Sustainable Hotel Management in the MICE Industry

2020 will see leaps in eco-friendly practices, and sustainable hotel management is no exception. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental advocate, made waves with her talks for change. She’s notorious for butting heads with world leaders such as Donald Trump and sailing 3000 miles across the Atlantic on a zero-carbon yacht.

According to a UNEP report, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6.7% between the years 2020 and 2030 to limit temperature increase to 1.5%. Its all-hands-on-deck.

Greta Thunberg inspires millions around the world to do better. Whether that’s boycotting single-use plastics, recycling more, using eco-friendly products or reducing their consumption of meat, real change is happening.

One thing is for sure; hotel management is influenced by what people want. And what people want is a greener, more sustainable world.

The issue with sustainability

The topic of sustainability can be met with resistance when mentioned in meeting rooms. Simply because “sustainability” is not a KPI or key performance indicator and isn’t likely to be the answer when the Director of Revenue of a hotel asks: how are we going to bring more money and MICE business?

But, if you can show that you care – genuinely – about sustainable hotel management, guests and planners alike will be attracted and delighted by the idea that they are doing something great for their planet.

There are real benefits too! Some include:

  • Cost efficiency: eco-friendly practices often go hand-in-hand with cost savings.
  • Better guest experience: energy-saving technologies can make guests feel as if they’re making a difference.
  • Corporate brand image: the younger generation want to work for companies that contribute to the community.

To maintain customer loyalty, cost savings and MICE business, hotels should consider going green.

Sound exciting? Here are some ways hotels can become more sustainable:

Recycle & reuse

When it comes to sustainable hotel management, recycling, and reusing resources is a must.

It can be as simple as ensuring all meeting rooms are complete with specialised bins, updating policies and training staff to follow these practices. Recycled exhibition stands are also a great way to be green.

Complimentary bars of soap are one of the most commonly wasted resources in the hotel industry; guests use them once or twice then leave the rest.

By recycling them, you can donate to countries in need. Hilton already does this at scale as part of their Clean the World Challenges in partnership with Clean the World, an organisation dedicated to sanitisation, water, sustainability and health.

(Source: Circular)

Encourage guests to be greener

Encouraging guests to be greener doesn’t mean you need to rule with an iron fist. It can be as simple as including water dispensers in meeting rooms or around the hotel. These can be made even more appealing by adding cucumber, mint or fruit. Leave glasses to drink from instead of plastic cups.

You can embed this encouragement into every part of sustainable hotel management. In emails to guests and planners, give instructions on how they can get to their conference using public transport such as trams, trains and busses.

 

Remove single-use plastics

According to Plastic Oceans, we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic every year. 50% of that is for single-use purposes. 8 million tonnes of that plastic ends up being dumped in the ocean.

Melia Hotels and Resorts is a fantastic example of sustainable hotel management. Within a year, 50 of their hotels in Spain and EMEA will reduce their plastic use by 45,000 kilos.

Meliá Hotels & Resorts Removes Single-Dose Containers From Bathrooms To Use 75% Less Plastic

(Source: Hospitalitynet.org)

Not only have they replaced single-dose bathroom containers with 300ml eco-pump dispensers, but they have also replaced bathroom articles such as brushes and combs with more environmentally friendly alternatives. Read more about this sustainable transformation here.

 

Catering

The Vegan Society claims that if the world became vegan, 8 million human lives would be saved by 2050. It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and result in hefty healthcare-related savings.

Whether or not that’s accurate, many people are contributing to sustainability by turning to veganism or vegetarianism, making it a perfect opportunity for you to play with menu options, expand vegetarian and vegan options and delight your guests.

A grey bowl filled with vegetables

(Source: olivemagazine)

According to Foodnavigator.com, vegan meal orders grew 388% between 2016 and 2018, making it the fastest-growing takeaway choice in 2018.

Sourcing local produce, growing your own and ensuring you’re buying fairtrade will go a long way in the eyes of your guests.

Have a look at our infographic: Sustainable Catering: Growing Green Events One Step At A Time.

Conclusion

Sustainable hotel management is a significant talking point of late. There are many ways to make your hotel operations environmentally friendly – and these points are just the start.

What’s clear is that people, whether they are staff, planners or guests, want to feel as if they are making a difference.

 


Read this eBook to learn how the top meeting hotels in London, Hilton Prague, Meliá Castilla Hotel & Convention Center Madrid and InterContinental Vienna are taking their MICE business to the next level.


Written by Olivia Cal

Olivia started her writing career as a music, film and theatre critic before moving into B2B. She has had 2+ years of experience writing for martech companies, covering digital marketing, retail and hospitality. When she isn't writing, she can be found with a good book or PC gaming.