How many times have you heard the phrase “Being green does not harm the environment and is good for your money”? But is that really true? Every time doubts assail you and you prefer waiting the others making the first move, opening the way. To resolve any kind of perplexity, we decided to illustrate our point of view. It will be up to you, taking your time, to make the most convenient choice!
Let’s start with the positive factors that coming out from a green hotel management. Over time, a well-implemented environmental management programme will show you a scenario that no one ever seen. Ideas to reflect on and moments of professional growth will characterize the green challenge that will allow the hotel to achieve both economic benefits and competitive advantages. Your leisure establishment will be more prepared to meet future regulations and customer requests likely to be sensitive to changes and trends of the market.
Working systematically – following procedures to support the activity – often helps to be more efficient and productive. You’ll see a reduction in fixed costs – such as energy and water consumption, or chemical products usage and non-separated waste – always taking care and respect for the environment around us. A green hotel is, therefore, a hotel that has the opportunity to stand out among other hoteliers.
The ending point of an ethical management is to be an example to follow not only as an entrepreneurial activity, but also as a lifestyle, being able to be the driving force behind global change. Your staff may decide to do their bit to save energy and water also at home, in private life: you will be promoters of a sustainable and widespread lifestyle. In some cases, your guests might think to offset the carbon emissions they create by traveling, moving from a place to another one. So why not offer them this service included as a full package?
However, let us not hide the reality that change the management model is not easy, especially if it is necessary to ask the staff to change theie normal routine and undergo specific training, or try to change daily habits even at home. Initially, not everyone will share your view, but the time spent informing yourself in figuring out problems or answering possible questions will be a safe investment for future success of your business.
Well, in the economic parlance, being innovative and taking care of common well-being is all that can guarantee you a certain, fixed and congruent remuneration!
So, how to get that kind of virtuous path? Contrary to the claim, being green is a privilege and not a barrier! The indirect message of a hotel eco-label is to learn to live the environment as a variable to be implemented in our management system and not as an obstacle to the business growth. The guidelines, if taken leterally, will easily lead the accommodation to reach highest levels of efficiency in both short and long term.
Hotels have an important role in improving the environment for future. All hotels, however small, can be defined as debtors to the planet. They consume water, energy and create large quantities of waste. The connected transport sector contributes to increased local emissions as well as climate change and chemicals used for cleaning or HVAC systems. All this can release harmful emissions into the atmosphere and deplete the ozone layer. Many of the goods that hotels buy have an environmental impact associated with their manufacture, use and disposal. However, if every single hotel in the world could reduce its environmental footprint, it would make a big difference on a global scale. Hotels are visited every day by millions of people and solid bases and sustainable actions have the power to influence guests, customers, employees and stakeholders.
So, in summary, why should I be a green hotel? Here are 6 good reasons to make the difference!
- Legal requirements: environmental legislation will become increasingly stringent and rigorously applied throughout the world. Failure to comply with international and national legislation and local authority regulations may result in court proceedings, fines and even the imprisonment of managers. The implications of non-compliance in terms of potential damage to the company’s reputation, punitive fines and loss of customers are, today, very serious.
- Economic incentives: there are clear commercial advantages in investing time and money to operate more efficiently and avoiding sanctions for not addressing your environmental responsibilities.
- Competitive position: although it is an intangible factor, your company and the reputation of your hotel are invaluable and essential to maintain your position in the market. Reputation takes years to build but it can be lost in a few moments and it may take years to restore it. If you lose public trust or tarnish your company’s brand through inadequate environmental practices (or any other reason), you risk losing customers and your market position.
- Staff involvement: the staff is increasingly sophisticated and in tune with current thinking. He is likely to want to work for an employer whose principles and practices reflect his beliefs and which can be ambassadors. On the other hand, it is difficult to keep staff who are disappointed by their employer’s practices or who are on the defensive when asked questions from their guests. Training in environmental issues and sustainability helps promote a strong corporate culture. It also increases staff motivation and morale by making staff feel appreciated and positively stimulating society. Highly motivated employees are more likely to provide a better quality of service to your guests. Furthermore, by providing a cleaner and safer working environment, you will reduce the risk of causing health and safety problems for staff – and perhaps even litigation.
- Local responsibility: hotels and other accommodation providers are responsible for building good relationships with those who live and work in the local community and to consider the needs of their neighbors. This means operating in a way that does not diminish the quality of life, for example by running out of water resources, creating noises, waste or problems in mobility. By securing a leadership position, you have the opportunity to influence and educate members of the local community, as well as visitors and guests, and encourage others to follow a more sustainable lifestyle – which is for the benefit of all. There may be opportunities to help strengthen the local community, for example by helping to fund essential infrastructure such as clean water, electricity, road access and waste treatment in areas where these basic requirements are difficult to meet.
- Safeguarding the future of the sector: travel and tourism are one of the largest industries in the world. As a major stakeholder, it is in the interest of each hotel to help protect the environment on which the travel and tourism industry depends. This means working locally to help solve global problems and find ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change we are already experiencing.