The hospitality industry collectively plays an important role in creating a more sustainable future. The food system is estimated to be responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions, with the tourism sector accounting for around 8% (hotels around 1%). Therefore, it’s important to regularly review your businesses current environmental impact and identify opportunities for operational improvements.
If you are just starting your sustainability journey, or are simply looking for ways to do better, here are some ideas to help your hospitality business reduce its carbon footprint.
1. Local produce
There are many aspects to food sustainability, but why not start with where the food you buy comes from? Planning your menu around what is available locally and is in season will reduce transport and your carbon footprint. Trinity can assist with our contracted options – and if you have specific needs or ideas, your Relationship Manager will help assess additional opportunities.
It is now broadly accepted that a meat-free diet tends to have a lower carbon footprint. So be sure to offer some plant-based alternatives on your menu – as many meat eaters are more frequently ordering plant-based options in their effort to help the planet!
2. Waste and plastic reduction
There are plenty of ways to reduce packaging and plastics across your business. If you’re offering or selling water to drink, rather than plastic bottles – use branded glass bottles or jugs or use water dispensing solutions through Trinity’s supplier partner BRITA. This is not only a greener solution, but it feels more luxurious too. In the kitchen, try to buy larger containers where possible without any impact on waste. In bathrooms move away from miniature shampoos – many large chains today are using refillable, wall-mounted dispensers. Find these from suppliers such as Groupe GM, Guest Supply and Bunzl.
In the chemicals category, you can reduce plastic and transportation impacts by looking into concentrated product solutions from our supplier partner Ecolab.
3. Energy conservation
A quick energy audit from our supplier partner PEM will often uncover some easy wins, including parts of your premises still not converted to LED lighting; lights left on; heating set too high; and defective seals on fridge doors. With energy costs rising, revisit modest investments that previously looked not worth the return – they may well be more worthwhile now. From thermostatic valves from our supplier partner VanMarcke, to key card light switches in rooms and new, more efficient electrical equipment from suppliers including True Refrigeration, Meiko or Electrolux, the payback is likely to have halved, compared with a year ago.
4. Promoting sustainable transportation
There are plenty of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and encourage greener transportation. Consolidating your purchases to a smaller number of suppliers and reducing the frequency of your delivery drops will reduce trips from suppliers. Consider greening your own company’s vehicles and install EV chargers from our supplier partner DKV to encourage your staff and your guests to drive green. And if you’re in an urban environment, you can encourage non-car travel by providing e-bikes from Trinity’s supplier partner Cesano.
5. Minimising water waste
A review of water use within your property could easily uncover ways to cut back on consumption by staff, as they carry out their daily tasks. Persuading guests to cut down may be harder, but you can use several tactics. When swapping shower taps, look for new models from Van Marcke that use technology to reduce water use. As an interim measure you could fit restrictors to outlets, to reduce flow rates. And it’s always worth gently encouraging guests to make sustainable decisions, such as reusing towels and considering the water saved by a shorter shower.
Sustainable supply chains
Questions are being asked of all businesses about their sustainability initiatives. So, no matter where you are in the supply chain, it’s worthwhile asking your suppliers what they are doing – and learning best practices from their responses.
Trinity is helping members to reduce their carbon footprint by looking across the broad range of critical commodities that the group regularly sources – from paper and chemical usage to food/agriculture and plastic use. By identifying those commodities that have the most impact on our environment, we can work on an alternative, and suggest more sustainable options.
There are a number of recognised sustainability initiatives across the hospitality sector globally, some of which you may wish to tap into. These include:
- the Green Key Eco-Rating Programme – a graduated rating system designed to recognise hotels and lodging facilities for their commitment to improving environmental and fiscal performance
- the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance – building a collective effort, with the support of major global hotel brands
- the Energy & Environment Alliance – a self-help group working on adapting BREEAM to measure hospitality business sustainability
- the World Travel & Tourism Council recently developed a list of “Hotel Sustainability Basics” in March 2022 – an initiative which provides globally recognised basic sustainability indicators for hotels
It doesn’t matter where you start – it matters that you take the first step. And we are here to help. We have teamed up with leading suppliers that have products and solutions that will help you reduce your carbon footprint. If you need support on your sustainability journey – please contact us at email@example.com.
Sources – Carbonbrief.org, UN News, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Green Key