Besides the pandemic and the infection control practices associated with it, climate change is largely determining how hotels operate. Business leaders around the world are planning how to align their strategies with the goal to reduce their carbon emissions and the need to be environmentally sustainable.
What led to this need is public and political pressure. Hotels strive to make their guests happy at all costs. Over the last decade, guests have looked beyond amenities to decide where they want to stay. In 2022, guests are more aware of environmental consequences than ever before.
A recent study by Virtuoso shows how its clients view sustainable tourism. The results indicate that travellers are cognizant of their place and impact in the world, and this has led to “the conscious comeback” as travel reopens in new and innovative ways. In fact, 82% of travellers want to travel more sustainably in future.
For hoteliers, this means travellers are comparing a property’s sustainable efforts to see if it matches their core beliefs.
Here are some sustainable measures that every hotelier must be aware of in 2022!
1. TechnologyThe digital wave has touched almost every industry in recent times. The rise of the pandemic only accelerated it. Contactless check-ins, keyless room entry and guest messaging platforms are essential for infection prevention and convenience.
Digital technology also plays a pivotal role in sustainability. It reduces paper and plastic and as a consequence, it reduces waste. A recent study found that a single hotel guest generates about two pounds of waste per night. Switching to a digital guest room tablet can produce immediate benefits.
Digital apps have proved to be beneficial to the housekeeping departments too. The housekeeping staff can keep a track of room status in less time. They also aid better decision making at strategic, tactical and operational decisions.
2. Linen rental
Rent or buy - the dilemma has existed in the hospitality industry for years altogether. However, things changed when local health authorities introduced more stringent hygiene standards while hotels were reeling under the impact of the pandemic. The decisions started to sway in the direction of linen rental because it freed time for the housekeeping departments to meet the increased demand for cleaning and disinfection.
All of these factors make linen rental a space to watch out for in 2022.
3. Green accreditations
In 2021, Google reported having witnessed an increase in the search for the term “Green Hotels”. It started to highlight hotels with green certifications as “Eco-Certified”, thus enabling travellers to make better decisions. In wake of this development, it will be interesting to see how hotels work to get the eco-certified labels in 2022.
Initiatives such as opting for green cleaning methods and supplies, reducing consumption, reducing plastic usage and developing a sustainable steady supply chain, are some trends that will rule 2022.
4. Substitutes for plastic
Plastic may be one of the first things to discard for hotels that want to go green. Its effects on the environment are well-known. Reducing the plastic on their respective properties is going to be the next big step for any hotel in 2022. As a consequence, we may witness an increase in the demand for eco-friendly alternatives.
5. Reducing food waste
When you’re in the business of feeding guests, some food waste is unpreventable. In 2022, we are expecting hotels to reduce the amount of food waste generated. The first step to achieving this is to conduct a waste audit to see where you can make the most difference. Get staff from every hotel department to participate in figuring out where the majority of the waste comes from, and decide the best ways to reduce that amount.
6. Making greener choices
A common mistake many hoteliers have made is to disinfect using harmful chemicals. It’s like protecting your guests from the coronavirus at the cost of exposing them to dangerous chemicals. The correct way is to strike a balance. Opt for cleaning chemicals that are eco-friendly, yet effective against viruses and other pathogens.
Instead of using harsh chemistries that may lead to unintended consequences, hoteliers can choose to clean with probiotics. They are safer and better to use.
7. Reducing consumption
Many of the improvements in these areas are straightforward: reducing water pressure in showers, installing leak-detecting water systems and rainwater harvesting systems, minimizing water use for laundry and encouraging guests to be mindful of towel usage. The savings can be significant: Water-efficient bathrooms alone can lead to a 15% reduction in use.