Today’s top-rated hotel is not only accommodating and well-staffed — it’s also green
As customers become increasingly environmentally conscious, hotels are following suit by integrating various sustainability measures. Hospitality executives should know that going green will not only attract customers; sustainability initiatives often eliminate waste and generate cost savings. Of course, the biggest perk of a green hotel is that it takes a smaller toll on the environment.
So, how exactly do you make your property more planet-friendly? If you think the only method is to place “save-the-planet” placards on every bathroom counter, you’re missing out. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you on your way towards becoming a greener hotelier.
Green Strategy #1: Go Paperless in the Back Office
There are likely tons of resources going to waste at your property right now and resources equal money. We recommend starting by tackling a single resource — perhaps water or paper. The bathroom-placard strategy does reduce some water usage, but it’s not the end game.
Go paperless — in the digital age, paper is a resource we can do away with completely in hospitality. Going paperless in the back office at a single 150-room property saves between six to 10 trees per year on average. Imagine the cost savings: you’re not only reducing paper and printing costs, but also document-storage costs.
To achieve a paperless property, you’ll need a reliable software tool that can organize all of your information. A great example is Paperless Night Audit Pack by myDigitalOffice, which allows for paperless document management and eliminates the need to print, organize and store records.
Many hotels that still rely on paper find themselves chained to banker’s boxes, which are not only expensive themselves, but also spawn a series of intangible costs such as labour and retrieval time. Paper printing and storage become a steady cash drain, so why not go paperless and save the planet while you’re at it?
One last tip before you run off to shred all your paper: remember, the key to going paperless is a reliable tool. As a benchmark, our Paperless Night Audit Pack takes only 21 days to implement and allows searchability, accessibility, security and accountability. Find yourself a tool like that and you’ll be well on your way.
Green Strategy #2: Sustainable Branding
Some hoteliers make the mistake of taking the sustainability initiative too far and trying to fool their customers with exaggerated claims. This is a mistake and will do more damage to your business than benefit; rebuilding a tarnished brand is excruciating and slow. To avoid damaging your brand, we again recommend going green in a small, manageable piece of your business. Start by tackling a single process and then advertise your hard work.
Despite moving towards digital transactions, many properties still rely on physical invoices as part of their accounting process. Forward-thinking hoteliers are pivoting towards paperless accounting and automation — and so should you.
Take advantage of tools such as myDigitalOffice, which cut invoice-processing times and streamlines the entire process. The ROI on automation is huge: you’ll enjoy a faster turnaround time, better monitoring and better record keeping. The biggest return for the green hotelier, however, is the ability to save resources visibly without overhauling entire systems.
With automation under your belt, you’ll be able to confidently advertise paperless or green transactions. Instead of handing over a physical statement upon checkout, you can instead tell your customers about your green initiative that reduces paper and printing waste. Guests will love you more and you’ll build their trust by explaining what specific actions you’ve taken, rather than making dubious sweeping claims about saving the Earth.
We’ll leave you with these two strategies and tool recommendations, but remember that no hospitality executive can pull off sustainability alone. Engage your staff and listen to their suggestions — your ground-level team will be more aware than anyone of where to improve the process. With the team on board, roll up your sleeves and get to work as a green hotelier.
Visit mydigitaloffice.com/greenforgood for our in-depth guide to sustainable hospitality, Going Green for Good