You know those little placards that hang on your hotel door? The ones that encourage you to make a greener choice by reusing towels or bed linen? Sure, they may seem cliché. But guess what - they work.
The Marriott hotel chain reported saving up to 17 percent in hot water and sewer cost as a result of its linen reuse program.
The placards are just one of the many steps that hotels are taking to make a difference when it comes to sustainability. Hoteliers stand to gain big rewards by adopting more green practices, including government incentives and insurance discounts.
At the pinnacle of green construction is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, a standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The designation provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.
Incorporating more green practices at your hotel doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some ways hotels can start practicing more sustainability:
RECYCLING & WASTE
Go beyond the basics of recycling newspapers and aluminum cans and look for other ways to reduce the use of paper and disposable plastics. Food waste accounts for more than 50 percent of waste in the hospitality industry. To reduce that number consider implementing a composting program that incorporates composting on-premises, or by working with an agricultural partner.
Promoting sustainability in the hotel industry goes beyond bricks and mortar. To be successful, hoteliers must find ways to maintain a dedication to customer service, while reducing their carbon footprint. Some hotels have introduced guest rewards for those who opt-out of housekeeping. Holiday Inn provides Go Green Points to guests who forgo housekeeping from two to four nights.
The first step to conserving water at hotels is to measure it. Once the baseline is established you can begin to institute conservation efforts like low-flow faucets and toilets, as well as waterless urinals. Efforts like linen reuse programs have been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency through its H2Otel Challenge. The initiative provides guidance, outreach support and recognition for hotels that make a commitment to more eco-friendly practices.