Six Ways to Attract Guests with Sustainability
The hospitality industry’s new era of sustainability provides opportunities for you to lighten your footprint, connect with your guests, and increase your bottom line.
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTOR:
Christian Dettman, CHA | Hospitality Client Manager
APTIM | Environment and Sustainability
Christian is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) who proudly guides the hospitality community toward clean and sustainable goals. He is an environmental advocate and passionate about all things hotel, resorts, and restaurants. Learn more about Christian here.
More and more guests are concerned about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives when choosing their destination for hotel and lodging. Search terms like “green hotel,” “eco-hotel,” and “environmental hotel” have increased exponentially, and guests have demonstrated their interest in travelling more responsibly.
This opens the door for the hospitality industry to align their portfolio with customer demand. Beyond just setting targets and claiming values, to be successful, you will need commit to changing your operations and strategy to lighten your business’ footprint. Here are six ways you can attract guests to your hospitality business with sustainability.
Six Ways to Attract Guests with Sustainability
- Be transparent. To effectively get started on this effort, you need to understand the user experience of potential guests. Environmentally conscious customers will evaluate hotels beginning at the time of booking. Therefore, publishing clear information about sustainability programs, policies, and other efforts on all revenue channels is imperative. Booking channels and corporate business travelers have also begun requiring certain ESG efforts to be reported.
- Engage your guests. In addition to communicating your ESG initiatives online, consistent on-site communication is key to retaining guests who are keenly aware of the environmental impact of their stay. Strategies for on-site engagement begin in common areas—such as your lobby, cafeteria, and rest areas—include:
- Training your team members on how to relay your sustainability mission to guests
- Reminding guests of ESG initiatives using digital QR codes in dining and living rooms
- Displaying sorting guidelines for trash, recycling, and compostables above waste bins at your buffet or cafeteria
- Reduce your waste. In-room initiatives are also imperative for waste and energy reduction. If one of your ESG goals is to reduce the amount of waste your hotel produces, look to:
- Eliminate unnecessary single-use items in the room, such as trash bags, toiletries, and plastic coffee packs
- Provide and clearly label bins for landfill, recycling, and composting
- Initiate conversations with your vendors on transitioning to compostable packaging
- Empower your guests to reuse by offering complimentary reusable bottles at your front desk
- Save energy. If your hotel ESG targets include energy savings and return on investment (ROI), you might consider:
- Encouraging guests to reuse their towels and linens before laundering
- Replacing all lights throughout guest rooms, hallways, public areas, and storage rooms with LED bulbs
- Installing motion sensor HVAC controls or room key master switches
- Upgrading to more energy-efficient chillers, boilers, and heat pumps
- Integrate EV charging. Guest travel and transportation also offers an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), many of your guests might anticipate the availability of charging stations on site, whether it be for their own personal or rented EV. Like Wi-Fi, EV charging stations are becoming a standard amenity for hotels. By not offering this service and taking advantage of vast available funding, you could lose out on guests and opportunities to future proof your business.
- Gather your data. To effectively implement all these solutions and enlist your guests in your sustainability journey, comprehensive energy, water, and waste data are needed. This data can empower your organization to track progress and measure ROI from specific programs, as well as craft an accurate and transparent sustainability story. ESG requires marketing, operations, and managerial support, all of which rely upon data to make decisions. By intentionally adopting measures toward reducing energy, water, and waste and regularly assessing progress, you can re-define your business as a pioneer in sustainability.
APTIM is a leading provider of climate impact services for the hospitality industry, including energy efficiency, resiliency solutions, sustainability, and waste management. Our team of subject matter experts will assess your business and ensure a streamlined, efficient process when developing a sustainability strategy. Our comprehensive approach brings together best practices and innovation in the areas of energy, water, waste, carbon, and supply chain to meet your immediate needs and long-term goals. If you are looking for ways to attract guests with sustainability, learn more here, or contact me directly for your hospitality needs.
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