There are a myriad of factors to take into account when considering your business hotel & travel options, including the obvious points of price, traveller preference and convenience. Now, however, there is another factor rising up the agenda, with 45% of business travellers considering eco-friendly travel as a growing trend and 57% of European companies having sustainability initiatives written into their travel policies.
The designation of 2017 as the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development has also focused attention on environmental impact and wider sustainability issues. One of the most recent developments in this area for the hotel sector is the extension by ABTA of its Travelife sustainability management scheme to hotels in the corporate sector. The scheme has three goals – to help hotels become more sustainable, to give corporates a risk management tool and to engage and educate business travellers. Each hotel in the scheme completes a 150-question survey covering the environment, human rights in their supply chains, as well as guest engagement on these issues. Independent auditors then spend time in each hotel, inspecting guest rooms and interviewing staff members.
Hotels themselves are aware of the need to reduce their carbon footprint and to be as green as possible and it is now becoming common practice for many hotels to offer the following:
Local Sourcing – Many hotel restaurants pride themselves on using locally sourced produce, but hotels are now extending this practice to other suppliers too.
Hotel Grown Produce – Taking local sourcing one step further, some hotels are growing their own produce onsite to reduce food miles even further.
Eco friendly Laundry – The laundry is one of the most carbon-intensive parts of a hotel, so many are installing special machines which wash laundry with water saturated with ozone, which helps to reduce both costs and carbon emissions.
Refillable toiletry dispensers – Rather than filling the world with tiny plastic bottles, some hotels are starting to install refillable dispensers.
Using the power of Technology – Smart, web-connected devices, such as thermostats, lights and air-con mean hotels can drastically reduce their energy usage.
Hotel guests can also play their part in bringing about change. As well as choosing hotels that have already made changes, customers need to demand more sustainable services and products and they also need to question what measures are in place. If the hotels feel pressure from their clients, they are more likely to change their ways.
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