Today’s top-rated hotel is not only clean, accommodating and well-staffed—it’s also going green.
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.
All major hospitality companies now have multi-level sustainability programs they require franchisees to meet. These requirements range from basic measures such as water and electricity savings, to advanced structural design and as LEED certification. For the past five years, myDigitalOffice has partnered with global hotel brands, hotel property management companies and hospitality REITs to bring compliance and transparency to thor sustainability footprint. If you have not started to plan your hotel’s path to sustainability, there is still time to start. Here is your roadmap to levelling-up hotel sustainability by 2021.
Go Paperless in the Back Office
In the digital age, paper is a resource we can do away with completely in hospitality. You can achieve a fast and impactful win in the sustainability race by implementing a paperless night audit process to your hotel’s back office. Automate the distribution of the right reports to the right teams in a timely manner using cloud-based workflow. By conducting your night audit digitally, you’re already being more sustainable than running this data-heavy process on paper, then storing the print outs in banker’s boxes and storage facilities..
To achieve a paperless property, you’ll need a reliable software tool that can organize all your information. Paperless Night Audit by myDigitalOffice allows for paperless document management and eliminates the need to print, organize, and store records, saving 20 acres of trees annually and $3,000 in annual costs per hotel. This reliable tool only takes 21 days to implement and allows searchability, accessibility, security, and accountability.
Prove Your Impact with Data
Using the data you’ve gathered about your sustainability impact, illustrate the most familiar impacts that your work will have. How will these efforts change human lives, positively impact animals, or make the world nicer to live in? Don’t overwhelm with stats and figures – translate the data into a story. Make sure guests who don’t find sustainability important can choose largely to ignore what you’re doing in the background, too.
For example, through the 7,000 hotels using myDigitalOffice for Information Management, automation and paperless processes, by the end of 2020 we will have collectively delivered the following conservation impact:
Remind your guests that the hospitality industry is not just a money maker – it’s an integral part of business travel, leisure, tourism and the inherent curiosity and adventure in all of us, that takes responsibility for our planet.
Broadcast Your Green Initiative to The World
Your website, splash pages and social media profiles are the fountainhead of information about your brand mission and values, your unique amenities, a gallery of your properties, and messaging about your promotions and events. Put your conservation initiatives front and center into these spaces to let prospective hotel guests and loyalty club members know where you stand. Adding a rooftop garden this year? Let guests know you’ve made a change, alongside photos of your farm-to-table fare. Changing up the way you manage your pool and spa? Make sure you detail the water and energy that will be conserved each year.
By knowing how much money you’re saving, how many resources you’re no longer wasting, and in what ways those things could be used elsewhere, you can give the world exactly the data they hope to see. If you can translate your sustainability efforts into the number of trees saved, gallons of water conserved, or pounds of plastic pollution kept from our oceans, you’ll be giving eco-guests what they really want, and helping less green-focused guests understand why it matters. By having all of your internal data in one place, it’s easy to pull the numbers you want the public to see and create a report.
Engage Staff as Brand Ambassadors and Advocates
Every member of your front of house, back office. housekeeping and kitchen teams, and anyone else who drives your guest experience, should know how their work impacts your larger sustainability initiative. Rally your employees, express the importance of the sustainability initiative to your mission, values and brand. Encourage them to suggest changes to their processes that contribute to a greener operation. Answer questions and make sure your team is on board for the green renaissance before you launch.
Remind employees of the “why” on a daily basis – the reason behind your decision to go greener. By adding green initiatives to your flow, you’re making a global impact that will extend beyond the rooms of your property. You are creating a larger meaning for your employees and building a company culture of conservation and community.
Integrate Sustainability into Guest Perks
Using sophisticated yet simple software you can track the water usage and waste expenditure of individual rooms during individual stays. By linking this data to a rewards program or membership system, you can incentivize guests who use less water or who reuse their linens during their stay. Create a payback program, offer exclusive perks, or encourage these guests to work up to a free one-night stay.
If you do develop a sustainability program with perks or incentives for guests who make certain changes while staying with you, let that be known. Motivate your guests to help you save the planet. Make it a partnership and communicate the perks they’ll receive and the impact they’ll help to drive home. If your sustainability programming is more behind-the-scenes, highlight the global perks and reiterate that their stay will be just as luxe and comfortable as ever.
By setting goals, empowering your staff, eliminating paper-based processes, digitizing your back-office and gathering up the right data, your sustainability initiatives could transform your business and the environment in 2021. The biggest return for the green hotelier, however, is the ability to visibly conserve resources while improving efficiency, transparency and control, without overhauling entire systems.