Climate change is a global issue that is affecting people, communities, and economies. It's ranked as the top global risk by the World Economic Forum, showing the urgency of acting now.
The climate crisis is already affecting the hospitality sector. Extreme weather is increasing the cost of operations and reducing the number of tourists visiting certain destinations.
So, it's time to end the debate: "Going green" is a priority for the hospitality industry, and it should be. There are many reasons behind this: customer loyalty, cost savings, and most important of all, environmental impact.
Hospitality businesses have the responsibility to make bold moves and explore innovative solutions. Sustainable practices should not be seen as a financial burden but as an opportunity to use innovation to stand out among competitors.
Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious
In the wake of the pandemic, many people are more aware of the importance of taking care of the environment. Reports show that 61% of travellers want to travel in a more sustainable way now.
Particularly, hotel guests are willing to pay up to 75% more per night for an eco-friendly stay. Also, a recent survey revealed that 83.7% of respondents said that sustainability had been a deciding factor when choosing where to go eat.
In truth, many people feel overwhelmed and powerless to help the planet. But when establishments take stands to act more sustainably, they give customers the chance to make a difference in their daily lives.
5 Sustainable practices to make your business more eco-friendly
A lot of the changes simply just take some adjustments, staff training, and customers awareness to be successful. If you need a little helping hand getting started, here are 5 ways you can improve your sustainability credentials.
1. Be more energy-efficient
Technology can play a significant role in managing energy consumption. Smart energy management systems can automatically turn off the lights or turn off the heating or air conditioning when the windows are open, for example.
Installing light sensors could represent a huge energy-saving initiative. Also, consider looking for more eco-friendly energy providers.
2. Use technology to reduce paper and plastic
Advances in guest-facing technologies are growing tremendously in the hospitality industry, and it’s only a matter of time before screens and mobile apps replace paper altogether. Using QR Codes menus instead of printed ones helps to expedite this process.
You can also go from plastic to recycled PVC or wood fibre hotel key cards. Or ditch the cards altogether and integrate a cell phone key code option.
3. Involve your staff in your green efforts
It’s very important to include your employees in your environmental programmes. Tell them about your plan, ask for their ideas, and work together. Making your hotel or restaurant more sustainable is a group effort.
Even if you can’t introduce training right away, look for other options like staff placing checklists on eco-friendly lockable display cases. You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve by giving simple guidance to your employees.
4. Add meatless and locally sourced options to the menu
Eliminating or even reducing meat from one’s diet has been proven to aid in reducing global warming. Factory farming has a large impact on deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas production.
Creating a more sustainable menu with plant-based meals using locally sourced and in-season produce brings guests healthier meals besides cutting back on the miles that food needs to travel to arrive at a dinner table.
5. Reduce food waste
Food waste can often be attributed to poor stock management and menu portioning. Check and adjust your menu and the portions you serve for each dish. Rule out from the menu the items on the menu that aren’t often ordered and make you throw away ingredients or repurpose the ingredients into other recipes.
You could also have a composting program to turn leftovers into nutrient-rich soil that can be used in your on-site garden.
A move towards sustainability isn’t an overnight process. But it is doable and well within your business’s interests. Sitting on the sidelines should not be an option, so position your company as an environmental leader.
Customer appreciation for sustainable practices will grow, and you’ll stand out among those who neglect sustainability.