• Hamish Sherlock

The three pillars of sustainability

3 Vital Ways Hospitality Managers Can Turn Their Business Green

What Is Sustainability?

Undoubtedly, there are misconceptions out there as to what “sustainability” means, in fact, the word itself does not really explain its concept. Many experts have different definitions, but to us at Fifty Shades Greener, sustainability for a Hotel should involve three clear pillars:

Water Conservation

Waste Reduction

Energy Reduction

The overall vision or goal for any Hotel wishing to become a Green property, should be a reduction of Carbon Footprint, and at its best, Carbon Neutrality. After Hotel Doolin’s announcement last month of becoming the first Carbon Neutral Hotel in Ireland, many hotel managers are looking to achieve the same - but Carbon Neutrality is not a quick fix or something that can be achieved in a short period of time. In fact, Hotel Doolin’s green journey started 7 years, back in 2012 when we created the Green Team and set on a mission to be the Greenest Hotel in Ireland - a job well done you could say now!

So here is a summary of a Green Journey, for those of you that want to know how to get started and turn your business green. Of course, the process starts at our three pillars of resource efficiency: water, waste and energy.

Our Quick Guide To Turning Your Business Green

The very first thing you need to do is establish the starting point of your journey

How many times have you taken the time to analyse what your electricity or waste bill tells you about your business? How many Kwh of electricity are you using per customer? How many KG of waste are you producing per customer?

If you can not answer those questions, how can you ever know if you are actually reducing your energy or waste?

So here are my top tips for hospitality managers to turn their business green:

- Gather all your electricity, gas, oil, waste & water bills for last year, so you have a full 12 month set of bills. Put them together in a folder which will become your Green Folder, put them in type order and date order.

- Set aside a half days work this week, or next week, or as soon as possible really! The key performance indicators you are trying to establish are your Kwh energy per customer(electricity, gas, oil or fuel), your Kg waste per customer (divided into landfill, recycling and food waste), your M3 water consumption per customer.

- Email me on if you do not know how to establish those KPI’s, I can email you easy to fill excel sheets where you can enter the data from your bills and calculate your starting points quite easily.

- Compare your results to best practice industry standards, or email them to me so I can help you identify areas for improvement.

- Continue filling your charts every single month, for this year, once your bills arrive. All you need to do is set aside 10 minutes per month to analyse your new bills, enter them in the charts, and compare with your usage the previous months.

Identify Areas To Improve Your Green Business Process

Once you have set your starting points, you are on your way to learning how to run a greener business, you will be able to identify areas for improvement based on your results, it really all comes down to the systems and processed that are implemented at your business. Do you have an Energy management system and team in place? Or a waste management system and team?

If the answer is no, now is the time to create them, gather your team, find out what their interests are, you will soon identify people that want to help your business become greener. Your team knows your business better than anyone else, so ask for their input and their opinions. Do they know any ways to reduce energy use perhaps? Use their knowledge and create a Green Action Plan for the next 12/24/36 months, or consider making strides towards sustainability with a Green Management Course that could transform your business.

Set clear goals and targets and do it at your own pace, this is not a race it’s a journey, but make sure you do something every single week, that will help you run a greener business.

It is easier than it seems, all you need is the desire to change, a good team and a Green Action Plan that works for you.

Take Our Online Green Business Training Courses Today

If you need help, check out our Online Training courses, sign up to my weekly blog or arrange a discovery call so we can talk about your business needs.

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