Every choice we make has an environmental impact, good or bad. The choices businesses make, multiply their environmental impact a thousand-fold as sustainable travel became a powerful trend in the hospitality market. Travelers today are more conscientious of the carbon footprint each trip requires. While we cannot yet help the impact of airline tickets when one needs to fly, almost every other decision can reduce the environmental impact of travel. Thus, some hotel brands are helping their travelers to turn around the typical carbon footprint of a satisfying trip.
Many top hotel brands today are leading the way into highly sustainable practices that modern guests adore. Reducing water and electricity use, switching to high-efficiency fixtures and low-impact suppliers, and choosing sustainable internal business practices became something worth bragging about. Travelers everywhere are rewarding the most sustainable hotel brands with greater bookings and brand loyalty. Those who achieve a luxurious experience at a fraction of the carbon footprint are clearly taking the lead.
Which hotel brands are achieving the greatest sustainability, and how is sustainability achieved? Let’s take a closer look.
MARRIOTT HOTELS TOP THE SUSTAINABILITY CHARTS
- 15% water reduction
- 30% carbon reduction
- 45% overall waste reduction
- 50% less food waste
- 30% energy from renewable sources
With hotels all over the world, Marriott has a great opportunity to make an environmental difference. They’re taking this opportunity with a 360 degree approach with the Serve360 program. We’ve listed their stated sustainability goals above, but what methods are they using to achieve these sustainable hotel goals?
First, Marriott swapped out plastic for paper in everything from straws to wrappers. They’re adding solar water heating and solar lighting to select locations, and are switching to uniforms from recycled materials that do not need to be dry-cleaned. Marriott has delivered sustainability goals to global locations and can be seen adapting its sustainability efforts to the needs and operations of each unique location. Guests also have the option to opt into local green efforts and to make their stay more sustainable with certain choices.
Marriott also dedicates to the adaptive reuse approach to new locations – focusing on buying existing hotels to adapt and renovate instead of complete tear-down rebuilds.
- Level 1: Essential sustainability
- Level 2: Advanced sustainability
- Level 3: Build-In renewable energy
The Choice brand provides a unique approach to achieving sustainability with the Room to be Green program. It’s based on a three-level system that’s easy for guests to understand. Currently, Choice aims to get all hotels up to their “Room to be Green Level One” standards.
Level 1 requires that facilities swap to 100% LED or CFL lighting, offer a towel reuse program to reduce water use, provide recycling for all guests, and replace all styrofoam with sustainable alternatives. Level 2 requires energy star efficiency in every room, energy and water tracking, recycled soap, and eco-friendly cleaning products. Finally, Level 3 includes built-in sustainability like hotel solar banks and community investment.
- Wyndham Green Certification
Wyndham approached the effort of greening up its vast portfolio of over 500 hotels with an internal program that provides the Wyndham Green Certification. This self-measuring system is designed to align with other green travel standards like Green Key and Trip Advisor Green Leaders. This in turn, parallels other certifications such as the LEED program.
Level 1 sustainable hotel certification includes internal efficiency regarding towels and linens, interior lighting, recycling, and utility tracking. Required for Level 2 is a dedicated “green team,” which focuses on on-site environmental issues, efficient plumbing fixtures, responsive HVAC in rooms, preventative maintenance, and electronic recycling. Level 3 includes water bottle refill stations, and Level 4 includes a green overhaul of housekeeping and appliances. Finally, at the top is Level 5 which includes advanced preventative maintenance, irrigation, and composting.
Wyndham offers its properties, the Wyndham Green Toolbox, which provides methods and resources to help each property reach these sustainability standards.
- 61% carbon reduction by 2030
- 50% reduced waste by 2030
- 50% reduced water use by 2030
- Sustainably sourced food and cotton
- Sustainable supplier partnerships
The Hilton chain of hotels isn’t just known for luxury. They seek to take the lead as a sustainable hotel brand. Hilton uses science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gasses and emissions and has clear and ambitious goals to reach by their stated target of 2030. Hilton’s overall goal is to fully have its environmental footprint across all locations. They are also among the first major hotel chains to switch to soap recycling. Their goal is to achieve a net-zero future.
One of Hilton’s biggest goals beyond simple percentage reduction is sustainable sourcing. With over 5,700 locations, Hilton’s choice of sustainable meat, seafood, produce, and cotton can have a hugely positive impact on industrial environmental change.
- Plastic-Free Hospitality
- Sustainable transformation in energy, water, waste, purchases, and supply chain
- Sustainable guest activities and services
Best Western began its sustainability project in 2012. In the last decade, Best Western achieved a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas, 17% reduction in energy requirements, and a 26% reduction in its overall water footprint. The hotel chain has two programs that are being applied across all locations.
The first is Stay Plastic LESS. This program aims to reduce and eliminate the need for plastic – especially non-recycled “virgin plastic” – in Best Western hotels. The second is Stay for the Planet which focuses on widespread sustainability goals. Each hotel is given 1-5 rating in it’s sustainability achievements. Stay for the Planet leaves are awarded for reduction of energy costs, saving water, reducing waste, low-impact purchasing, and partnerships with a sustainable supply chain.
BUYING HOSPITALITY PROPERTY WITH SUSTAINABILITY IN MIND
Here at NewGen Advisory, we help investors purchase the right hotel for all their goals – including sustainability. As modern travelers show an increasing interest in environmentally friendly stays, the smart answer is to build sustainability into the design from the ground up. If you plan to build, we’ll help you find a site to lay the groundwork for efficiency from the foundation utilities to individual room design. If you’re looking for a hospitality property to buy, we can help you find the ideal properties for an efficiently sustainable up-fit.
Are you looking to create the next great eco-friendly hotel experience? NewGen Advisory is here to help. Contact us today to