leading hotel companies coming together to form the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, more than 4.5 million hotel rooms are now dedicated to embracing sustainability practices - an impressive quarter of all global hospitality offerings.
So, what sustainable strides can we expect from the hotel industry in 2023?
The Growing Need for Sustainable Practices in the Hotel Industry
As demand for sustainability increases, so does the need for hotels to adopt sustainable practices. Hotels worldwide are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact, from implementing energy-efficient lighting and appliances to limiting food waste. In addition, many venues are now investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association believes the growing need for sustainable practice in the hospitality industry is further compounded by growing societal pressure on staff to act responsibly.
"Right now, at a time when adopting sustainable practices could not only reduce a business’ impact but also save it serious money, pressure on staff time has never been greater. A fully engaged team motivated to do the right thing can be the single biggest force for good. That’s what makes engineering sustainability into every facet of the business so important."
Innovative Solutions for Reducing Carbon Footprint
Hotels around the world have implemented innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.
TFE Hotels, which includes 13 Sydney-based hotels such as Vibe and Travelodge, are leading the way to sustainable practices in line with The City's Smart Green Business Program. Through their joint efforts, they have successfully decreased water use by 46 megalitres a year & energy consumption by 115 megawatt-hours annually; simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 477 tonnes while trimming operational costs drastically at $185K.
TFE Hotels in Sydney, Australia trimmed operational costs by $185,000
Accor Hotels is another champion in sustainable practices, demonstrating their dedication to both delivering quality guest experiences and making positive impacts on the environment. This legacy has been maintained since 2011 when they identified 21 areas of business influence where improvement was possible - ranging from reducing energy consumption to achieving carbon-neutral buildings. Moreover, Accor's commitment to sustainability remains strong with its 2021 membership in the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
Collectively, hotels around the world are utilising technology to decrease carbon footprints, installing smart thermostats that automatically adjust temperatures when guests enter or leave rooms. Other hotels have installed motion-activated lights that only turn on when guests enter a room. These solutions help reduce electricity usage while still providing guests with a comfortable experience. Additionally, many hotels have implemented water conservation initiatives such as low-flow toilets and showers, which help conserve precious resources while still providing guests with quality service.
What’s Next? The Future of Sustainable Practices in Hotels
As the hospitality industry continues its shift towards sustainability, we can expect even more innovative solutions in 2023. Hotels are now looking into implementing green building materials (e.g., recycled materials) into their construction processes and investing in renewable sources of energy (e.g., solar panels).
In the food and beverage department, many hoteliers are looking into ways to reduce food waste by using digital systems that monitor food inventory levels at all times and alert staff when items need replenishment or replacement.
As more hoteliers continue to prioritise sustainability as an essential part of their business model, 2023 promises to be an exciting year full of new opportunities for innovation within the hospitality and hotel sectors.