What makes a sustainable hotel?
Like any modern business, hotels have a responsibility to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. However, in a premises occupied by guests, rather than members of staff who understand and who are on-board with the company’s commitment to sustainability, reducing their carbon footprint can often be a challenge for hotel owners.
If you would like to stay in a hotel that cares about its impact on the environment, and on the local area, here are the vital things to be looking out for…
A commitment to energy-saving
Energy use is one of the biggest contributors to a hotel’s carbon footprint being larger than it should be. However, there are lots of little and large ways that hotels can curb use of heating and electricity, improve the efficiency of their existing systems. For example, at eco-friendly hotels like Weetwood Hall, there is a computerised building management system in place to monitor, measure and reduce unnecessary energy consumption. Many lights in public areas are sensor operated, so they only come on when they sense movement, and equipment in rooms such as TVs is always switched off on a guest’s arrive rather than being left on standby. All bulbs are LEDs or energy-saving models, and office staff understand their responsibilities when it comes to turning off computers and other equipment when not in use.
A dedicated ‘Green Team’
If a hotel business is serious about being eco-friendly and sustainable, it will need a dedicated person or team of people to ensure that all environmental goals are being met. At Weetwood Hall’s sustainable hotel, this force is called the ‘Green Team’, and they constantly monitor and improve the hotel’s sustainable measures.
In fact such is Weetwood Hall’s commitment to adhering to eco-friendly working practices that we have been awarded Gold Green Business tourism accreditation for our sustainable initiatives.
Locally sourced supplies and ingredients
If ingredients for a hotel’s restaurant have to be shipped from far and wide, it inevitably means a very large use of fuel, whether it be shipped by road, rail, sea or air. However, if the opposite approach is taken and ingredients and supplies are sourced from the local area, fuel consumption is cut down dramatically. Using local supplies is also a fantastic way to support local businesses and communities and help the local economy.
Spreading the word to guests
A hotel may have all the measures in the world in place to make the business sustainable and eco-friendly, but they can’t control the behaviour and habits of their guests, who might like to leave heating systems on all night or TVs on standby.
However, it is the responsibility of any sustainable business to attempt to spread the word about sustainability, to educate and inspire their guests to play their own part. At Weetwood Hall, for example, there is a helpful guide available to guests, a step-by-step process to help them reduce their own carbon footprints during their stay – with measures including turning off lights when leaving a bedroom to requesting a less frequent towel and bedding change.