Key environmental strategies for hospitality companies
Today’s top-rated hotel is not only accommodating and well-staffed—it’s also green.
As customers have become increasingly environment-conscious, hotels are following suit by integrating various sustainability measures. Hospitality executives should know that going green will not only attract customers; sustainability initiatives often eliminate waste and generate cost savings. Of course, the biggest perk of a green hotel is that it takes a smaller toll on the environment.
So, how exactly do you make your property more planet-friendly? If you think the only method is to place “save the planet” placards on every bathroom counter, you’re missing out. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you on your way toward becoming a greener hotelier.
Let's start by giving you a reason to care about green hospitality:
A sustainable hotel takes care of the planet by consuming fewer resources and avoiding toxic waste. Therefore, our planet’s well-being is a huge ethical driver for sustainability in the hospitality industry.
If that doesn’t convince you, let’s talk business:
Millennials are about to become (or already are) your biggest customer base, and they want to patronize properties that align with their values. In fact, most millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings. On top of that incentive, a green property also saves big on costs including paper, water, electricity, and laundry.
Sustainability makes sense from a business perspective too, and industry leaders are already benefiting from their sustainable properties. In fact group rate RFP’s often now include request for information on sustainability practices.
Green Strategy #1
Reduce Costs, Increase Profits, and Go Paperless
There are likely tons of resources going to waste at your property right now, and resources equal money. We recommend starting by tackling a single resource, perhaps water or paper. The bathroom placards strategy does reduce some water usage, but it’s not the end game.
What resource could you eliminate altogether? Could you be the one to set the industry standard?
Go paperless. In the digital age, paper is a source we can do away with completely in hospitality. Going paperless at a single150-room property saves between six to ten trees per year on average. Imagine the cost savings: you’re not only cutting out paper and printing costs, but also document storage costs!
To achieve a paperless property, you’ll need a reliable software tool that can organize all your information. A great example is Paperless Night Audit Pack bymyDigitalOffice, which allows for paperless document management and eliminates the need to print, organize, and store records. Many hotels that still rely on paper find themselves chained to banker’s boxes, which are not only expensive themselves, but also spawn a series of intangible costs such as labor and retrieval time. Paper printing and storage become a steady cash drain, so why not go paperless and save the planet while you’re at it?
One last tip before you run off to shred all your paper: remember that the key to going paperless is a reliable tool. As a benchmark, our Paperless Night Audit Pack takes only 21 days to implement and allows searchability, accessibility, security, and
accountability. Find yourself a tool like that and you’ll be well on your way.
Green Strategy #2
Some hoteliers make the mistake of taking the sustainability initiative too far and trying to fool their customers with exaggerated claims. This is a mistake and will do more damage to your business than benefit; rebuilding a tarnished brand is excruciating and slow. To avoid damaging your brand, we again recommend going green in a small, manageable piece of your business. Start by tackling a single process and then advertise your hard work.
One easy place you can start is the Accounts Payable (AP) process. Despite moving
towards digital transactions, many properties still rely on physical invoices. Industry
leaders are pivoting towards AP automation—and so should you.
Take advantage of a tool like APLodgics by myDigitalOffice that will cut down on invoice processing by 60% and streamline the entire process. The ROI on AP automation is huge: you will enjoy a faster payment turnaround time, better monitoring of invoice status, and better record keeping. The biggest return for the green hotelier, however, is the ability to save resources visibly without overhauling their whole operating system.
With AP automation under your belt, you’ll be able to confidently advertise paperless or
green transactions. In fact, AP automation is a great place to start because of how visible the change is; instead of handing over a physical invoice upon checkout, you can instead tell your customers about your green initiative that cuts down invoicing. Guests will love the sustainable branding and you’ll build their trust by explaining what specific actions you’ve taken instead of making dubious sweeping claims about saving the Earth.