Achieving Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

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Dec 7, 2021 | Hotel Management | Reading Time: 5 minutes

The hotel industry is all about hospitality and customer service. Hotel professionals are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience to provide the best service possible. 

And with today’s consumers turning more towards sustainability and eco-friendly brands, the hotel industry can benefit from making sustainable changes as they continue to deliver quality service and meet customer demands

Given the size of the hotel industry and its impact on the economy, making sustainable changes won’t only benefit guests but the environment as a whole. 

National governments across the globe may even start requiring companies and large industries to meet certain levels of sustainability, so it’s better to get started now. 

Furthermore, sustainable changes, such as utilizing more energy-efficient products, can save hotels money in the long run and help them increase their revenue. 

In this article, you’ll see some tips on how to improve sustainability in your hotel, and the importance of doing it. 

Enjoy your reading!

Tips For Making Sustainable Changes in Your Hotel

The more sustainable a brand is, the more appealing it is to consumers. Just look at the real estate industry, for example. New generations of homebuyers are increasingly demanding homes that are more energy-efficient and better for the environment. 

Although a hotel operates on a much larger scale than a home, hotel managers can take note and start implementing their own changes to achieve sustainability within the industry to appeal to customers today.

Not all changes need to be on a massive scale, either. It’s certainly nice if you can make more thorough changes and renovations, or even build sustainably from the ground up. However, even small, mindful changes here and there can start to make a difference. 


🎧 The hotel industry is always changing and that’s what we’ve talked about with Glenn Haussman in this episode of Hotel Cast The Ongoing Hotel Industry’s Adaptation. Listen now!


Be More Energy Efficient

  • Change out light fixtures: A simple way to quickly make sustainable changes in your hotel is by updating your fixtures with energy bulbs, like LEDs
  • Update your HVAC system: A lot of money goes into the heating and cooling of a hotel. An updated, more energy-efficient HVAC system will cut down on your energy bills and save you a lot of money.  
  • Install solar panels: Solar panels are another great way to save money on energy and reduce your hotel’s carbon footprint by using renewable resources. 
  • Use energy-efficient electronics and appliances: Upgrade all electronics and appliances in the rooms and anywhere else in the hotel to those with energy-efficient ratings. 
  • Use smart thermostats: Using smart thermostats in your hotel can regulate the temperature more efficiently for guests, and it will also help you cut down on your energy bill. 
  • Install ceiling fans: Ceiling fans are another great way to regulate temperatures in your hotel rooms. Guests can use them in more mild weather months instead of turning on the AC. 

sustainability in hotel industry - solar panels

Control the Water Usage, Recycling, and Other Areas of Your Hotel

  • Be mindful of water use: Even plumbing is going green these days. You can install water-saving faucets and showerheads, use solar-powered hot-water systems, rainwater collection tanks, and more. 
  • Recycle: Many hotels only put regular trash cans and pails out for guests to use. However, implementing a recycling strategy and making it easier for guests to recycle products can go a long way towards reducing your carbon footprint and impressing guests. 
  • Use hybrid or electric vehicles for hotel transport: Many hotels have complimentary transportation services to take guests to and from the airport or around town. Although car-pooling can have its eco-friendly advantages, most hotels utilize fossil-fueled vehicles. Switching to hybrid or electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Design rooms with better natural light: If your hotel rooms and other spaces have better natural light, your guests won’t need to turn on the lights as much, which can help reduce energy costs. 
  • Update your insulation: The more airtight your hotel is, the better. Try updating the insulation in your walls and roof if possible, and make sure all windows, doors, and cracks are sealed so air doesn’t leak out. 

Why Sustainability in the Hotel Industry Matters

Sustainability in the hotel industry is not something to consider simply for your guests. It is necessary to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier global ecosystem as a whole. Hotels are currently a significant contributor to carbon emissions due to energy use and waste production. 

sustainability in hotel industry - green energy

By making more environmentally friendly changes, hotels can:

  • Benefit the ecosystem: Thousands of tourists travel and stay at hotels across the globe every year. So, it’s no surprise that hotels are responsible for a significant amount of global carbon emissions and negatively impact neighboring ecosystems. However, if hotels start making more eco-conscious changes, they can help reverse the negative effects and build a more sustainable future.
  • Reduce waste: Food and product waste is a significant issue in the hotel industry. Having a mindful approach to the foods and products provided to guests, including limiting the number of things available can significantly reduce waste contribution. 
  • Conserve Energy: When you have potentially hundreds of guests in your hotel every day, it’s a guarantee that your energy bill will remain high. If hotels reduce their energy use by utilizing more efficient systems and devices, they can save money and help stop the global climate crisis. 
  • Appeal to more customers: Every day, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with their carbon footprint. This means they are making changes in their homes and lives as well as for opting for brands and companies that are more eco-conscious. If hotels want to stand out and meet customer demands, they’ve got to run a more sustainable business.  
  • Increase revenue: Of course, hotels themselves will greatly benefit from “going green” by cutting down on energy costs and spending less money on products. The money you save can then be put towards even more renovations or a rise in employee salaries and wages.

Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

With the size of the hotel industry, it’s clear that sustainability is not simply a trend to please more customers. It is a necessity to reduce carbon emissions and have a more positive impact on the global ecosystem. 

Even your website content and marketing strategies can be more sustainable to reduce energy consumption and appeal to more eco-friendly customers. 

There are dozens of ways you can practice sustainability in the hotel industry and make more environmentally-friendly changes. 

Even smaller hotels with a lower budget can start implementing change in little ways, which will make a difference over time. 

These days, there’s no excuse. If you want to continue providing a quality customer experience and reduce your impact on the ecosystem, you have to start running your hotel with sustainability in mind.  

About the Author: Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer passionate about workplace equity, and whose published works cover sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more. You can find more of her writing on her Contently

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