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Smartvatten blog

6 hotel sustainability challenges and how to overcome them

Aug 28, 2018 10:26:00 AM

It’s not easy being green.

Many European hoteliers would undoubtedly agree with Kermit the Frog—making a commitment to sustainability is not without its challenges.

As the amount of eco-conscious travellers increases, smart hoteliers understand the value of going green. Despite their best intentions, however, many hoteliers feel held back by certain barriers.

Keep reading to discover the solutions to common sustainable hotel management challenges your peers are facing.

1. Funding sustainable initiatives  

One of the biggest challenges European hoteliers face is funding their eco-friendly initiatives.  

While it’s true that many water and energy saving programs might require a bigger upfront investment, most hotel management practices will actually save you money. Cutting down on plastic waste by eliminating straws and pre-packaged amenities, for example, is a quick way to make a positive impact on the environment without putting a dent in your wallet.

Rather than seeing going green as a cost, consider it as an opportunity—when you adopt the right practices, you’ll be able to protect both the environment and your bottom line.

2. Choosing your priorities

European hoteliers are always coming up with innovative ways to expand their sustainability efforts and inspiring others to adopt new programs.

But with all the sustainable hotel trends out there, how can you choose the best practices for your unique business?

It may be tempting to immediately adopt every new program you hear about. But instead, take the time to develop a clear sustainability strategy and set goals with your team. When you take a holistic approach to sustainability and get your whole company on the same page, you’ll be better equipped to make real progress.

3. Getting employee support

Without your employees’ involvement, you’ll be hard pressed to truly run a sustainable hotel.

While your sustainability strategy will be discussed at the executive level, every one of your staff members needs to understand how their everyday actions make a difference.

Train your employees on implementing green initiatives, outline their responsibilities, and consider adopting an incentive program to reward their efforts. Remember to keep the communication flowing and update your employees on company successes and goals.

4. Ensuring guest participation

Though today’s guests expect hotels to be eco-friendly, they don’t always take the steps to conserve energy and reduce waste on their own. How can you encourage them to be more sustainable while still providing an amazing customer experience?

Without pressuring your guests, tell them what you’re doing to make a difference and explain how they can get involved. You can even share statistics that show how their actions will have an impact. Besides putting towel reuse cards in guest rooms, consider offering a bike rental service—doing so is great way to promote sustainability while keeping your customers happy.

Today’s guests will also be wary of greenwashing—falsely portraying your hotel as eco-friendly to improve your reputation. To earn your guests’ trust, fully commit to sustainability and communicate what you’re doing to make a difference.

5. Finding the right tools

Hoteliers have plenty of options when it comes to finding tools to reduce their impact on the environment. The abundance of technological innovations out there is not a bad thing, but it can be overwhelming to find the best eco-friendly tools for your hotel.

You can never go wrong with easy fixes like eco-label cleaning products, LED lights, and water flow restrictors. But when making the call on bigger investments, keep your unique business situation in mind and opt for tools that will help you reach your sustainability goals.

6. Measuring your efforts

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to hotel sustainability management. That’s why measuring your progress is so important. You want to see how exactly your eco-friendly practices are saving you money and what areas still need improvement.


When you measure your energy and water consumption around the clock, you can quickly detect problem areas and take action when needed. With the right software, you’ll be able to analyze trends over time and continually optimize your processes.

For more tips on how to rise to the challenge of being green, download our free hotel sustainability report!

download-free-research-report

Tags: sustainable hotel management

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