NATIONAL REPORT—Eco-friendly and sustainability initiatives are at the forefront of every business’ mind now that public consciousness is focused on environmental issues. Because of this, it’s important for meeting and event planners to learn more about sustainability, especially when it comes to the venues and vendors that they organize. In fact, many hotels of all kinds are adopting sustainability and “green” practices, and committing to decreasing their environmental footprint, and it’s important for event planners to consider these. Here are the 10 most common eco-friendly initiatives adopted by hotels.
1. Conserving energy. Hotels all over the world are putting more effort and money into updating their systems to reduce their overall energy use while maintaining or even enhancing the customer experience. This includes energy-saving measures like updating central operations like lighting and heating, to better kitchen equipment and automated energy management tools.
2. Conserving water. This is an area that hotels have been making great strides in and there are so many efficiencies that can be implemented to reduce water usage and the use of chemicals for water treatment systems and facility cleaning. Rita Hutchison, an eco writer at Academized and Ox Essays, says that “from guestsrooms to laundries and kitchens, pools and spa facilities, a lot can be done to have better water conservation, including linen and towel reuse programs that hotels are using globally, to installing lower-flow fixtures like faucets and showerheads.”
3. Waste initiatives. The norm now in hotels is for basic recycling programs for items like newspapers and beverage containers, and hotels are also looking at ways to reduce disposable waste and paper. The goal for waste reduction is implementing food waste composting programs that can divert as much as 50 percent of their waste from landfills.
4. Bath products. Hotels are looking at greener amenities in the bathroom from soaps and lotions to shampoo and conditioners. Some hotels are providing custom products made without preservatives or artificial ingredients and individually packaged in recyclable containers, whereas other hostels are trying out bulk dispensers in the bathrooms.
5. Key cards. Classic hotel key cards are made from PVC plastic which is incredibly toxic to manufacture and dispose of. Instead, hotels are shifting their room keys to paper, wood, or even bioplastic options that are durable yet environmentally sustainable.
6. Cleaning products. Another big shift towards eco-friendly measures is in cleaning products, with those made from bio-based oils and natural cleaners taking precedence over traditional products containing chlorine bleach and petrochemical derivatives. This switch is benefiting everyone because they are safer and less irritating for guests and employees in addition to helping the environment, and they are quite effective.
7. Food programs. According to Wendy Johnston, a hotel blogger at Elite Assignment Help and Paper Fellows, “hotels are increasingly integrating local and fresh seasonal products in their food and drink programs. More sustainable and healthy cuisine is a way to attract more clientele, especially when they can have a culinary experience related to the location they’re in.”
8. Bottled water. In line with waste reduction strategies and more clients’ personal wishes, hotels are eliminating the use of bottled water as a standard offering in their rooms and instead offering different hydration options for their guests. These can take the form of either filtered water dispensers located throughout the hotel, complimentary refillable bottles, and more options that provide greener and more convenient alternatives for their overnight and meeting guests.
9. Menu changes. Hotels are updating their menus to integrate organic options as well as reducing meat and dairy consumption, or at least going for more sustainable and ethical products that will give their guests healthier and more sustainable food choices.
10. Spa facilities. More and more hotel spas are moving towards treatments involving local products and indigenous ingredients. They are favoring natural and organic options and even going so far as to create their own brand of products and treatments to increase guests’ experience in a sustainable way.
Hotels of all budgets and sizes around the world are taking measures to be eco-friendlier and more sustainable in their approaches, including updating their food and beverage practices, adopting water and energy conservation measures, and much more. This leads to a better guest experience and environmental awareness, and even planners should be well-aware of these measures and discuss them with the hotels when they’re choosing event locations.
Aimee Laurence is a writer and journalist at UK Writings and Boom Essays. She writes travel and sustainability articles and her focus is highlighting environmental issues and solutions. You can also find her tutoring on the Essay Roo portal.