Growing your business
Go Green: Top Sustainability Tips For Your Hospitality Business
These days, there’s no getting away from the topic of sustainability. And with the pressure mounting to tackle this issue sooner rather than later, the hospitality sector is one of the first in the firing line. The main reason for this is the nature of the business as whether it’s the use of water, energy or consumable goods, hotels, in particular, rely on these resources to function.
As well as the government calling on businesses to implement more environmentally friendly policies and practices, there is also growing awareness from the public and consumers. In fact, research carried out by the International Hotels Environment Initiative showed that 90% of UK citizens accept that the hospitality industry, in general, has a negative impact on the environment.
With this in mind, here are a few things you can do to run a more sustainable business:
Save Water and Energy
Water consumption can be hard to keep track of but making a few small changes can dramatically reduce how much you waste. Using spray-nozzles in the kitchen and installing toilets with low-capacity tanks or low-flow shower heads in the bathrooms could help limit the amount of water you’re using. You should also carry out regular maintenance to make sure that there aren’t leaks or issues that could be causing water to escape.
When it comes to saving energy there are a few considerations you should take into account. When buying equipment or appliances (washing machines and dishwashers for example), try to opt for energy friendly options - this information should be clearly stated in the product description. Similarly, switching to energy saving bulbs means you’ll use less energy on a daily basis. British Gas suggests you check all your pipework is well insulated and avoid using extra electric heaters which are very expensive to run. They have also put together some recommendations for temperatures to use throughout your hotel to get that energy consumption down.
Reduce Food Waste
One of the obvious ways to reduce food waste is to cut down the portion sizes that you serve - bearing value and customer expectations in mind of course. Although this may be a good start, food waste covers a whole lot more than what gets thrown from the plate - it includes spoiled or out of date food, peelings, and inedible foods such as bones and coffee grounds.
The first thing you should be doing is measuring your food waste so you can pinpoint problem areas. Some solutions could include reviewing your stock and making sure all your supplies are correctly rotated when new deliveries come in. You could also consider the ingredients you use and try to use more frozen or dried produce that won’t perish so quickly. Using leftover ingredients as much as you can is also a great idea - for example using bones to make stock, stale bread to make croutons or leftover vegetables to offer a ‘soup of the day’.
Other options include donating food to local food banks or giving scraps to your local farm for animal feed or compost.
It’s important to train your staff well, not only on the importance of sustainability, but also on the measures your business have in place surrounding this. Chances are, they’ll be asked questions on the topic from time to time and it’s important that they’re able to give informed answers. This will help staff to do their bit when it comes to being part of a sustainable business and could also encourage them to come forward with their own suggestions!
Add to Your Brand Values
And finally, once you’ve implemented some changes into your business and worked hard to make it more sustainable, you’ll want to show your guests that you’ve been active in tackling the issue. That’s why you should incorporate this into your brand and image - whether this means having a dedicated section on your website or mentioning it in your overall values.
If you source your produce locally and work with local suppliers then mention this across your menus, website and social media channels. Not only do customers like to know where things come from, but it also promotes a positive image of working with your local community!