3 eco-friendly practices for hotels that impress guests and encourage brand loyalty

by | Jul 16, 2024 | Public Relations

The world is waking up to the need for increased sustainability across all industries, and the hospitality sector is no different. In fact the latest data from the Global Hotel Decarbonisation Report reveals that by 2050 it’s necessary for a 90 percent reduction in emissions to be achieved, or else the consequences for the climate will be dire.

From a commercial perspective, this shift is necessary in order to wow modern customers and keep them coming back in the future. With that in mind, let’s talk through some environmentally sound strategies that hotels can deploy to build loyalty in the guests they serve.

Go green with sustainable cleaning supplies

Green cleaning supplies make a world of difference, both for guests and the planet. These products use natural ingredients, minimizing the levels of harmful chemicals in your hotel. This is significant given that as much as 33 percent of air pollution originates from the use of cleaning products with a standard formulation.

The other reason to get excited by sustainable supplies is that they’re just as effective as those with harsh man-made chemicals. And if that isn’t enough, additional advantages include:

  • Reduced Allergens: Safer for sensitive guests.
  • Improved Air Quality: Natural scents are more authentic than chemical odors.
  • Lower Environmental Impact: Biodegradable ingredients reduce the ecological fallout.

When putting together a hotel housekeeping checklist, you can make it easy for staff to switch by integrating items such as:

  • Eco-friendly multi-surface cleaner
  • Natural bathroom disinfectants
  • Refillable glass spray bottles

Adopting green cleaning practices means hotels can live up to the sustainable brand image they’re aiming to convey to guests. This is something people really care about today, so it’s a way of earning their loyalty as much as it is a process that contributes to saving the planet.

eco-friendly practices

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Smart energy management systems

Energy expenses account for 6 percent of all hotel costs, meaning the per-room average is almost $2,200 annually. With the adoption of cutting edge systems to monitor and control energy consumption in real-time, hospitality firms can make major savings while bolstering their eco credentials and beefing up their brand.

The benefits of adopting smart energy solutions, aside from cost-cutting, include:

  • Enhanced Guest Comfort: It’s easy to optimize room temperatures based on occupancy.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Real-time analytics identify inefficiencies, and allow hotels to act on them swiftly.
  • Branding Boost: With smart energy management systems in place, claims about sustainability are substantiated, rather than being hollow platitudes.

The key features of these systems are:

  • Automated HVAC Control: Adjust heating, ventilation, and air conditioning based on guest presence or preferences.
  • LED Lighting with Sensors: Motion sensors turn lights off in unoccupied areas, saving power.
  • Energy Usage Analytics: Detailed reports help staff understand consumption patterns.

Most importantly, these types of features are becoming expected across the industry. So if they’re not present in your locations, guests will feel short-changed, and brand loyalty you’ve worked hard to earn will suffer.

Zero-waste initiatives in hotel operations

Zero-waste initiatives are a necessity, and hotels adopting these practices show commitment to sustainability, reducing landfill contributions significantly.

Implementing zero-waste strategies includes:

  • Eliminating Single-Use Plastics: Replace plastic straws, cups, and toiletries with compostable or reusable alternatives. With 85% of plastic waste still being sent to landfill sites, there’s a real need to cut this off at source.
  • Bulk Dispensers for Toiletries: Install refillable dispensers for shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
  • Composting Organic Waste: Set up systems to compost food scraps from kitchens and restaurants.

Operational steps can involve:

  • Partnering with Local Suppliers: Sourcing goods locally reduces packaging waste and supports the community.
  • Recycling Programs: Comprehensive recycling bins in guest rooms and common areas encourage proper waste sorting.
  • Upcycling Furniture & Decor: Use reclaimed materials for furnishings to give items a second life.

Once you adopt this approach, your hotel becomes part of a closed-loop system where waste is minimized at every point. And for consumers who are making decisions based on sustainability above all else, which may account for as many as 78 percent of all potential customers, this is an obvious area in which brand loyalty can be forged or shattered.

The bottom line

In short, if eco-friendliness is not a foundational principle of your hotel operations, then you will find that over time the loyalty of existing customers is eroded, and your brand’s ability to win over new converts will be compromised.

Things like swapping to sustainable cleaning supplies and introducing zero-waste practices are comparatively straightforward to implement, and offer advantages that far outweigh any inconveniences and upfront costs involved.

All of this matters for hotels across the board, because modern guests won’t tolerate inefficiency and waste in the same way as they might have in the past. So be proactive in pushing for change, and reap the benefits in terms of positive PR and branding opportunities.

Jessica Perkins
Jessica Perkins is a writer and SaaS marketing consultant who helps businesses scale up their marketing efforts. She is obsessed with learning and also is passionate about sculpting. 


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