1st May 2009
The growing pressure in the media, from the government and consumers for more action on the environment is forcing increasing numbers of businesses to implement environmentally friendly policies. The hospitality industry has been fairly late to the game, with ill-advised problems being sited…
‘But there will be costs involved!’
‘Will it really effect my customers spending habits?’
‘It won’t have a positive impact on my business, there are far more important matters I can be focussing on.’
Companies who continue to operate with this outlook are missing a trick and shrewd entrepreneurs are realising the benefits to implementing a Sustainable Development (SD) strategy.
Before we go any further, lets outline exactly what we mean by Sustainability.
Sustainable Development is the ability to sustain your business in the long-term with profits, environmental efficiency and social engagement working in tandem to create long-term development.
It’s more than simply jumping on the green bandwagon – changing a light bulb or two – it requires a holistic approach to business that incorporates these 3 key areas (people, planet, profit) to drive the company to long-term profitability. Ignite’s 3 point circle demonstrates the integrated nature of their relationship:
They should support and drive each other, to illustrate, here are two examples:
The theories are sound, but…
There are 7 areas I will briefly touch upon, plus a few hints & tips to get you started. To integrate a full SD strategy you will need to engage consultants to do an audit, set relevant objectives and develop a strategy for your business.
Logical, but often overlooked… reduce your energy consumption, water usage, waste & air emissions through environmentally friendly equipment & a bit of common sense, and your bills will decrease.
Even better – the initial investment can be covered through grants, funding & interest free loans.
Cheap tips to get you started:
Stay ahead of the game. EU legislation is on its way and it won’t be long before your business is forced – by law – to meet high environmental standards
A little bit of info:
Stay ahead of the game – implement a SD strategy today
It’s obvious, but it’s got to be said, no? We all live here and it’s high time we started taking care of planet earth. Just think about how good you’ll feel… 🙂
It’s simple – a fully integrated strategy will make for a more pleasant place to work and engagement of staff will lead to an increased commitment to the company
A recent study carried out by the London Met university on Hotels in England found that 60% of staff interviewed would like to be more involved in Sustainable Policies at the hotel
A few tips:
Public perceptions of the environmental problems we face are at an all time high and tourists have become more aware of the socio-economical aspects of their travels
The onus has shifted to an expectation that businesses in the hospitality industry will have environmental policies in place
A little bit of info:
An Edelman study of consumers in 9 countries, including Brazil and China, found 70% are willing to pay more for a brand that supports a good cause. Whilst statistics such as these don’t necessarily translate to purchase decisions – there is a rising expectation amongst consumers that businesses have environmental & social policies in place.
Customers demand more today than they ever have from the companies they interact with and purchase from. Sure, good service, good product and an attractive environment are as important as ever, but there is a growing expectation that companies should give back to the community and take responsibility for the environment. This falls back on to a well-known essential for businesses, build customer trust in your brand
A few tips:
It’s hot on everyone’s lips at the moment and most companies seem to be dipping their toes into environmental policies of some form. The vast majority are ‘Greenmongrels’, we’ve all seen it; hotels who place a card on the towel in your room, stating: ‘be green, re-use’, and lay claim to being environmentally friendly…
One problem – they DON’T tackle any of the real issues! Fortunately the public are savvy and increasingly treat Greenmongrels with contempt.
Despite the natural suspicion over ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ policies, a fully integrated Sustainable Strategy has considerable legs in the media providing it is communicated intelligently and effectively.
For more information on how to go about implementing a Sustainable Development Strategy, get in touch.
This was originally posted in 2009. Read more about what we’re doing with sustainability in hospitality here.