Historically, the hospitality industry has had a dramatic environmental impact through water and energy consumption, use of goods (both consumable and durable) and waste creation. That’s why an increasing number of hoteliers and hospitality professionals have started turning their focus on the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry and implemented environmentally friendly initiatives to help protect the environment. Let’s have a look at some of the most remarkable green initiatives recently undertaken or planned by hotels and hospitality businesses in the near future.
Hotel giants go green and ban mini plastic toiletry bottles
Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group, two of the biggest international hotel chains, have announced that by 2021, they will switch single-use shower toiletry bottles to larger bottles with pump dispensers in an attempt to reduce the detrimental environmental impact of single-use plastic. The two multinational hotel chains explain that, whilst allowing guests to use as much of a product as they want, bulk-size bath amenities are recyclable along with other basic plastic containers. On the other end, tiny bottles are not usually recycled and generate refuse that adversely affects tourist destinations around the world and will never fully decompose in landfills.
Replacing plastic straws with eco-friendly alternatives
Another notable green initiative undertaken by several hotel groups around the world (Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hilton Hotels and AccorHotels) to tackle the issue of plastic waste is eliminating plastic straws and replacing them with recyclable alternatives (for instance biodegradable paper straws and bamboo straws). Similarly, a number of renowned restaurant chains and coffee shops including Rick Stein’s Fish, JD Wetherspoons and Costa Coffee have announced that they will phase out plastic drinking straws from their stories within the next few years and replace them with a more environmentally friendly alternative to lessen their environmental impact.
Other laudable eco-friendly initiatives
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, more and more hospitality businesses have started implementing a number of eco-friendly initiatives worldwide. A laudable step in the right direction has been taken by 80 Hyatt Hotels who have started offering recyclable earbuds instead of single-use ones, resulting in more than 65,000 pairs being recycled in 2018. Another winning formula enacted by Intercontinental Park Lane in support of eco-friendly initiatives is renting bicycles to guests and encouraging the use of carbon neutral means of transport. Finally, a notable green action undertaken by Four Seasons is the ‘10 Million Trees initiative’ where the hotel chain celebrated their 50th anniversary by planting 10 million trees in more than 30 countries in order to combat global warming and deforestation, whilst attracting more guests concerned about the state of the Earth.
Even if there is always more to do to minimise waste and tackle environmental issues worldwide, it is clear that an increasing number of hospitality businesses are taking important steps to make their practices more sustainable and move towards a greener path. Most hospitality companies have taken up the idea of sustainability with enthusiasm and continuously strive to educate their costumers on the importance of embracing an environmentally-friendly lifestyle to drive positive change.