Modern hospitality industry is looking for greener pastures. With the escalation of worldwide travel and heightened competition, sustainability is a key factor in successful brand management of hotels. Increased accreditations in planet-friendly practices are driving the hospitality industry to prove their environmental merit.
Therefore, sustainability trends in hospitality industry are evolving as hotel giants take to innovative greener practices in hotel design and resource management with the prime objective to reduce carbon footprints.
Consumer awareness is growing and travelers are more conscious of eco-friendly practices and choose temporary relaxing places promoting sustainability. The hospitality industry benefits not only from words of mouth but gets rewarded through considerable financial savings in tax reduction and energy saving schemes.
Sustainability trends in hospitality industry for 2019:
1. Meeting global carbon emission compliance:
To meet the carbon-emission goal set by the United Nation’s Paris Agreement, leading hotels are opting for science-based carbon reduction targets (SBTs). This guides the hotels by specifying the ways and practices to get the exact carbon measurement and how fast it can be reduced.
Hilton Hotels has announced its acceptance of SBTs and other eminent players like Melia Hotels International and NH Group are following its footsteps. This is one of the prime sustainability trends in hospitality industry that will help in establishing a baseline for carbon emission reduction encouraging other small players to follow these examples.
2. Mid-sized players to report on CO2 emissions and sustainable development goals:
Mid-sized groups with fewer properties may not have any special corporate infrastructure to meet the committed carbon reduction target. They are likely to do their own carbon measurement with specific tools by adhering to specific energy certification requirements (like LEED certification) or making their buildings more energy efficient.
3. Waste Reduction:
There can’t be a second thought that waste reduction would be another key sustainability trend in hospitality industry. The growing plastic waste in oceans from irresponsible tourism activities has created a serious environmental concern.
Hotels are under pressure to adopt waste reduction practices especially those with zero waste recycling systems. This encompasses not only preventing entry of single-use items and removing plastic bottles but also should consider wrapping items, delivery crates and others. The UN scheme listing sustainable hotel practices in waste reduction is likely to be adopted.
4. Reducing the usage of plastic:
Leaders of the hospitality industry are taking appreciable measures in reducing plastic usage. Recently, Marriott International announced the removal of plastic straws and stirrers from more than 6500 properties in the world. In place of small plastic containers for toiletries, in-shower dispensers will be introduced.
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants are proactively working to replace plastic straws with compostable or metal straws or serve drinks sans straw. In toiletries, all Kimpton Hotels provide larger in-shower bottles that are either mounted or free-standing. This has significantly reduced the volume of plastic waste caused by small plastic containers.
5. Monitoring water usage:
It is sure that the availability and cost of this life-saving commodity will no longer be the same as before. Reducing leaks and inefficiencies and retraining staff in its optimal usage are vital sustainable hotel practices that the industry will seriously think implementing.
6. Stepping up water conservation:
Expect more water conservation measures in the hospitality industry this year. Hotels are investing more in installing certified low-flow aerators in faucets and showerheads in the guest rooms. Vail Resorts in Colorado is saving up to 200,000 gallons of water drainage by fixing low-flow showers and water-less urinals since 2008.
More big and small hotels are likely to follow suit given the situation of the alarming tourism-induced water crisis in many well-known destinations.
7. Hotels to go smart in energy reduction:
Upgrading existing technologies go a long way in saving energy instead of investing in the latest technologies. A sustainability trend in hospitality industry can be observed in using energy-efficient electrical gadgets. LED and energy-saving lamps are finding more use.
Smart energy management system is helping hotels track the energy consumption in various parts of the hotel. This is followed by continuous optimization of energy usage to minimize the environmental impact.
8. Entertainment through green storytelling:
Awareness education does not yield unless there is some fun element in it. This year’s sustainability trend in hospitality industry would be like communicating through great storytelling of the green initiatives taken by the hotel and its outcome.
Interesting story-telling in Instagram, infographics and Facebook posts can be great to spread the hotel’s sustainable efforts among guests encouraging them to follow green practices in travel and hotel stay.
9. Growing engagement in online sustainability tools:
One of the notable sustainability trends in hospitality industry to watch out this year is the rising use of online tools to check and measure sustainability metrics. For example, IHG Hotel uses the Green Engage tool that helps to track and measure water usage, utility consumption and carbon emission.
The online tools help hotels to access more than 200 green solutions that can be implemented to create exemplary sustainable models and can make 16% savings in energy bills on an average.
10. Sustainability efforts in supplies:
The Canopy by Hilton has found new ways of sustainability by adopting filtered water stations and using recycled brown bags in delivering breakfast options. The brand has partnered with like-minded groups to uphold its sustainability efforts.
The Ranch Malibu has adopted an exclusive plant-based menu using fresh produce from the on-site certified organic farm that consumes less space, water and energy. Its bee-farming produces about 500 pounds of honey every year.
Hilton Los Cabos has arranged its own drinking water by installing a desalination plant that does not affect the local drinking water resource.
11. More and more recycling:
Recycling is the pillar of sustainability and the hospitality industry will be more into this process. A notable recycling initiative taken by Canopy of Hilton has produced over 4 million new soap bars from one million pounds of partially used soap collected from various sources.
12. Hotel design and eco-friendly materials:
Merging of indoor and outdoor spaces in hotels and resorts is another growing sustainable trend in hospitality industry. Walled gardens, indoor waterfalls, indoor daylight and panoramic views are incorporated allowing guests to connect with nature in spite of being secured in an indoor-outdoor space.
The certified Green Hotel, Dorsett Shanghai, China has 60% of the guest rooms overlooking Century Park, the largest one in Shanghai with a grand display of countless plants in the interiors. Another notable green hotel design can be found in The Anam, Nha Trang in Vietnam constructed with timber procured from sustainably developed forests.
13. Be a caring organization:
Present generation making up the workforce is much aware and conscious in choosing careers and employers. They are more inclined to work for companies taking due care of environmental and societal impact.
One of the key sustainability trends in the hospitality industry is to adopt responsible business drives and offerings to attract this new generation workforce that will further help in developing the hotel’s brand value.