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Top 10 ways sustainability can benefit your hospitality business

Published 15 June 2024

With over 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the travel & tourism sector contributing 9.1% to the global GDP , the urgent need for sustainability within the hospitality industry is undeniable.

The importance of sustainability in hospitality


Sustainability is important for businesses within the hospitality industry because it can lead to significant cost savings, boost efficiency, and enhance profitability. Businesses and hotels can lower operational expenses and improve their bottom line by adopting sustainable practices like energy conservation and waste reduction.

Embracing sustainability also attracts eco-conscious consumers willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products and services , creating new revenue opportunities and enhancing brand loyalty.

With travel as a major contributor to global economic activity and environmental impact, adopting sustainable practices in the hospitality industry is no longer a choice but a necessity. By going green, we can help preserve our planet, cut down on waste, and contribute towards a more sustainable future for generations to come.

So, how can sustainability benefit your hospitality business and help drive its success? Let’s take a look.

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Benefits of sustainability:


1. Enhance Brand Reputation

By adopting sustainable practices, you can differentiate your brand and showcase your commitment to responsible business operations. In an era where consumers prioritise ethical choices, this can significantly enhance your reputation and appeal within the industry.


2. Cost Savings

Implementing sustainable measures, such as reducing energy and water consumption , and minimising food waste, directly impacts your operational costs, leading to substantial long-term savings.

A previous study found that, according to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), owners of sustainable buildings saw an average ROI improvement of 19.2% for existing building sustainable projects and 9.9% for new projects , showing that investing in sustainable building practices can lead to lower costs and positive returns on investment for property owners.


3. Attracting Eco-Conscious Guests

More and more travellers are looking for eco-friendly accommodations, with 76% of travellers wanting to travel more sustainably. By embracing eco-friendly practices, you can tap into this growing market and attract guests who value responsible hospitality experiences.


4. Compliance with Regulations

Governments are tightening regulations on environmental practices. For example, the EU is actively engaging all stakeholders to make sure EU climate and environmental laws are effectively implemented and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces regulations on air and water quality, waste management, and pollution control.

By proactively adopting sustainable initiatives, you can ensure compliance with current and future regulations, mitigating risks and avoiding potential penalties. Read our article on reporting to get more insight into how sustainability reporting has become a requirement in some countries.


5. Employee Engagement

Involving your staff in sustainability initiatives creates a sense of purpose and engagement. In a recent study, 69% of employees said they are looking for companies and businesses to invest in sustainable efforts, including reducing carbon emissions, using renewable energy and reducing waste.

Many employees want to feel proud to work for a company that prioritises sustainability, with nearly a quarter considering leaving a job to work for a more sustainable business.


6. Positive Guest Experience

Sustainability can enhance the overall guest experience. From eco-friendly amenities to locally sourced food, sustainable practices resonate positively with guests, driving satisfaction and loyalty.

Encouraging guests to get involved in local community programs and supporting sustainable initiatives can significantly enhance their overall experience. They may feel a deeper connection to the destination and appreciate the opportunity to contribute positively to the local area.


7. Long-Term Resilience

Sustainability helps your business prepare for the future by using fewer limited resources and reducing risks to the environment. This means you can handle challenges and changes in the market better and make your business more durable and adaptable in the face of environmental and market challenges.


8. Access to Green Certifications

Achieving recognised status within the industry can boost your credibility and enhance your reputation.

Sustainability certifications like B Corp and the GSTC help establish your business as a leader in ethical and sustainable practices, earning recognition and trust from customers, partners, and stakeholders. These certifications show your commitment to sustainability, setting you apart against competitors and attracting like-minded individuals and organisations to collaborate with.


9. Community Engagement

Embracing sustainability strengthens community relationships and benefits local providers, creating a sense of shared responsibility and supporting the local economy.

See how a vast private game reserve in the southern Kalahari built sustainable relationships with the local community, boosting and uplifting the lives of businesses and families in Tswalu.


10. Innovation and Differentiation

Pursuing sustainability encourages innovation within your business, enabling you to find alternative ways to operate efficiently while reducing environmental impact. Embracing new technologies and practices sets you apart from competitors, offering unique selling points and enhancing your market position.

For example, implementing innovative and sustainable guest services can attract environmentally conscious travellers, improve guest satisfaction, and differentiate your hotel in a competitive industry.

Now you know how sustainability in the hospitality industry can benefit your business, why not read our success stories to see how our data management platform can help you track, measure and improve your sustainability activity.

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Do you want to learn more about the benefits of a sustainable business?

Get in touch and chat to our team about sustainability reporting.

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