5 Green New Year Resolutions your Business can make
Begin the greening journey at your hotel or guesthouse this year.
Raquel Noboa,
IHF Associate Member

This past year has been as unparalleled as 2020, with many hoping for better things to come in 2022... What has been crystal clear, is that society is demanding more. More from our governments, more from businesses and more from ourselves.

2030, 2050- these 'net zero' targets and others are only around the corner and where once before, the issue of climate change was left to the policymakers around the world, people are demanding transparency and real action.

What about us? And our own impact on the environment?

We know we have to do something about our own Carbon Footprint, but often we are not really sure how to go about it.

Customer demand for a Greener Hospitality industry is on the rise. Those that adapt, change and market their efforts well, will see the benefits of listening to what their customers want, and become “favourites” in a landscape of competitive industry.

I have heard all kinds of excuses over the years:

“I just do not have the money to invest in Green things right now” –

This is simply not true, greening your business, does not have to cost money, in fact, it will save you money.

“We are doing quite well already, we recycle most of our waste” –

Recycling is not what greening your business is about.

“I tried doing a few things but my team will just not cooperate” –

You are the person in charge, you are responsible to embed a culture of sustainability within your team.

The only thing stopping you is yourself

Starting a Green Journey for your business has never been easier than it is now. There is an ample amount of resources to teach you and help you on your journey.

When I started on my own Green Journey in 2012, information was not so readily available, but as many other Hotel Managers did at that time, and years before me, we made it happen.

I completely understand the mental barriers we all encounter when presented with change, I was not so enthusiastic when I was appointed as a Green Manager and I had no idea what to do.

It is easier to continue doing things the way you have always done them, it is easier not to face new challenges, it is easier not to try in case we fail.

If you cannot get over those mental blocks, perhaps you are not ready. If you do want change, here are 5 new year resolutions to get you started:

5 Green New Years Resolutions

  1. Create your Green Team and appoint a Green Manager. They are the backbone of any successful green programme within a business. Include junior team members and not just heads of department. These are the people working on the floor who handle your resources the most.
  2. Outline your business' Green Goals for the next 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, even your 5 year plan. Be ambitious but be realistic. You need to set a goal that is tangible and measurable. Without goals, how will you ever know if your efforts were successful or not?
  3. Establish your business' Green KPIs (Key performance indicators). They will become the starting point of your Green journey. Gather all your 2019 bills(the last year of normal business levels) for electricity, gas, oil, water and waste. Ask your accounts team to help you so you can work out your baseline figures are and these will be what you work to reduce year on year.
  4. Assign a person, yourself or someone in your office team, to benchmark your Energy, Waste and Water consumption every month from now on. Compare your monthly results with your 2019 KPIs. Is your consumption increasing or decreasing? Benchmarking and monitoring will allow you to start identifying areas for improvement within your property.
  5. Spend some time creating your new SMART Green Action Plan. What do you need to do to achieve the Green goals you outlined in step 2? Break down your goals into small, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound actions. You do not need to spend days every month looking after the Greening of your business, but do commit to do something, however small, every single week in 2022. By the end of the year, you will have implemented 52 small actions that will help you achieve your overall goals.

Time commitment and a desire to change is all you need to Green your business. You can also engage with experts in the industry like myself and many others, that can advise you and your team and ensure you are staying on course to achieve your Green Goals.

But at the end of the day, all you need to change is your mind-set, and embed a culture of sustainability amongst your team.

Make it fun, make it do-able, make it enjoyable.

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.

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