How Technology Can Help Embed Sustainability in Hospitality
Sustainability is not just a buzzword used to capture the attention of policy makers and business owners. Research has shown that climate change, almost entirely caused by human action, is already underway and having a devastating impact on our world.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in 2022 that shows exactly how climate change is affecting the world’s population today. When assessing the risks associated with short-term climate change (2021 to 2040), the IPCC found that short-term global warming will cause a variety of negative environmental impacts.
The IPCC predicted more frequent extreme weather events as well as further loss of wildlife and natural ecosystems. There is also a high risk that the global temperature will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades if no preventive measures are taken by people and businesses.
On a positive note, adaptations to combat climate change are already being practiced. The IPCC also found that adaptation responses have positive co-benefits, highlighting the societal benefits of adaptations like better land management and building technologies.
This is especially true for hotels. When hotels adapt to environmentally friendly practices, they not only help the environment, but can also maximize efficiency.
Hotel technology and sustainability
Implementing modern building technology benefits a hotel in multiple ways. Overall, these systems increase efficiency, reduce costs associated with operations and also benefit the environment.
The impact of hotel management software
A PMS (otherwise known as a Property Management System) helps hoteliers organize and track day-to-day operations at their hotels. Property management systems simplify hotel management by automatically tracking all facets of the hotel, allowing staff to manage the hotel efficiently.
With a PMS, long gone are the days of having to manually enter arrivals or departures, manually verify that rooms were cleaned, or keep paper files of guest information and billing. A PMS can track all of this without paper or manual effort.
It goes without saying that real estate technology like a PMS is attractive to hoteliers because it dramatically increases their operational efficiency. However, applications such as PMS technology are also great for the environment.
The main reason why a PMS has a positive impact on the environment is that this software completely eliminates the need for paper in your hotel. A PMS can invoice customers digitally and send digital invoices, making paper invoices obsolete.
Additionally, since guests can book online using an integrated web-based booking tool, guests no longer need to print paper confirmations or bring paper payment information to check-in. All of this is digitally captured and stored on the PMS for secure staff access.
For hoteliers investing in a cloud-based PMS, the benefits are even greater. A cloud-based PMS allows customers to self-check-in, dramatically reducing the overhead needed to help customers check-in.
Plus, cloud-based property management systems offer features like interactive hotel maps, so your front desk no longer has to print out information sheets showing where to find the restaurant or resorts. water on the property.
The impact of online booking software
Hoteliers can take advantage of another software, called WBE (or Online Booking Engine) to allow customers to book online with ease. These applications are easy for hotels to implement and simple for guests to use. With a WBE, guests can visit the hotel’s website and easily select a room on the spot.
The WBE is integrated into the establishment’s management system. So when a customer books online, the PMS is automatically updated for staff to review. Plus, the two-way integration also updates the website as rooms are booked, to make sure you’re never overbooked.
Hotel technology, such as an online booking engine, can have a huge impact on the success of your hotel. It takes the manual labor of tracking and reviewing hotel reservations out of hand. The WBE streamlines and automates this process for more robust operational success.
Additionally, when customers book online, rather than over the phone or in person, all the documents they need for check-in can be emailed. This significantly reduces paper waste for individual consumers. Additionally, a WBE makes the front desk staff’s job less stressful, as they no longer need to manually track incoming reservations and worry about accidental overbookings.
A sustainable workplace is a place where people feel healthy and happy, so applications of hospitality technology, like a WBE, can make your workplace more sustainable by improving the mental well-being of staff at work. .
Another web-based reservation technology tool that every hotel should have is a Channel Manager (CM). Channel managers oversee hotel listings on several different websites. To be a successful hotel today, you need to list your available rooms on multiple channels, such as OTAs like Expedia.com.
Manually tracking this would be a headache and nearly impossible. Luckily, channel managers automate the job for you. CM automatically updates OTAs, hotel website and internal PMS every time a reservation is made, on any channel.
Being able to list your open rooms across multiple channels will increase occupancy and revenue. Plus, since the CM seamlessly updates all channels, you can be sure you’ll never be overbooked. As bookings increase, you can ensure with a CM that your hotel can sustainably meet the needs of all guests without neglecting anything.
New hotel technologies, like OTAs and CMs, allow hoteliers to advertise on a range of channels without harming the environment.
Characteristics of sustainable building
In addition to technologies that make hotel operations smoother and more environmentally friendly than ever, the physical characteristics of hotels are also undergoing sustainable transformations. Among the latest technological trends in the hospitality industry, a move towards “smart” hotel rooms is underway.
By using technologies such as smart thermostats, hoteliers are making it easier for guests to access their room temperature controls, while saving on utility costs. Smart thermostats, like Google Nest, allow users to set certain temperature settings for specific times of the day and access their temperature controls remotely.
There are also sustainable options for bedding and linens. Many companies now offer sheets made from more sustainable materials, such as hemp or recycled fibers. Your guests won’t be able to tell, but the environment will thank you.
Hotels can dispense with providing guests with free bottled water (a common practice) by adding technological water dispensers on their property. Some water dispensers now even offer sparkling or flavored drinks, from a single tap, which will improve the customer experience and reduce plastic waste.
A shift towards sustainability is inevitable if we want to work for a healthier planet. Numerous initiatives, such as the LEED building certificate, already encourage hoteliers to take measures to make their buildings more energy efficient.
If you want your hotel to thrive in the modern climate-centric world, it’s time to add hotel technology to it. Not only can technology like management software help reduce wasteful practices, but it also benefits a hotel’s operational processes.
Hotelogix editorial staff
Hotelogix’s team of researchers and writers are constantly innovating to share the latest trends in the travel and hospitality industry. Do you have suggestions ? Write to us on [email protected]