Hotel operators are adopting automated energy management systems, like real-time monitoring and dashboarding, combined heating, power, and cogeneration systems that capture and reuse excess heat, and AI-based HVAC. An Italian resort operator implemented such a system, reducing energy consumption in 11 sectors from HVAC to lighting while providing real-time visibility into usage.
In addition to onsite solar and wind generation, some hotels are exploring geothermal, biofuel, and hydrogen fuel cell technology. One Japan-based hotel group uses plastic waste to power a hydrogen fuel cell generator that creates 450,000 kWh of power while reducing CO2 emissions by 200,000 kg annually.
Hotel companies are conserving and reusing water through low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads; smart irrigation controllers; continuous-batch washing machines; and rainwater collection and desalination. For high-water-use properties, one global hotel group uses an automated meter system that updates water usage reports every 15 minutes, and sends out leak alerts.
Many hotels are eliminating single-use plastics, using biodigesters to help process food waste, donating excess edible food, recycling, and using on- or offsite composting. A five-star hotel in the US collaborated with a food waste management provider to implement a waterless distributed digestor, which processes all of the property's food waste and turns it into compost, diverting it from landfills.
Many hotel operators have switched to nontoxic, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable chemicals in housekeeping and other areas. As an example, one hotel group follows EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chemicals of Concern program guidelines for reducing use of toxic supplies.
Efforts focused on seasonal ingredients, onsite gardens, and local supplier partnerships can help reduce supply chain complexity and cut emissions. A German hospitality group set minimum sustainability standards and corporate social responsibility (CSR) criteria for its products and services. The group also sources cage-free eggs and sustainably certified and fair-trade coffee at its hotels.
In sustainability as in life, however, one size doesn’t fit all. A successful environmental initiative should be tailored to the particular property, considering factors such as:
Some sustainability changes can be implemented immediately and may require little investment. Others may require a coordinated multiyear effort. Deloitte sees three major areas of opportunity:
Whatever improvements you make, take the opportunity to share them transparently and honestly with your customers, celebrating and reinforcing your commitment to sustainability. And as your sustainability journey continues, be sure to track, quantify, and disclose your improvements in environmental and financial impact reports.
If you're ready to move the ESG needle, Deloitte can help. Our extensive global network can help deliver sustainability knowledge in hospitality, tax, energy, transportation, food systems, waste management, utilities, and other critical areas. Deloitte’s strategic and operational specialists are ready to help you tackle your highest priority sustainability initiatives and help drive transformation in areas from tax advisory, data analytics, and change management to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable sourcing. Contact us today.
Senior Manager, ESG Strategy, Deloitte US