Sustainability is the future of the hospitality industry. It has grown to be a topic of massive interest to both hoteliers and investors. Its positive outcome is immeasurable no matter the scale of the hotel or resort. Looking through our perspective as a hotel management company, we have put together a list of reasons why hotel investment in sustainable real estate and eco-friendly hotels is essential. Find out why you should work on reducing your ecological and environmental footprint with your next hotel concept project.

What Sustainable Hospitality is? and What is Not …

Awareness about sustainability in the hospitality industry has gained a lot of momentum in the last decade. It involves areas that impact social, economic and environmental aspects of hotel operations and its development. Moreover, it is large a concern of the modern day traveler and consumer on a global scale.

Some of the largest contributors to environmental defects in the hospitality industry are energy usage and water consumption (i.e. heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water for guests, laundry services, irrigation, cleaning and maintenance etc). And lets not to mention a mass increase in waste production from consumable goods that is associated with the hospitality industry (i.e. paper waste, batteries and lightbulbs, constant need of new furniture, equipment, appliances, etc).

What has really surprised me is the common misconception is that going green for hotels is remarkably expensive. But this could not be any further from the truth. Just as sustainability converted into a global awareness, massive amounts of research shifted focus towards economical benefits of eco-friendly investments. Examples you can find in technological advancement of new renewable energies (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.).

How Does Hotel Sustainability Benefit Your Hotel?

Guest Experience

Hotel and resort guests are paying more and more attention to the products that they are offered, and also their own ecological footprint. As a reference, the number of overnight guests asking about carbon offsetting that increased drastically from 28% in 2016 to nearly 50 percent in 2017. (source: Green Hotelier)

Many hotels have actually already implemented sustainable initiatives and are paying close attention to their social responsibility and ecological footprint. However it is not always clear when navigating hotel websites. The benefits for the health and wellness of travelers staying at a ‘eco-friendly’ hotel should be communicated clearly. Here some simple examples:

  • the depurative consequences of a stay using eco sanitary products
  • the awesome quality of resting in a room built with with green materials and non-toxic paint
  • the empowering value of consuming produce from local eco farms, good for your health, and supporting the local economy

Saved Costs

Reducing expenses and costs is a desirable incentive in any business. The latest environmental advancements and technologies promote cost efficiency and reduction in those who chose to invest. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is the mainstream motto that hoteliers go by when it comes to waste management and energy usage. Other areas where being environmentally conscious is modifying the indoor quality (air quality and chemical/cleaning products).

Some basic ideas:

  • reduce water consumption with mist rain showers
  • limit the usage of hot water, with smart faucets / showers
  • implement sensors to control AC from running when there are no guests in the room, or the window is opened
  • don’t print hotel invoices, email them (many hotels are actually still printing a draft invoice for approval, and afterwards a final invoice)
  • if you need to print something, use recycled paper only
  • use sensors to limit light usage, when there are no guest in the room
  • use leds for lighting …

Government-approved Incentives

Governments have begun to reward businesses who make the effort to be more environmentally conscious. The rewarding process encourages sustainable practices and what’s also referred to as “green” construction. Benefits such as financial grants, insurance premium discounts and tax write-offs are one of the many advantages of being more government-friendly.

Regulatory Affairs

Regulations are being set and/or implied in terms of hotel facility operations: management of storm / rainwater, proper disposal of hazardous materials, as well as general environmental health and safety. Future plans of activities that will impact architecture, aesthetics and operations are in the development process.

Staff Related Benefits

Being recognized as a sustainable business in the hospitality world has its advantages on the HR side as well. People seeking job opportunities tend to be more attracted to environmentally conscious companies – more specifically women and younger generations (millenials), since they want to benefit the surrounding community and not just look for personal financial benefits. Working for a company that makes a difference in the world is an all around good image to benefit from.

Corporate Brand Image

In today’s day and age, most hotels have already integrated some form of sustainable practice into their brand image. Doing so mainly gives you a brand positioning that is consistent with your hotel’s green values, defines your unique selling proposition points, and attracts environmentally conscious customers. A strengthened brand image and reputation as a sustainable and social responsible hotel is not only the right thing to do, but also leads to better results in the end.

The final word: The Consequences of Hotel Sustainability

Making hotel investments to become a more sustainable property should of course be driven from within. But is also brings many more positive outcomes besides reducing your ecological footprint.

Staff and guests will feel more comfortable and willing to support an environmentally conscious business, not mention that hoteliers can expect expenses to decrease in the long run.

Moreover, a clear commitment to the environment is considered a must modern industry leaders should make. Your hotel investment will be a public example of innovation and efficient social responsibility.

Would you like to see some examples? Have a look at our projects of Eco Resort Investment


Patrick Landman