The hospitality industry leads the way in sustainability initiatives. Hoteliers have long recognized the importance of sustainability, including the environmental, economic and social impact as well as integrating sustainable development into every facet of the business. Let’s take a look at some of the newest initiatives in this market.
Corporate Goes Big
Marriott is the largest hotel organization in the world. With more than 6,400 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 126 countries and territories, Marriot recently introduced a new CSR initiative - Serve 360. Guided by the company’s 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, they have committed to creating positive and sustainable impact wherever they do business. Serve 360 guides the company’s commitment and deliver positive results through four priority areas or “coordinates”:
- Nurture Our World – Advancing the resiliency and development of our communities.
- Sustain Responsible Operations – Reducing the company’s environmental impacts, sourcing responsibly and building and operating sustainable hotels.
- Empower Through Opportunity – Helping people prepare for jobs in the hospitality industry.
- Welcome All & Advance Human Rights – Creating a safe and welcoming world for associates and travelers alike.
Marriott’s new goals are being woven into the company across continents, from its global development organizations to its global supply chain networks. Some of the company’s commitments by 2025 include:
- Reduce water by 15%, carbon by 30%, waste by 45% and food waste by 50%
- Contribute 15 million associate volunteer hours, 25% of which will be skills-based, to capitalize on personal talents and core business skills
- Train 100% of associates to know the signs of human trafficking
- Embed human rights criteria in recruitment and sourcing policies
The Iveagh Garden Hotel on Harcourt Street in Dublin recently announced that it is harvesting natural energy from the River Swan, which flows 50m underground, acting as an energy reserve for cooling and heating the hotel without burning fuel. Large turbines will convert power from the River Swan to meet all of the hotel’s energy requirements.
Owner Brian McGill said he wanted to create the lowest carbon footprint possible for the Iveagh Garden when compared to any hotel in Europe despite the age of the building. The McGill family converted the 40-year-old property into a hotel, and removed the entire heating, plumbing, cooling and hot water systems and replaced with the new natural energy system.
Energy Positive Hotels
There is a new hotel currently under development in Northern Norway that is expected to lower annual energy consumption by 85 percent and generate its own power. Called “Svart”, it is the world’s first Powerhouse hotel and it is located at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in northern Norway. The name “Svart”, meaning "black" in Norwegian, is a direct tribute to the deep blue ice of Svartisen and the Svartisen name.
Powerhouse is a collaboration between several Norwegian businesses. The term “Powerhouse” is used to describe energy producing buildings that, in the course of a 60-year period, will generate more renewable energy than the total amount of energy that would be required to sustain daily operations and to build, produce materials and demolish the building.
The hotel is expected to open in 2021.
Hotels worldwide are going green with LEED
Going green continues to gain momentum in the hospitality industry. Hotels across the world are incorporating LEED and other green building practices into their spaces, changing the way hotels are designed, built and operated.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party green building certification program and the globally recognized standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and neighborhoods. It is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED-certified hotels are found in more than 40 U.S. states, 31 countries and on 4 continents (North & South America, Europe and Asia).
According to the LEED in Motion: Hospitality Report, the hospitality industry is recognizing that green building works and enhances a company's bottom line in terms of people, planet and profit.
- PEOPLE- LEED buildings offer human impact benefits, improving worker health and well being and human experience. Hospitality touches more than 212 million employees worldwide and contributes $3.4 trillion to the worldwide economy.
- PLANET - LEED buildings decrease a company's environmental impact, through savings in energy, water, waste and use of safer materials in manufacturing. The hospitality industry's annual environmental footprint: $4 billion in energy use, 1.2 trillion gallons of water and millions of tons of waste.
- PROFIT - LEED buildings enjoy an increase in cost-savings, decrease in annual operating costs, higher ROI for a building and an increase in asset value. A study from Cornell University – The Impact of LEED Certification on Hotel Performance – finds that hotels gain a revenue benefit when they are LEED-certified.
Learn how hotels are using Xeros polymer cleaning to save up to 80% water and 50% energy in their laundry operations. Download the case study below.