Environmental protection and sustainability in hotels – Tips to run your hotel in a sustainable way

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips. One thing is clear: the preservation of ecological diversity, the responsible use of resources and the thought of future generations are issues that concern everyone. For hoteliers, it pays off to make their own business more sustainable. The aim is to save energy and resources, reduce costs and meet the growing environmental awareness of guests. Their expectations are changing. They are well informed, more demanding and the awareness of environmental and climate protection is on the rise. According to a recent survey by the German “Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen e.V“. Sustainability in hotels is an important topic for around 57 % of Germans on holiday. 23 % state that sustainability was an aspect of their holiday planning. Thus, running a hotel in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way is definitely one of the top hospitality trends for 2019.

Our tips are ideas and inspiration for more sustainability in hotels. Your hotel does not have to be an eco-hotel. You also don’t have to make major changes with high investments. Many small measures can already have a positive effect on the environment. Consider sustainability as an opportunity and success factor for your hotel.

Tip: Saving electricity in your hotel

You can save electricity, especially with the lighting. Replace halogen and energy-saving lamps with LED lamps that are much more durable and efficient. LEDs consume around 90% less energy. Many halogen spots are still installed, especially in entrance areas, conference rooms and corridors. The purchase costs for LEDs usually pay for themselves in less than a year. Even small measures such as the installation of motion detectors in corridors, toilets and storerooms save money and are good for the environment. Also think of the regular cleaning and maintenance of all electronic devices used in the hotel, like the freezer, the air conditioning systems or the vacuum cleaner.

Tip: Save water in your hotel

You can reduce the water consumption in your hotel drastically by using water-saving shower heads. A hotel with 11,000 overnight stays per year can save around 5,000 Euros*. The use of toilet water stoppers, aerators on taps and eco-friendly washing machines also help to save water. You can also save water by changing the linen only every second day and point out to your guests to use their towels several times. Due to the reduced amount of laundry per day, you will save water, cleaning agents and electricity.

Tip: Reducing waste in hotels

Save on waste fees and protect the environment by consistent waste separation. It is even better to save packaging from the outset. For example, instead of buying food in portions, buy it in bulk and avoid disposable items. The EU Parliament has just adopted a comprehensive ban on plastics: From 2021, plastic articles such as disposable plastic cutlery, disposable plastic plates, plastic straws and fast food containers will be banned within the European Union.

Tip: Regional, local and homemade food in a hotel

Use seasonal and regional food in your hotel. These are much more environmentally friendly due to shorter transport distances and reduced CO2 emissions because of less refrigeration and storage. At the same time, you strengthen the local economy and local producers. You can also use the fact that you rely on local and home-made products for your self-marketing because regional food is on trend. Even homemade food is well received by guests and gives your service a personal touch.

Tip: Heating, cooling and ventilation in hotels

When it comes to heating, air conditioning and ventilation, there are a few simple and efficient tricks to save heating costs and reduce your hotel’s CO2 emissions. Use time switches, for example, to control the operating time of your ventilation system and think about a switch-off plan for your air conditioning system in public places in your hotel. Check the radiators after every departure – empty rooms do not need to be heated. Also, check the temperature in free rooms – each degree less saves about six per cent of your heating costs. With electric thermostatic valves, you can prevent your guests from heating when the window is open and thus wasting energy.

Tip: Communicate your sustainable measures in the hotel

It is hardly obvious to your guest whether you are managing your hotel sustainably or not. Promote your green image and communicate your ecological commitment to your guests. Sustainability seals are also suitable for this, but you should inform yourself well and rely on trustworthy and established certifications. But not only you are in demand: You can also actively involve your guests by giving them the opportunity to cancel their daily room cleaning or towel change. A Digital Guest Directory, which your guests can use to cancel the service with just a few clicks, is really well suited for this purpose. In this way you save water, energy costs, cleaning agents, working time and relieve your staff at the same time.

Another advantage of the Digital Guest Directory: By using digital means of communication you also save a lot of paper for the classic paper folder, notes, flyers and brochures. It’s amazing how easy it is to make first changes and promote sustainability in hotels.

Take the first step towards environmentally friendly and sustainable management of your hotel – according to the motto: save costs, stay competitive and protect the environment.


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*compare Rechenbeispiel DEHOGA Umweltbroschüre Oktober 2016; https://www.dehoga-bundesverband.de/fileadmin/Startseite/05_Themen/Energie/DEHOGA_Umweltbroschu__re_Oktober_2016.pdf

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