What Makes a Hotel Sustainable?

Ten compelling ways modern hoteliers are making their properties and their businesses more sustainable

For many managers and entrepreneurs, business still means travel at some stage in the sales cycle even despite the rise of Zoom and other video technologies. Applying sustainability principles to your travel strategy means challenging your go-to hotel and travel partners. Where are the new standards being set? If you’re a hotelier, where can you make improvements to your business to demonstrate to customers that you take your own sustainability journey seriously?

#1 Nailing the Basics

Workplaces and homes alike are committing to standards of recycling. How is the hotel faring? Are there strong and frequent recycling options around the property to encourage disposal of used products beyond landfill?

#2 Smarter Services

Everyone wins when necessary processes like checking in and out are minimized. Less paperwork printed and signed. Keyless entry without plastic cards you inevitably forget to return to the front desk. Is the hotel streamlining your stay with smarter technology?

#3 Nearer is Better

The best hotel experience is authentically local. Does the hotel demonstrate a commitment to locally-sourced products (especially food) which rewards local providers and avoids the inevitable carbon impact of international shipping and haulage?

#4 Eat Your Vegetables

Speaking of food and transport, does the menu do justice to the vegetarian movement? A menu that reflects a more sustainable approach will be sure to show meaningful vegan options.

#5 Zero Waste

What happens to unused food? Does the hotel or its menu convey a strategy to keep its kitchen bins empty? Beyond composting, and local sustainable food growing efforts, there are increasingly inspiring examples of regular and reliable food donations to charities.

#6 Avoid Single Use Products

Of course sustainability isn’t only about eliminating food waste. Reusable glassware and dishes are brighter choices for a hotel property than the likes of plastic packaging and coffee pods, straws and plastic water bottles.

#7 Sustainable Swaps

The global supply chain is filling up with companies and challenger brands answering the call for more sustainable solutions. Whether a hotel is selling branded items from its gift shop, or furnishing the guest room with tea bags and hand soap, eco-friendly options abound. Brighter Compass has compiled a list of these heroes, so if you want to know more about them, just email us here:

#8 Energy is Key

Updating systems and implementing best practice is crucial when it comes to making energy savings. Investment in maintenance and monitoring can help avoid energy-related offences. Is the hotel looking to the future with sensors which adjust light levels? Are common spaces intelligently heated or otherwise? The modern intelligent property doesn’t leave it all up to the guest and staff.

#9 Outside and Inn

Nature is part of the solution. Technology aside, does the hotel make use of native planting and landscaping? Has it harnessed rainwater collection and solar panel installations? Superior land management means reducing water runoff and sensitivity to irrigation and water use that will inspire guests.

#10 The People Make the Property

Are the staff at the hotel engaged in eco-friendly innovation? Staff buy-in is essential for identifying small but impactful changes and implementing those improved daily routines. Have the different members of the team been energized by bespoke initiatives which they can share with customers?

Brighter Compass wants to hear about your hotel experience or your commitment to innovation. We recommend sustainable hotels to our clients and welcome your travel stories too. Please contact us here, thank you.