What denotes luxury to you when it comes to hospitality amenities?
With their beautiful amenities lined up on the bathroom countertop, most hotels do not immediately conjure up visions of sustainability.
But the fact is that many hotels have been making efforts to adopt better environmental practices. This is to answer the growing demand from guests for alternatives to the excessive and wasteful practices in the travel industry.
The Times They are a-Changin’
Momentum is growing globally to minimize the use of single-use plastic in the travel industry. Many travellers today are well aware of the issue and understand the need to reduce waste. That means plastic bottles of water, disposable cups, plastic laundry bags and small throw-away plastic bottles of shampoos and conditioners are starting to disappear.
What are hotels doing to reduce their plastic bathroom waste?
“Many of our younger guests are particularly concerned about efforts to protect the environment,” says Maxime Verstraete, Hilton’s vice president of corporate responsibility.
In a survey of about 72,000 guests conducted recently by Hilton,
33% responded that they actively seek information on hospitality companies’ sustainability practices before booking. And, of that cohort, 60% conduct their own research into companies’ social, environmental and ethical practices, even if the information is not easily accessible.
“Millennials, they get really passionate about these things,” Verstraete says. “That is very important to us because these are our future travellers.”
Hilton has made a commitment to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030.
As new brands get introduced, Hilton is adopting more stringent environmental standards. Canopy by Hilton, for instance, does not provide plastic water bottles. Instead, it has water filtration systems throughout and refillable water bottles and the new Tru by Hilton brand will have bulk dispensers for amenities rather than tiny bottles.
Marriott is replacing individual, small amenity bath bottles at five select-service brands in North America with recyclable 8.5-oz. dispensers containing Paul Mitchell Tea Tree products.
The company expects about 1,500 hotels in North America to participate in the initiative by year’s end. That will result in the elimination of about 34.5 million bottles and 375,000 pounds of plastic in an average year. So far, 450 hotels have started getting rid of their plastic. The brands include Courtyard and Fairfield Inn. Marriott has also removed plastic straws from 50 of its hotels in the United Kingdom.
InterContinental Hotels Group
The InterContinental Hotels Group is implementing bulk-size bath amenities across many of its brands, including Holiday Inn Express, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, avid hotels, EVEN Hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.
Cost of Waste
What is the true cost of individual packaging waste?
– the initial cost for products that get thrown away when only partially used
– the housekeeping cost of daily restocking carts and rooms
– the cost of managing and paying for the waste removal for individual packaging
– and the environmental cost of continuing this cycle of waste.