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Is Going Green the Answer to a Sustainable Future of the Hospitality Industry?


Sustainable Future of Hospitality Industry | Hotelogix

Going green seems to be on every business’s mind these days, with good reason. It seems every day new reports emerge about how unsustainable practices are fueling climate change which causes life-threatening events like extreme heat and flooding. If the Earth stops being a safe place to live, travel as we know it would cease to exist. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest, including hoteliers, to get in front of this issue while there is still time and do what we can to improve climate change.

Plus, sustainable methods come with practical benefits that guests will appreciate, and hoteliers will find can save them time and money in the long run. The future of the hospitality sector relies on sustainable practices!

How Can Hotels Go Green?

Hotels and hotel owners can implement several services and initiatives that encourage green sustainable practices among guests and staff. Generally, green practices include items like reducing waste, reducing emissions, conserving energy, and being mindful of necessary resources. By thinking green, hoteliers can do more with less nonrenewable resources.

Paperless Billing

With the help of technology, such as PMS software, hotels can do away with paper bills and invoices forever. With hospitality software, hotels can offer guests paperless billing. Instead of receiving a receipt or invoice on paper upon check-out, PMS software allows hotels to send the guest’s invoice directly to their email or mobile number, greatly reducing paper waste.

As an additional benefit, guests may appreciate this touch for reasons outside of sustainability. Paperless invoices allow guests to quickly forward their invoices to colleagues, family members, or others who may need copies of the invoice.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our society – from social media to weather, there’s an app for everything. With a cloud-based PMS, hotels can also use applications to maximize their business and go green at the same time.

With a mobile app, guests no longer need to print out their reservation confirmation page. The mobile app can cover everything from check-in to check-out, so no lengthy and wasteful paperwork is necessary.

The mobile app benefits go way beyond reducing waste. With the use of a mobile app service that’s integrated into the PMS software, guests can check themselves in, gain information about their stay and amenities, and view their bookings from one place, paperless and convenient at the same time. Accessibility is at the heart of the hospitality industry and it’s a win-win when convenience and sustainability merge.

Cloud-Based Software

Before the cloud, hoteliers needed to set up and maintain an on-premises server for their hotel’s software to run on. Servers run on electricity and can use quite a lot of it, especially if there’s more than one. As hotels expand, they can expect their server needs to increase if using legacy software.

Cloud-based software does not need costly, energy-eating servers to provide excellent quality software applications. The cloud allows hotels to do away with servers and do more with less. Plus, there are other benefits to choosing a cloud-based service outside of energy usage.

Cloud-based software programs do not need a dedicated IT person to manage them as server-based software does. Plus, cloud updates are free and often update automatically, saving time and money as opposed to legacy software. Overall, choosing a cloud-based PMS is better for the environment, and your pockets, and makes more out of your time spent.

Smart Controls

Smart home temperature controls, like the Google Nest, are gaining rapid popularity. Smart thermostats are useful tools that allow users to control their climate control system from anywhere. As a result, smart thermostats enable people to use less energy and keep an eye on their energy usage much more closely than traditional thermostats.

For example, imagine it’s extremely hot in your living space in the morning, so you turn on the air conditioner. In a rush out the door, you forget to turn your thermostat back down before leaving for the day. If you have a traditional thermostat, this situation will lead to the AC being on high all day, wasting precious energy that could have been saved.

With a smart thermostat, you can adjust temperature controls from your office. You can set times that temperature controls should shut off or turn on ahead of time, avoiding costly mistakes. For this reason, some hotels have integrated smart thermostats into their rooms.

Hotels spend a large amount on energy bills. However, smart thermostats can encourage guests to take control of their energy use by making it more convenient. Plus, hotels can set standard off/on times using the software attached to these devices.

As the hospitality business leans more into sustainable practices, don’t be surprised to see more smart thermostats popping up in hotels!

Ditching Single-Use Plastic

Hoteliers want their guests to be totally comfortable and relaxed during their stay. For this reason, many hotels offer complementary bottles of purified water or even bottles of sparkling water to guests in the lobby and oftentimes in their rooms, too.

However, this rapid consumption of single-use plastic is an issue. It’s estimated that about 40% of the ocean surface is covered in plastic.

Studies estimate that there are anywhere from 15 to 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. From the negative impact on wildlife to the impact microplastics have on humans, it’s a cause that a wide variety of guests may be concerned about. How does a hotelier offer refreshing beverages in a sustainable way?

Smart water dispensers are a solution. There’s a wide variety of smart water dispensers available today. Some even offer sparkling, flavored, or hot options in addition to filtered water. These machines dispense the user’s drink at the touch of a button (or simply by placing the cup under the spout). Best of all, they don’t require buying bulk cases of water bottles.

Providing guests with a way to enjoy delicious hydration without having to stock hundreds to thousands of water bottles per week is a great move toward sustainability. Plus, with the costs of shipping and packaging associated with single-use plastic bottles, these smart water machines are typically less expensive in the long run.

Online Training and Commuting

Commuting by car causes carbon emissions. Unfortunately, cars are sometimes the only way employees can get to work. For new staff, reduce time spent commuting by offering online onboarding, powered by a cloud-based PMS.

For everyday commuters, incentivize other modes of transport, such as trains and biking. You can offer to pay a portion of the train pass or pay back some cash to those who use a free option like biking or walking (where feasible). However, for some, cars will be the only way to get to work and that’s okay!

An option to reduce carbon emissions is to allow remote work for job roles where it is feasible. With a cloud-based PMS, certain financial and operations roles could be done primarily remotely. Integrating technology like cloud-based software can make it so employees can work anywhere, anytime, and no longer need to rely on a car to do their work successfully.


Sustainability efforts and incentives will only grow in the coming years. The research is clear – society needs to change some habits to ensure a peaceful and safe future. Hoteliers may feel confused or overwhelmed at the concept of making big changes to hotels in the name of sustainability. All the options provided above have extra benefits outside of sustainability, though. Often, what is best for the Earth is best for business!