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What is Carbon-Conscious Hospitality, and Why is it Important?

一    Tiffany McGrath
|    June 3, 2024

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Imagine a travel industry where experiences coexist with environmental responsibility. This dream isn’t far-fetched; it’s the future of hospitality. Carbon-conscious practices  minimises hotel’s environmental impact through sustainable practices, significantly reducing carbon emissions

The Environmental Footprint of Tourism:

Tourism has a significant environmental footprint. Hotels are major consumers of energy and water and generate significant waste if not managed efficiently.

Key Findings Highlight:

  • Waster Usage: Tourism can use 8x more water per person than the local population1
  • Food Sector Impact: Accounts for 30% of global energy consumption and 22% of greenhouse gas emissions during food production and decomposition2
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction: A 66% reduction in carbon emissions per room by 2030 is necessary for sustainable growth.3
Championing Carbon Reduction

Hotels can become champions of change by focusing on the four following strategies:

1. Designing for Efficiency:
  • Prioritize efficiency from the start with energy-saving features embedded in design, high-efficiency cooling and lighting systems. Water-saving controls and thoughtful interiors further contribute to sustainability. Furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) should be chosen with a “cradle-to-grave” mentality, ensuring their environmental impact is minimized throughout their lifecycle.
  • Invest in renewable energy: such as on-site solar or wind power, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. 
2. Resource Conservation Measures
  • Water: Implement low-flow faucets, toilets, smart irrigation systems and linen reuse programs. 
  • Waste: Reduce waste generation, increase diversion from landfills, and reuse materials. This can include using bulk amenities instead of small bottles, monitoring food waste to identify areas for reduction, and use biodegradable alternatives.
  • Sourcing Smartly: Partner with local farms to minimize transportation emissions. Encourage partners to minimize waste as well, by reusing delivery containers and participating in take-back programs whenever possible.
  • Extend your thinking to the supply chain: How your items are made and where has impact on your overall emissions. “Cradle to Grave” consideration is imperative. We list solutions across energy, water, waste, consumables to support with emissions reduction, look up shop to explore strategies for emissions reduction.
3. Educating Guests and Leveraging Technology
  • Utilize smart building systems to optimize energy use and minimize waste. 
  • Inform guests about sustainability initiatives and offer ways for them to participate. 
Guests are an important stakeholder in the energy and the two-way communication with guests enhances their engagement and satisfaction, making them active participants in sustainability initiatives. It also allows hotels to receive valuable feedback, continuously improving and adapting their eco-friendly practices. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas involves guests in their sustainability programs by providing educational materials and interactive experiences, such as guided tours of their on-site organic gardens and waste management facilities.

4. Certifications and Operational Efficiency
  • Obtain sustainability certifications to demonstrate commitment and access green funds.
  • Maintain operational efficiency through regular asset maintenance to support decarbonization. 

Futureproofing Your Business

As environmental regulations tighten worldwide, embracing sustainability ensures compliance and avoids potential penalties. Additionally, operational efficiency can lead to significant long-term cost-savings and boosting your bottom line. 

To ensure you are ticking-off all the right tools and procedures, following a framework helps in guiding the business for the Net Zero goal. We recommend you lookup World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Net Positive Hospitality and speak to us to support with adopting it.

Carbon-conscious hospitality is not just about environmental responsibility, it’s about smart business practices for the future for smart operations and the hotel asset return value.

Sources:

  1. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, 2018
  2. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/key-findings
  3. Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

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