Hotel Trends

10 ways to Run a Successful Sustainable Hotel Business

12 Minutes

Kajal Makhija

10 ways to Run a Successful Sustainable Hotel Business

Kajal Makhija
Published on

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The state of our planet is dire, and it's becoming increasingly clear that we need to take urgent action to address climate change. The real estate industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which exacerbate the problem. Fortunately, many countries are now implementing climate change laws and regulations to reduce emissions and encourage real estate decarbonization.

Hotels are one sector that can play a vital role in this effort. By adopting sustainable practices, hotels can reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. Some examples of sustainable practices for hotels include reducing energy consumption by using energy-efficient appliances, installing renewable energy systems such as solar panels, conserving water by using low-flow fixtures, and implementing waste reduction and recycling programs.

In addition, real estate decarbonization efforts are becoming increasingly popular in the hospitality industry. Many hotels are exploring ways to reduce their carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy sources and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. This can not only help to reduce the hotel's environmental impact but also provide significant cost savings in the long run.

Several industries have taken steps toward hospitality sustainability, and the hospitality industry is no exception. This blog will outline sustainable practices for hotels to help make your property environmentally friendly.

What are sustainable practices in hotels?

Sustainable hotels are establishments that have embraced eco-friendly practices and products to preserve the environment. Simply put, they embrace a green lifestyle through the use of organic products and clean energy.

Hotel sustainability is an integral part of eco-tourism and is often situated in natural environments such as forests, near waterfalls, or mountains.

Known by various names, including eco-lodge, environmental-friendly hotels, and green hotels, these establishments have become popular among travelers due to their non-toxic atmosphere.

What are the advantages of running a sustainable hotel?

Running a sustainable hotel offers numerous advantages for the environment and your business. Hotel sustainability is an establishment that adopts environmentally friendly practices to minimize its impact on the planet. These practices include reducing energy consumption, conserving water, reducing waste, and using eco-friendly products.

One of the most significant benefits of running a sustainable hotel is reduced operational costs. Hotels can significantly reduce their energy bills by implementing energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, and reducing water consumption. Additionally, the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power can further reduce costs and improve the hotel's carbon footprint.

Another advantage of hotel sustainability is improved guest experience. Today's travelers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and are looking for hotels that align with their values. By offering eco-friendly amenities, such as organic toiletries, and promoting sustainable practices, hotels can attract a new and growing segment of environmentally conscious travelers. This can result in increased occupancy rates and higher revenue for the hotel.

Sustainable hotels also positively impact the local community and the environment. Hotels can support local businesses and minimize their environmental impact by reducing waste and using locally sourced products. Furthermore, hotels can contribute to the broader community's efforts to protect the environment by educating guests about sustainable practices and encouraging them to adopt them during their stay.

Lastly, running a sustainable hotel can improve the reputation of the business. Sustainable practices are becoming increasingly important to consumers, and hotels that adopt these practices are viewed as responsible, ethical, and forward-thinking businesses. This can help to attract new customers and improve customer loyalty, ultimately leading to long-term success.

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10 ways how you can run a sustainable hotel

Now that we know what are sustainable practices, here is a list of 10 ways how you can run a sustainable hotel and stay on top in the sustainability trends in hospitality industry - 

1. Implement an Energy Management System (EMS) 

Implementing an Energy Management System (EMS) in hotels can bring numerous benefits and help control energy costs effectively. The system allows hotels to monitor and regulate their energy usage, leading to substantial cost savings. By identifying areas of energy inefficiency, such as lighting and heating, the EMS helps hotels make informed decisions and drive energy-saving initiatives. Additionally, the system provides valuable data and insights that can be used to improve energy efficiency continuously.

Moreover, an EMS helps hotels reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a greener planet. This can positively impact a hotel's reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers. An EMS also enables hotels to comply with energy regulations and standards, further reducing the risk of penalties and fines.

2. Adopt Renewable Energy Sources 

Hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs by adopting renewable energy sources. Solar power is a prime example of such a source that can help in achieving this goal. The installation of solar panels on the roof or designated areas can generate clean, renewable energy that can be used to power various operations within the hotel. Not only does this reduce the hotel's dependence on non-renewable sources, but it also helps in reducing the environmental impact. In addition, incorporating renewable energy sources can serve as a selling point for environmentally conscious guests. This, in turn, can attract more guests looking for eco-friendly and sustainable accommodations. By consciously adopting renewable energy sources, hotels can not only reduce their carbon footprint but also contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

3. Reduce Water Consumption

Water conservation is an essential issue in today's world, with many areas facing water scarcity and droughts. Hotels, as large water consumers, can play a significant role in reducing water consumption and helping preserve this precious resource. One of the simplest ways to reduce water use is by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets. These devices are designed to use less water while still providing adequate pressure and flow for the user.

Another effective way to reduce water consumption is by fixing any leaks in the hotel's plumbing system. Leaks can be sneaky and go undetected for a long, leading to a significant waste of water. Regular maintenance and inspections can help detect and fix leaks promptly, reducing the amount of water lost.

In addition to these physical upgrades, hotels can implement water-saving practices in their daily operations. One such practice is collecting and reusing greywater for irrigation. Greywater is water that has been used for non-potable purposes, such as showering, washing clothes, and washing dishes. By collecting this water and using it to water the hotel's landscaping, hotels can conserve a significant amount of potable water that would otherwise be used for irrigation.

4. Use Eco-Friendly Products

The use of eco-friendly products has become increasingly important in recent years, particularly in the hospitality industry. As guests become more environmentally conscious, they are seeking out accommodations that align with their values. By utilizing environmentally friendly products, such as organic toiletries and biodegradable cleaning products, hotels can reduce their impact on the environment and provide guests with a non-toxic and safe stay.

The use of traditional cleaning products and personal care items often contains harsh chemicals that are harmful to both the environment and human health. Hotels can minimize their carbon footprint by switching to eco-friendly alternatives, conserving natural resources, and reducing pollution. Biodegradable cleaning products, for example, break down naturally and do not harm the environment, unlike traditional products that can take years to decompose and release harmful chemicals into the soil and water.

Moreover, by using organic toiletries, hotels can provide guests with products that are free of harmful chemicals and preservatives and that are made from natural ingredients. Organic personal care products are better for the environment and healthier for guests, as they contain no harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients.

5. Support Local Businesses

Supporting local businesses is a crucial aspect of sustainable tourism, and it is one of the many ways that hotels can contribute to the growth and development of their communities. By sourcing products and services from local suppliers, hotels can not only support the local economy but also reduce their carbon footprint, as products and services do not need to travel long distances, which reduces the number of emissions generated from transportation.

In doing so, hotels can create new job opportunities for residents, boost the local economy, and help preserve traditional skills and crafts. Moreover, by using locally sourced products, hotels can offer guests a unique and authentic experience that reflects the local culture and traditions.

By collaborating with local suppliers, hotels can also help small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and develop, and to become more competitive in the global market. This can be done through procurement policies that prioritize local suppliers and through partnerships and sponsorships that provide small businesses with exposure and resources.

In addition to supporting local businesses, sourcing products and services locally can also have positive impacts on the environment. For example, by using locally grown produce, hotels can reduce the amount of food waste generated from transportation and can also ensure that the food served to guests is fresh, seasonal, and flavorful.

Furthermore, by using locally sourced materials, such as building materials and furnishings, hotels can reduce the energy and resources required for transportation and manufacturing and can also support local crafts and skills.

6. Reduce Food Waste  as an effective sustainable practices in hospitality industry

F&B department is one of the main department for hotels for upselling. Minimizing food waste is becoming increasingly important for hotels and the hospitality industry. Not only does reducing food waste benefit the environment by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, but it can also support the local community. One effective strategy for reducing food waste is to donate surplus food to local charities. This not only helps to reduce the hotel's waste but also provides much-needed support to those in need within the community.

In addition to donating surplus food, hotels can also adopt composting practices to reduce the amount of organic waste that is sent to landfills. Composting is a process in which organic waste, such as food scraps, is broken down into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. This soil amendment can then be used to improve the health and fertility of the soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. By composting, hotels can significantly reduce the amount of waste that they produce and also help to promote sustainable agriculture practices.

Aside from the environmental and community benefits, reducing food waste can also benefit hotels financially. By reducing waste, hotels can save money on waste disposal fees and also improve their bottom line by reducing food costs. Additionally, hotels can enhance their reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers by demonstrating their commitment to reducing waste and supporting the community.

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7. Encourage sustainable practices in hospitality industry

Hotels can contribute to the wider community's efforts to protect the environment by educating guests about sustainable practices and encouraging them to adopt them during their stay. This can include promoting the use of reusable water bottles and avoiding single-use plastics.

8. Create a Sustainable Landscape

By incorporating sustainable landscaping practices, such as using native plants and reducing the use of pesticides, hotels can create an attractive and environmentally friendly outdoor space. Additionally, using rain gardens can help reduce runoff and improve water quality.

9. Promote Sustainable Transportation

Hotels can reduce their carbon footprint and encourage sustainable travel by offering guests sustainable transportation options, such as electric vehicle charging stations and bike rentals. Additionally, providing public transportation information can help guests reduce their reliance on cars.

10. Incorporate Sustainable Building Practices

By incorporating sustainable building practices, such as using natural ventilation, shading, and insulation, hotels can reduce their energy consumption and improve the comfort of guests. Additionally, using sustainable materials, such as bamboo flooring and recycled building materials, can help reduce the environmental impact of construction and renovation.

Myths and misconceptions about sustainable hotels and sustainable practices in hospitality industry

Making a hotel eco-friendly is not just a trend but a necessity in today's world. Climate change and environmental degradation are significant global issues that require immediate attention and action. While many hotels are making the transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly operation, there are still several myths and misconceptions surrounding the topic. This blog will look at some of these myths and misconceptions and provide tips on making your hotel eco-friendly.

Myth 1: Making a hotel eco-friendly is expensive

One of the biggest misconceptions about making a hotel eco-friendly is that it is expensive. While it is true that some eco-friendly initiatives may come with a higher cost, the long-term benefits far outweigh the expenses. There are many cost-effective ways to make your hotel eco-friendly, such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, implementing a linen and towel reuse program, and reducing food waste. These initiatives benefit the environment and save money in the long run.

Myth 2: Going green means sacrificing comfort and luxury

Another common myth is that eco-friendly hotels are less comfortable and luxurious than traditional hotels. This couldn't be further from the truth. Eco-friendly hotels can offer the same level of comfort and luxury as traditional hotels while incorporating sustainable practices and minimizing their environmental impact. From using organic bedding to offering locally sourced food, eco-friendly hotels are making a name for themselves in the luxury travel market.

Myth 3: Eco-friendly hotels attract only environmentally-conscious guests

While eco-friendly hotels are increasingly popular with environmentally conscious travelers, they are not limited to just this segment of the market. Many travelers are looking for hotels that offer a comfortable and luxurious experience, and eco-friendly hotels can provide just that. In fact, eco-friendly hotels can attract a broader range of guests, including those who are interested in health and wellness, hotel sustainability, and responsible tourism with hospitality sustainability.

Famous sustainable hotels 


To effectively address hotel sustainability issues, it is crucial to take a comprehensive approach that encompasses all aspects of hotel operations, from housekeeping to the hotel restaurant and beyond. This involves making internal changes and implementing environmentally friendly practices and engaging guests, and encouraging them to play an active role in promoting hotel sustainability both within the hotel and in the surrounding community.

One way to encourage guest involvement is by highlighting opportunities for them to make sustainable choices, such as selecting local tour operators or purchasing locally produced goods. This not only supports the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with travel.

There are numerous hotel sustainability initiatives that hotels can implement to help reduce their impact on the environment. Some of the most common practices include implementing energy-efficient technologies, reducing waste, and utilizing renewable energy sources. These initiatives not only help hotels save money by reducing their operating costs but also help differentiate the hotel from its competitors and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

As consumer attitudes continue to evolve, hotels must stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the changing needs of their guests. By embracing hotel sustainability and making it a core part of their operations, hotels can reduce their impact on the environment and create a more sustainable and appealing experience for their guests.

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