Energy management 12 Clever Tips For More Sustainability And Environmental Protection In Hotels

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Sustainability and environmental protection in hotels are becoming increasingly important in the hotel’s management and organization. Hoteliers must be aware that nowadays not only the number of stars are a decisive factor for guests, but also a sustainable and green hotel image. 14 percent of German tourists consider it important that the hotel they stay in is ecologically compatible. Additionally, it should be both resource-conserving and sustainable. Three quarters of the tourists are prepared to pay more for their hotel stay, if it is ecologically sustainable.1

Environmental Protection Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Many hoteliers associate high costs with environment protection and sustainability in hotels. But that does not have to be the case. Many ways lead to a sustainable future for hotels. It does not have to be the most expensive green electricity or the high-tech photovoltaic system. When it comes to environmental protection for hotels, “many pennies make a dollar” applies. In addition, modernization and digitization offer an enormously high savings potential. It is therefore a question of your ideas and internal possibilities to make your hotel more environmentally friendly.

Happy hotel guests and motivated employee
Happy hotel guests and motivated employee

1. Environmentally Friendly Cleaning In Hotels

Clean your hotel with environmentally friendly detergents that relive the burden on nature. Especially in hotels, where cleanliness has a high priority, you should consider ecologically degradable detergents. They are also usually more skin-friendly and better tolerated by allergic guests. In addition, the sustainable hotelier should rely on bulk packaging. A 10-liter container can simply be filled into smaller bottles. This not only reduces the burden on the environment, but also on your wallet and saves packaging waste.

2. Lightning In Hotels

Modify your hotel by relying on modern LEDs. This saves energy and money. LED light sources consume up to 90 percent less energy than conventional lamps. On average, the share of energy consumption for lightning in the hotel industry is 30 percent.2 That means, with the use of LEDs, you can effectively save up to 27 percent of energy consumption in hotels. Additionally, the lifetime of LEDs is up to 25 times longer than their energy-guzzling predecessors.3 Also, maintenance costs and replacement and repair work are reduced.

3. Water-Saving Shower Heads And Tap Aerators In Hotel Rooms

Drastically reduce your water consumption in your hotel with water-saving shower heads in the shower and tap aerators on the faucet head. Special shower heads cost only a few euros more than conventional shower heads and save up to 60 percent of water consumption. Added to this is the saved energy for hot water preparation. At a cost of approximately five euros per cubic meter of water, a lot of money can quickly be accumulated.4 The purchase pays for itself within a very short time and shows effects in terms of water consumption as well as energy consumption.

4. Change Of Linen In Hotels

Change your guest’s towels and bed linen only every other day. This saves an average of 270,000 liters of water per year in a 100-room hotel.5 Draw your guests’ attention to the fact that they can save a lot of energy and water in your hotel by using towels and linen several times. In addition, the environment is less polluted, as the reduced amount of laundry also means that considerably less washing and cleaning detergents are used.

5. Cancel Hotel Room Cleaning

Offer your guests the possibility to cancel the room cleaning during their hotel stay. With the help of digital guest directories, this is possible at the push of a button without effort. This way, you not only save water and energy costs and the money for detergents, but also staff. You relive the environment and your staff. It does not matter whether you manage a business or holiday hotel. Give yourself a green image and set new trends in hotel sustainability.

Digital guest directory iQ Tab cancel room cleaning
Cancel room cleaning with the digital guest directory iQ Tab

6. Recycling And Waste Prevention In Hotels

Conscientiously separate the waste in your hotel and teach your employees if necessary. Recycling is already a fixed component of environmental protection in our society. Separating garbage should be a standard everywhere by now. As hotels produce more garbage than private households due to their size, you as hoteliers should particularly be aware of your social and ecological responsibility. In addition to separating paper, plastic, household waste, batteries and the like, you should also make sure to produce as little packaging waste as possible. Avoid garbage in your hotel. Even small things like avoiding portion packaging at the breakfast buffet can help here.

7. Properly Dispose Of Food Waste

Have your food leftovers collected professionally by organic waste disposers and converted into environmentally friendly energy with the help of biogas plants. From an ecological and energy-political point of view, food waste is an organic residue. In biogas plants, food residues can be used both energetically and materially. They are used energetically for the production of electricity and heat, and materially for the production of fertilizer for fields and meadows.6

8. Efficient Heating And Cooling In Hotels

Heat and cool your hotel efficiently. Intelligent room control for the hotel industry supports you in this. The smart systems regulate your radiators, air conditioning or fan coil units independently of staff and without conversion measures. The costs for such intelligent controls in the hotel usually pay themselves within a year due to the high savings potential. In addition to the saved heating and staff costs, you also reduce your CO2 emissions in your hotel. Thanks to the efficient energy use, you contribute to the conservation of resources and climate protection in the hotel.

energy saving system with iQ Roomcontrol
Energy saving system with iQ Roomcontrol

9. Buy Regional And Seasonal Products

Buy the food for your hotel primarily seasonally and regionally. This not only supports your local economy and promotes the bond between the regions, but is also environmentally friendly due to short transport distances. Of course, not everything can be grown and produced in your immediate surroundings. But there, too, are possibilities not to lose sight of sustainability in your hotel. Pay attention to organic certification and Fair Trade seals for supra-regional products. This is an easy way to support coffee farmers in Ethiopia, for example.

10. Cleaning, Maintenance And Location Of Equipment

Clean and maintain your equipment in your hotel regularly. Completely dusty cooling fins or porous, cracked seals on the minibar ensure high consumption. You can counter these energy guzzlers by cleaning and regularly maintaining the equipment. Dirty condensers on refrigerators or freezers in hotels quickly cost you a lot of money. Also pay attention to the correct ambient temperature for the devices such as freezers and refrigerators. You save up to five percent energy per degree lowered ambient temperature.7

11. Convince Your Staff

Get your staff enthusiastic about sustainability and climate and environmental protection in your hotel. Always think about this principle when introducing sustainable and environmentally friendly measures. If your employees do not stand behind the concept, are not involved or do not understand the meaning behind it, they will not stand up for your green ideas. Sustainability, climate protection and environmental relief in the hotel must be lived by every single employee in your hotel. If, for reasons of convenience, the maid changes towels every day and your kitchen staff puts the refrigerator next to the oven, your personal efforts will not do much good.

12. Communicate The Environmental Protection In Your Hotel

Inform your guests about your environmental protection measures. Your guests can also make a major contribution to the sustainability of your hotel. It does not matter, whether they cancel the room cleaning or properly air their rooms. Every guest can contribute to the success of your measures. Additionally, you give your guests a good feeling: By staying at your hotel, they actively contribute to environmental protection. This has a positive effect on the satisfaction of your guests and therefore on guest loyalty. In addition, you create competitive advantages through targeted marketing and sustainable positioning.

1 Cf. FUR Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen e.V. (2017): Abschlussbericht zu dem Forschungsvorhaben: Nachfrage für Nachhaltigen Tourismus im Rahmen der Reiseanalyse, p. 57 ff.
2 Cf. Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI (2015): Studie: „Anschlussauftrag des Forschungsvorhabens 53/09 Energieverbrauch des Sektors Gewerbe, Handel, Dienstleistungen (GHD) in Deutschland“, p. 5
3 Cf. Stiftung Warentest (2016): Gut zu wissen: Gutes Licht, p. 15 ff.
4 Cf. Statista GmbH (2011): Mischpreis für Trink- und Abwasser in ausgewählten deutschen Städten, online:
5 Cf. DEHOGA Bundesverband (Ed.) (2014): Energiesparblatt 15 -MANAGEMENT Umweltkommunikation & Gästemitwirkung, p. 2 f.
6 Cf. DEHOGA Bundesverband (Ed.) (2016): Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften in Hotellerie und Gastgewerbe, p. 10 f.
7 Cf. DEHOGA Bundesverband (Ed.) (2016): Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften in Hotellerie und Gastgewerbe, p. 12 ff.