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Going Green: Four Ways Sustainability Can Benefit Business

March 02, 2015

Going green could help the hospitality sector increase business, satisfy customers, and save money.

Sustainability has proven to be an environmental, social, and financial asset to hotels and restaurants, and has become something visitors expect and appreciate.

Four Benefits of Sustainability

Cost savings: Due to the high price of water, energy, and waste disposal, restaurants and hotels who take the time to adopt environmental practices will reap notable cost savings. Sustainability places businesses at a competitive advantage without negatively affecting business performance because most activities are relatively easy and affordable. Businesses can save significantly by implementing cost saving strategies like:

  • Giving customers the option to reuse towels and linens during their stay
  • Using local products
  • Using compact fluorescent lights
  • Installing green roofs and solar heaters
  • Installing low flow shower and faucet systems

Other, more long term cost saving strategies include:

  • Recycling systems
  • Pollution prevention like waste discharge into waterways

Employee retention: The “Going Green” initiative is important to a younger generation, who make up a large portion of the employees in the hospitality industry. By implementing practices that are exciting to your employees, you will influence them to perform more effectively and enthusiastically. A lot of businesses have started environmental education programs to motivate staff members and therefore improve guest services. By educating your employees about the importance of green practices and the proper ways to perform them, you will inspire them to follow the rules and share this information with customers.

Customer loyalty: Similar to keeping employees happy, it is important to keep customers happy as well. When it comes to hotel stays, customers travel and expect to have a relaxing time while being able to bring certain comforts of home with them, such as recycling habits. Many businesses attract employees and customers with their use of organic foods, composted waste, and support of local causes and businesses. Nowadays, supporting local causes is very important to consumers, so by purchasing food, furniture, and linens locally, businesses helps ensure customers and employees are actively reducing their impact on the environment.

Risk management: Your business’ corporate and social responsibility and governance depends on managing your risks effectively. In addition to focusing on food and water regulations, pest infestations, fire damage, etc. (all aimed at preventing health and safety risks), more and more companies are focusing on environmental issues like water and land contamination and waste management. Businesses will better themselves and their customers if they implement environmentally friendly procedures. Investors will look to a company’s environmental risk procedures when deciding whether to commit to the company or not.

Many businesses mistake sustainability as simply a marketing scheme, when in reality it affects all parts of the hospitality industry, and is in many cases a key component in your business. Take time to organize a sustainability plan for your company!
For more information about going green in the hospitality industry, contact any member of our Hospitality Services Group.

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