The multi-billion dollar hospitality sector has been forced to keep raising the bar when it comes to sustainability. Hoteliers across the world have realized that they have a lot to lose by overlooking the importance of this critical issue.
Casino Industry Pushes for Greater Sustainability Initiatives
The casino industry also plays a huge role when it comes to hospitality, since modern casino resorts all have large scale hotels. Many of them have upwards of 2,000 hotel rooms. Casino operators have been quick to adopt and implement sustainability projects at their resorts in order to show regulators that they want to play a role in making the planet a better place.
Sustainability is another word for social accountability or social awareness. Hotels around the world consume enormous amounts of water, electricity, and consumer goods on a daily basis. At the same time, they are discharging tons of waste. While a lot of these actions are necessary, it is also clear that there is a lot of excessive use due to a lack of responsibility and awareness by their guests.
This is why hotels such as the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Starwood, Hilton Worldwide and the Marriott have adopted sustainability programs and release their sustainability project results every year.
The sustainability initiatives that Hilton Worldwide has introduced have been especially compelling. You can read more about them in this article from Fast Company. The company pledges to cut its carbon footprint in half by the year 2030.
“The work that we’re doing in this area is not new,” Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said in his interview with Fast Company.
These sustainability projects are undertaken by these major hotel brands and implemented across all their locations throughout the world. This is a positive for hoteliers as it brings about a number of benefits which we will review below.
Benefits of Sustainability Projects
There are numerous ways in which hotels and guests benefit when a sustainability project is rolled out full-scale. Here are some of the major benefits.
Saving Water: Hotels use enormous amounts of water on a daily basis and a sustainability project always looks at reducing the amount of water consumed. This is done by educating both staff and guests on the importance of saving water. Guests are requested to only ask for clean towels or a change of bed linen if it is clearly needed as it will help conserve water. Hotel staff are equipped with steam cleaners for washing utensils instead of using regular water. These small changes add up at the end of the month and thousands of liters of water get saved.
Cost Savings: Hotels have huge overhead costs and sustainability programs help them to reduce their overhead and bring amount significant cost savings. A sustainability program that implements the reduce-reuse-recycle concept brings about cost savings in every area that it is rolled out. These savings are a bonus to the hotelier and can be used for providing employees with an incentive program and bringing about higher levels of commitment and service.
Economic Rewards: There are a number of countries around the world who have realized the importance of protecting and preserving the environment. As a result, they have regulations where they provide economic rewards to companies and organizations that have sustainability programs which show strong results. These economic rewards can come in the form of tax breaks, discounts on insurance premiums and financial grants.
This is strong motivation for hotels to push to achieve high levels of sustainability and publish their results at the end of each term so that they can avail these economic rewards.
Compliance To Regulations: While many governments are willing to reward companies for implementing sustainability projects, there are also a number of governments who are willing to slap hefty fines on companies who violate regulations and standards that have a negative impact on the environment. These penalties are hefty and also carry with it a negative brand image as it portrays the hotel or company in violation of these environmental standards in a poor light.
Thus hotels and companies are motivated to hit regulatory standards in a number of specified areas which include waste disposal, handling of hazardous materials, water consumption, storm water management, health and safety.
Brand Image Boost: Hotels are no longer resistant to implementing sustainability programs as they have come to realize the positive impact that these programs generate overall. In fact, the top hotel chains go on to hire high-level sustainability experts and implement new strategies and technologies that will help them achieve greater results when it comes to sustainability.
These hotel chains are very keen on advertising that their hotels across the world are environmentally conscious and have implemented a sustainability program. It helps boost their brand image as it shows that their hotel policies and staff are focused on making a different through carefully crafted sustainability projects.
Improved Guest Experience: There is a large demographic of travelers who specifically look for environmentally friendly hotels. They don’t mind being cautioned about using water carefully or switching off the lights when they are not needed or not asking for a change of bed lined every day. This is because they want to do their part in making a difference to the planet and are very willing to stay at hotels that push for a green initiative.
Sustainability Makes Big Waves in the Hospitality Sector
A decade ago, when sustainability projects where discussed, it was more of an inconvenience for a lot of companies in the hospitality sector. Today, it has become a necessity and any company that does not have a proper sustainability project will face a negative impact.
Hotels throughout the world as well as major casino resorts have invested heavily into implementing sustainability and go green initiatives, have trained their management and staff on going the extra mile to make a difference and have also focused on educating guests of staying compliant to their push at making a difference in the environment.
While skeptics might play down these efforts as being minimal, when one adds up everything from the combined global hospitality sector, those minimal changes turn out to be a major factor in making this world a better and safer place!