How To Save Energy in the Hotel Industry
The hotel business is a big part of the larger hospitality industry, and various organizations have applied some pressure to get this part of the field to adopt more sustainable approaches to the business models it uses. Although it can be difficult to meet efficiency benchmarks when you deal with serving large groups of people at once, various hotel chains have made some strides in the area of energy efficiency.
In the hospitality industry, the management personnel at any hotel can play a key role here, and they do so by making information about energy efficiency easily digestible and readily available to all guests. There are various ways the hotel staff might go about this, and we will outline some of the major steps hotels might take in the sections below.
How Can Hotel Management Encourage Hotel Guests To Save Energy?
For hotels to succeed fully in their efforts to conserve resources, they must form true partnerships with their guests. Making guests active participants in saving energy will reduce some of the costs of both the business and the consumer. To do this, hotel management can make guests more aware of how the total costs of doing business eventually raise the bills for everyone. Because guests don’t pay hotel energy bills directly, they may be less likely to feel the need to practice good conservation. Through the use of pamphlets, welcome advertisements, and specific information on just how much a hotel must spend on energy costs, guests may take a greater interest in keeping track of how much of it they use during their stay.
Energy Management Savings Tips for Hotels
A major part of a hotel’s costs come from its energy consumption. By enacting just a few changes to how things work, hotel management can drop these costs by several percentage points. We’ll list just a few main points here.
Change Out the Lights
LED lights have a higher initial cost than some of the other options a building might install. However, they don’t consume as much energy as more traditional bulbs. They also last several times longer, making the larger investment well worth it in terms of savings down the road. As a bonus, LEDs don’t produce as much heat as their cousins, thus cutting some of the strain on the building’s cooling system.
Adjust Air Conditioning
Speaking of cooling, the air units in each hotel room can cause unnecessary costs and energy wastage. This is particularly true on mild days when very low conditioner temperatures aren’t necessary. Hotel management can make calibrations to the thermometers to ensure that the systems don’t come on below certain temperatures.
Make Use of Smart Tech
With the advent of more intuitive technologies, hotels can cut energy costs and levels automatically. Special sensors can control lighting or heating for use only when it is truly necessary.
What Are Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Hotels?
At their most basic levels, eco-friendly or sustainable hotels still have the primary goal of serving their guests. However, they combine this mission with a philosophy of energy reduction. The result is a place that takes steps to reduce the carbon emissions of every aspect of its business practices, including the footprint that guests or staff might leave behind. This is just a broad definition, and there are many kinds of sustainable hotels that try to follow this basic premise.
While there isn’t just one type of eco-friendly hotel, managers can move toward these practices by taking some broad changes into consideration. Most sustainable hotels include features like water-saving systems and smart technology that minimizes energy consumption without altering the guest experience significantly. Additionally, such a hotel will try its best to use sustainable products that it sources from the local area. This is a move that can reduce fuel consumption a hotel might generate from deliveries, and it can boost economies in the area at the same time. If possible, they will also make the compounds in any of these products non-toxic.
Why Should Hotels Go Green?
It is certainly beneficial to the environment when hotel management chooses to make changes that move toward a greener business model. We’ve also seen how some of the steps in doing so can save the company some money over a long period. On a related note, it can increase both the client base and profits as well. This is because many guests who like to travel are becoming increasingly aware of just how much their own habits might affect the environment.
In turn, more consumers are looking for ways to travel while reducing their footprints. A green hotel can inspire quite a bit of loyalty among travelers who look for sustainable accommodations. Once word of such an eco-friendly hotel spreads, the company may find itself with new customers among many other repeat ones who will remain loyal.
The Best Sustainability Practices in Hotels
What constitutes the best path in a particular industry is, at times, debatable. Although this is as true for the hospitality sector as it is any other, we can certainly figure out some broad topics that can move hotels toward greater sustainability initiatives. Both water usage and power management options are almost a given here. However, there are several others that hotel management teams may wish to consider. For example, a robust recycling program that focuses on waste reduction is a great practice to get into for any hotel. Stopping waste at any point in the supply chain can reduce costs and carbon usage. By the same token, recycling anything that a business can use again can put it straight back into some of the products it might use for guests.
Tip: By installing solar panels and switching to LED bulbs, you can increase energy savings.
What Are the Most Common Sustainability Practices for Hotels?
In the next section, we’ll break down some of the most common ways that hotel companies try to implement more eco-friendly practices into their business models. We’ll go through the broad sections that hotel management would know and monitor, discussing some of the key points of each one along the way.
Operations include how the hotel runs during day-to-day schedules. This is true for front-end work that guests might be aware of, but it also applies to everything that might go on behind the scenes to keep a place running smoothly. This means that hotel management needs to think of ideas in categories such as guest transportation, amenities, food service, and how patrons are able to still use the power and water they might need in order to enjoy their time. Some of the operational changes an eco-friendly hotel could make would be to employ only electric vehicles, reduce plastic for both waste and water reasons, and find organic menu options that they can source locally.
Many hotels that aren’t yet eco-friendly can generate a lot of waste by providing guests with single-use products. Although there are some areas in which this might be unavoidable, hotels can still work to reduce this load by moving toward benchmarks that do away with things like plastic containers, periodical print media, and composting that can divert or recycle much of the food waste the locations might otherwise generate.
Tip: Cook with locally grown or organic food.
Heating, air, lighting systems, entertainment options, and even the equipment in a hotel’s kitchen all need to use energy in order to run properly. We’ve touched on some of these items already, but many hotels that want to become more sustainable are installing systems that can automate and reduce this energy use. Further, they are looking for ways to do so without taking anything away from the positive experiences guests have.
Tip: Supporting ecotourism will be easier with green initiatives.
Many hotels offer large pools for guests, and some will offer spas. Even for those locations seeking to reduce something like this, laundry services and personal baths or showers are still a must. Hotels can move toward greener water usage by making a few changes to the rooms. Most notably, sinks or showers that use low-flow heads can be a big help, and hotel management can encourage guests to reuse linens that may not need any cleaning.
Tip: Increase recycling, composting, local supply, and reduce water consumption, toxic pesticides, and plastic use as sustainable practices.
Amenities and Cleaning Products
Providing small amenities that don’t add to the overall footprint guests might leave behind is a great way to be more sustainable, and it is easy for hotels to start down this path by doing away with plastic. For example, they can craft room keys made from materials such as paper or wood. As a bonus, many hotels use the room keys to activate the lights and power in each room, making sure that no energy goes to waste if guests are not there. As for cleaning products, many hotels that want to be more friendly to the environment try to get items that use natural oils and other compounds. In doing so, they also might be able to reduce the level of artificial chemicals that could irritate guests with sensitivities.
Shipping food takes time and energy. Hotels can be nicer to the environment and improve their bottom lines by looking at ingredients or dishes that they can get right in their local areas. This also creates an opportunity for specific businesses to offer unique menus that guests can’t experience anywhere else. Further, providing large pitchers of water for restaurant patrons can help hotels reduce water waste.
Conserving energy and reducing waste may seem like insurmountable tasks in a business that serves tens of thousands of guests each year. However, becoming a greener hotel starts with just a few small steps, including providing more detailed information to guests about the impacts of that usage on both financial costs and environmental impact factors. Additionally, management can set some concrete policies for their staff, and there are many ways to provide incentives to eco-friendly guests to monitor themselves, too.