By Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News: Chiswick London W4 setting an example in hotel sustainability.
As Global Recycling Day approaches, the Founder of the world’s first fully whole life net zero hotel, Robert Godwin is urging the hospitality industry to step up when it comes to sustainability. At the forefront of eco innovation, Godwin illustrates how hospitality businesses can through improving sustainability, promote sustainable travel and tourism.
Setting a new global standard for environmental responsibility, room2 Chiswick is set to use 89% less energy than the average UK hotel.
Godwin has set a companywide roadmap to be net zero by 2030, ahead of the hotel industry’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, showing that it is both possible, and necessary for hotels to contribute in the ongoing battle against climate change.
Here are his five key steps for hospitality businesses to consider actioning.
- Reduce your waste – First you need to understand your waste streams to see how you can reduce them. A great way to do this is by separating your waste into glass, mixed recycling, cardboard, organic waste and general waste. You need to engage with your guests and employees to educate them on waste management and make this easy for them to follow. For us, this was designing our own 3-in-1 bespoke bins. We couldn’t find any suitable bins on the market that looked good and communicated clearly on waste disposal, so we made our own. We believe we’re the first hotelier to offer this service in each guest room.
Once you’ve separated your waste you can then see where you could do things differently, such as donating leftover food to toogoodtogo or choosing suppliers that use no or less packaging. Alongside separating and reducing waste you can identify the right waste partners that can ensure that nothing is sent to landfill, recyclables are recycled into new products and waste is burnt to make energy.
- Help your employee’s own sustainability in their role – Sustainability shouldn’t be siloed in one team as it is relevant to everyone. To have a significant impact each one of your employees should be educated and motivated to take ownership in their specific roles to make a difference. This could be done with monthly meetings and helping your employees identify how sustainable changes and choices can be made in their specific role and in their personal lives.
- Measure your emissions – The first thing to do is identify your baseline emissions, by calculating and reporting scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions then find ways to reduce your emissions. Unavoidable emissions should be offset through a verified carbon sequestration project. Aligning to science-based targets is the best practice and ensures that your business has a clearly defined pathway to decarbonisation.
- Switch to renewables and electric only – Switching to a renewable tariff is relatively simple but will make a huge impact in reducing your direct emissions. Make sure you do your research to identify the fuel mix of your supplier. Upgrading and retrofitting systems to electric will further reduce your emissions and will require significant planning and work to find the right solution for your building whether that is air source heat pumps, electric boilers, or other technology.
- Use your voice – Use your reach to motivate others to make changes whether that’s your guests, suppliers or calling for new legislation in the industry. You have a unique opportunity to make an impression on your guests whilst they experience a stay with you. This could be through information points about key issues or highlighting what you are doing differently like switching to refillable toiletries or generating renewable energy. Your guests should have an enhanced stay through the changes you make and not have to do the heavy lifting, so make sure that the sustainable changes are seamlessly integrated into your systems.