Fifty Shades Greener presents Three Top Tips for running a Green Hotel
Avail of the Green Business Online Programme free of charge.
Raquel Noboa,
IHF Associate Member

Sustainability has so many definitions that it drives people a bit bonkers. What does it all mean? How do I make more business more sustainable? How do I know if I am successful in greening my business?

The answers are much simpler than people might think, well, at least for me and I’ll tell you why.

To us at the Fifty Shades Greener office, a green or sustainable business is one that reduces its impact on the environment. Businesses affect the environment in 3 ways, by using energy, producing waste and using water.

In order to run an environmentally friendly business, you need to reduce your business utilities, and the best part of this journey is that not only will you reduce your property’s Carbon Footprint and impact on the environment, but you will also SAVE MONEY off your utility bills.

It is a win/win situation for business owners.

Yet, 99% of the Hotel and Guesthouse owners I meet in my weekly routine, don’t have a handle on those 3 pillars of sustainability. So here are 3 top tips for a successful green journey.

1. Measure & Monitor

The very first thing you need to in-build into your monthly routine is measuring and monitoring your business’s use of energy, water and waste. This is quite easy, the information we need is given to us in our monthly bills, electricity, gas, oil and waste bills. They are going to become your best assets to monitor your green journey.

But comparing your total waste production, for example, one month against the next, is not an accurate comparison. Let’s say in February, you welcomed 1000 guests to your business, and then in March, you welcome 2000 customers to your business. If you were to compare your total waste production it will of course be higher in March than in February, as you had more customers to serve. The figure you need to find and use as a comparison baseline is:

  • Your energy consumption per customer
  • Your waste production per customer
  • Your water use per customer

Those are your Green Key Performance indicators, and the figures you will use to monitor and compare on a monthly basis. That is the very first step of your business Green Journey.

2. Learn from your building

Once you have established your green key performance indicators, it is time to start learning from your building, where and when are you using energy, where and what type of waste are you generating and what is your business water flow rate.

If we know where and when we consume energy, we can take steps to reduce that use.

If we know what waste we are producing and where, we can take steps to reduce that waste production.

Your building has all the clues you need to identify opportunities for improvement. All you need to do is dedicate some time, every week, to learn from it. You might also want to assign other members of your team to be in charge of these observations, you can assign someone the duty to observe your bins for a couple of weeks, and really learn what waste your business is producing. Or you might want to assign an energy manager, that will identify your business equipment consumption or lighting needs.

Whichever way you do it, just make sure you block off a few hours every week, to learn from your business utilities.

3. Train your team and spread awareness

Staff awareness & training could be the single most important step to success.

I am sure if a member of your team was struggling with customer service, you would encourage learning and offer training to improve.

The same applies to sustainability, if a member of your team is constantly turning on equipment that is not necessary at that exact moment to serve a customer or make money, you need to train them on how to conserve energy.

It is part and parcel of their job and yours.

You need to identify the need for training, and they need to learn how to behave in a different manner. But unless you have taken the time yourself, to observe and learn from your building and your team’s behaviour, you are never going to be aware whether your team requires sustainability training.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint & SAVE MONEY

Green businesses are reaping the benefits of not having much competition in today’s world. For some reason, the penny has not dropped yet, that business sustainability is a win/win situation for an owner. I know, if I was running a hotel or guesthouse, one of my main focal points would be to reduce my business running cost and increase my sales and reputation amongst my customers. Well, that is exactly what running a greener business will do for you.

Your customers, will appreciate your efforts and become loyal return customers.

When you reduce your utilities, you reduce your Carbon Footprint, which will allow you to enter green awards and set yourself apart from the norm.

And lastly, when you reduce your business utilities, you will SAVE money off your waste, energy and water bills.

The Green Business Online Programme will show you, step by step, how to achieve those results. It will provide training for your general manager, your green team, and every member of your organisation. It will allow your team, to implement actions that will reduce your business utilities, and most importantly, it will spread a culture of sustainability amongst every member of your organisation. All it requires, if your commitment to implement the actions given, it is the greener for beginners, A to Z programme, to implement an environmental management system at your property.

If you own or manage a Hospitality business in Ireland, you can now avail of the Green Business Online Programme completely FREE OF CHARGE. Thanks to the Educational Training Boards of Ireland, Irish businesses can access this programme fully funded by them, with no cost to the business. You can register your business here.

Run your business Fifty Shades Greener TODAY, and take full advantage of the perks of being a pioneer in your field.

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Irish Hotels Federation | Working Together