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Hotel Owners Can Get More Green by Going Green

by / Thursday, 06 August 2015 / Published in Blog, Hospitality, Hotel Management

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase we’re all well-acquainted with, and for good reason. The earth’s natural resources that we depend upon are finite, so the advice is simply to use them wisely. Even if you don’t consider yourself an eco-focused person, it just makes good practical sense to be resourceful–whether it’s in vogue or not.

The best part about wasting less resources, though, is wasting less money. Wasting less money is having more of it, and because the nature of hotels requires the use of a lot of water, energy, food, and other materials, hotel owners have an incredible opportunity to save a lot of money by being more resourceful.

Save money, help the planet–these aren’t the only benefits. Taking responsibility for the way your business uses the earth’s resources reflects well upon your brand and becomes part of your company culture. Your business can effect positive change in the world!

Below we review three areas that are full of opportunities for savings. Some of the ideas do require an upfront cost but will pay for themselves in savings. Remember to look into opportunities for rebates and tax credits when considering the cost of efficiency updates as well.

Water WisdomBathroom at Hotel Suite
If your hotel is situated on the West Coast, you know all too well how important water conservation is. Water is an essential part of a hotel: sinks, showers, toilets, ice machines; washing machines, dishwashers, cleaning, cooking, watering landscaping; there are often pools, hot tubs, and saunas to account for as well. Some surefire ways to save more water include:

  • Update fixtures and appliances – Update bathroom faucets and shower heads with water-efficient fixtures, and replace appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, etc. with water-efficient models.
  • Schedule regular maintenance of plumbing, appliances, and pools –  Be proactive by scheduling regular inspection and maintenance of your plumbing. Detecting leaks and other problems before they get worse can save money, too.
  • Reuse water – Greywater systems allow you to reuse about half of the water that gets flushed.
  • Collect rainwater – Even in an arid climate, installing a rainwater harvesting system can help you generate much of the water you need for non-consumption purposes.
  • Spread the word – Help your guests by placing a simple note in each room with water-saving tips like reuse bath towels, turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, etc.
  • Implement best practices – Turn your staff into water-conserving warriors. Implement best practices for water use in the kitchen, for cleaning, landscaping, and more.
  • Landscape wisely – In addition to watering best practices, choose drought-resistant plants that don’t need a lot of water. Opt for patches of gorgeous native vegetation instead of patches of thirsty grass.

Power Plays
Much like water, energy can be saved by updating current systems and appliances, and staying on top of regular maintenance.

    • Go solar – Generate at least a portion of the power you need from the sun. Install solar pool heating systems. Light outdoor spaces with solar-powered lamps.
    • Update appliances and lighting – Be sure to outfit your hotel with Energy Star certified appliances, including HVAC systems. Choose energy-efficient lighting options like LED. Opt for natural lighting when possible.
  • Update insulation – Proper building insulation is the key to energy efficiency. Seal leaks, insulate, and update windows and doors.
  • Schedule regular maintenance of appliances and systems – Sometimes saving tons of money is as simple as making sure your air filters are clean!

Maid making bed in hotel roomWaste Not
Wasting less water and energy is important, but there are many other opportunities to reduce waste.

    • Make smart purchasing decisions – Whether it’s choosing the wholesale soap that is cheaper and contains less packaging or keeping a close eye on inventory items going to waste, there are always opportunities to review your suppliers and inventory needs.
  • Offer recycling – Provide recycling bins for guests and staff to use.
    • Opt for recycled items – Provide recycled products for meetings. Not only does this help the environment but it attracts like-minded clients and can make the difference in sealing the deal.
  • Compost Composting is a great way to turn food and garden scraps into healthy soil for your landscaping purposes.
  • Develop wisely – When building new or updating current structures, choose sustainable materials that are not only sometimes cheaper but lend themselves to long-term savings through efficiency.

When looking for the smartest ways for your hotel to implement resource and money-saving updates, reach out to a consultant who can help you determine the costs, returns, and impact that going green will have your business specifically.

It can be overwhelming, but remember that one small change at a time will add up to a lot of savings over the long run.

To explore sustainable initiatives for your specific property, contact HMG Hospitality. HMG Hospitality is a leading innovator on forward-thinking practices that will be both earth conscious and revenue increasing. For additional insight or an assessment of your current situation, contact us today.

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