Sustainability in hospitality is an increasingly important issue for today’s environmentally aware tourists. Managing Director of EPOSability Robbie Francis says employing eco-friendly technology is a great way to show guests that you’re committed to making a difference.
The latest innovative technology solutions can work to increase energy efficiency, cut down on material waste and even increase profits for your hotel. Here are five ways that green technologies can help enhance your eco-friendly reputation and boost business for sustainable hotels.
- Eco-friendly heating and energy. Heating energy expenditure makes a big contribution to a hotel’s carbon footprint. From heating and hot water to air conditioning and refrigeration, keeping a constant comfortable temperature throughout the building can be a challenge. One way for sustainable hotels to help regulate their energy expenditure is to employ a building energy management system – a monitoring technology that gives you an overview of the energy consumed throughout your premises. According to British Gas, this can effortlessly reduce your energy consumption by up to 10%, while making significant cost savings, too.
- Waste reduction technology. According to WRAP , hotels and other hospitality businesses dispose of 600,000 tonnes of compostable food waste each year, in addition to pulpable and recyclable waste products such as paper and packaging. In many cases this is due to poor stock control, with excess items being bought in. The cost of buying food that isn’t needed, together with paying for waste disposal, means that technology that can help reduce this figure will also lead to a reduction in outlay for sustainable hotels. There are several ways to employ technology to minimise the amount of waste produced. Tracking and monitoring the items that are being thrown away using technology such as LeanPath  will help make staff more aware of areas in which the most waste is being produced, leading to better and more informed decision making. Then, having reduced waste to a minimum, composting and pulping wherever possible will cut down its volume. Waste reduction tools  can help to achieve this.
- Sustainable laundry. One of the pleasures of a hotel stay for many guests is the luxury of freshly laundered linen. But the energy used to wash sheets and towels is a significant contribution to most hotels’ carbon footprints. Many hotels now ask guests to consider the environment before requesting new towels each day, which has helped to cut down the amount of water and energy used. However, by using environmentally friendly laundry technology, there is more that can be done. Bead cleaning technology  helps hotels to reduce their energy consumption and water usage, as well as cutting down on the frequency with which the linen needs to be replaced.
- Lighting technology. Most hotels have corridors and other public areas where the lights are often left on for long stretches of time without being used. Technologies like occupancy sensors are a cost-effective and simple way to ensure that lights are only switched on when they are needed – a very visible way to show your guests that energy efficiency matters to you. LED lighting is another consideration for reduced energy expenditure on lighting – although the practicality of LED lights in hotels  does not always make this a feasible option.
- iPad POS systems. A new generation iPad POS system from a company like EPOSability  has vast potential to make a tangible change to a hotel’s footprint. On a very simplistic level, the power usage alone makes a tangible difference, with an iPad till using 25 kW/h on average in comparison to a Windows-based system with on-site server that consumes 800 kW/h. That’s a 97% saving!
But when you begin to consider the additional benefits a cloud-based iPad POS system can have, the direct electrical saving becomes one of many far-reaching improvements:
- Going paperless. The combination of inbuilt email receipting for customers, combined with an online audit trail saved in the cloud, means the use of paper can be drastically reduced.
- Reduce engineering visits. With all the latest technology being almost entirely serviced and supported remotely, the necessity for on-site works is greatly diminished. Fewer call-outs mean less fuel used.
- Wastage tracking. Like the waste reduction technology above, an iPad POS can accurately track wastage to help hotels monitor their efficiency. Whether cooking a dish, pouring a drink or letting products go out of date, you can have clear visibility of exactly how much your staff are wasting. Measuring this, making changes and ultimately diminishing your excess waste will all make your hotel more sustainable as a business.
Using technology doesn't just mean computers back of house or modern check-in systems, technology can help create a more efficient kitchen, laundry, bar, housekeeping service or HVAC, it's always worth looking around to see what new systems on the market could help reduce your water, carbon, waste or energy consumption and help make your hotel that little bit more environmentally responsible.