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In the hospitality sector, environmental issues are increasingly relevant, and they are, in fact, already part of the premises of good business practices. Nowadays, traveling no longer has to mean leaving aside our sustainable habits. There are countless eco-friendly travel options thanks to sustainable hotels. The sustainability of hotels implies minimizing the consumption of natural resources, energy and polluting emissions, in addition to minimizing and recycling waste as much as possible.

Sustainable tourism is already here and hotels must increasingly adapt to this new reality. The reduction of the carbon footprint, the conservation of natural resources and respect for the environment, or even going further by promoting local shops and businesses that improve the economy of the area. If you want to know more about hotel sustainability, keep reading!

What is hotel sustainability?

Sustainable tourism is no longer just a simple trend, it has become a priority for the hotel industry. Sustainable practices, such as the use of renewable energies, water use systems, the reduction and reuse of waste, the use of recycled materials or biodegradable products, the purchase of local products and support for local entrepreneurs… Should be applied little by little to minimize the negative impact of the hotel industry.

For your hotel to be considered sustainable, you must consider at least some of these initiatives:

  • Design and construction with environmental or social criteria.
  • Bioclimatic construction, which minimizes the consumption of heating and air conditioning.
  • Respect the environmental, social and natural environment: this means not polluting, respecting the culture of the area, being in tune with the environment…
  • Contribute to the development of the community by supporting, for example, local businesses.
  • Offer organic food options, seasonal and with local products.
  • Basing most of the energy supply on renewable energy.
  • Use low-consumption lighting, water use systems…
  • Use organic and/or biodegradable materials.

Hotel sustainability indicators

If you need to value your hotel’s sustainability level, these indicators are key:

  • Energy use reduction.
  • Water use reduction. 
  • Waste reduction and recycling.
  • Carbon emissions reduction.
  • Elimination of single-use plastics.
  • Replacing single-use plastic water bottles.
  • Ecological cleaning products.
  • Vegetarian and organic options on the menu.

Sustainable practices in hotels

Besides all the measures that we have already seen, let’s review some sustainability practices in hotels that you can implement little by little to turn your tourist accommodation into a more environmentally friendly place:

  • Eliminate food waste, growing food on the hotel’s own premises and buying local and seasonal products.
  • Minimize water consumption. In addition to encouraging guests to be more conscious about water and towel use in their rooms, practices like smart faucets and water filtration can be applied.
  • Remove single-use plastic products, such as plastic straws, bottles and bags. There are plenty of sustainable alternatives.
  • Go paperless by digitalizing your guests’ experience. This is a very easy goal to achieve, in fact many chains are already on it, with a modern hotel management system that simplifies operations and optimizes the guest experience while reducing carbon emissions. Instead of using paper documents, apps, QR codes and wearables will do the job. 

In addition to all these tools and good practices that you can apply in your touristic accommodation, remember that having the ‘sustainable’ label also implies promoting environmentally friendly values, lifestyle and tourism activities.

The growing interest of travelers in sustainable tourism is evident, a way to visit new places that leaves the smallest possible footprint on our planet and allows vacation destinations to be kept in good condition so that future generations can enjoy them. In this sense, the hotel sector has a responsibility: allow this by adopting sustainable practices and optimizing its facilities to reduce waste and polluting emissions as much as possible.