Did you see the video of dolphins swimming in the Venice canals? As the human world slowed down, the natural world seemed to thrive—we saw firsthand how our impact makes a difference. As a result, interest in sustainability grew the world over.
In contrast, the pandemic has been detrimental environmentally when it comes to the proliferation of disposable gloves and masks. In the hospitality industry, ensuring guest (and employee) safety has required increased cleaning products, increased laundry, and more disposable catering products, to name a few.
But, as Forbes asks, has the pandemic sabotaged hotel sustainability trends? In short, no. Properties that had incorporated sustainable practices before continue to do so. Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Report also confirms that 83% of global travelers believe sustainable travel is vital and of those, 61% say the pandemic has increased their desire for sustainable travel in the future.
There should be no question that sustainability should be a top priority for your hotel.
From solar panels to reduced water consumption, there are many large-scale initiatives hotels can adopt to lessen their eco-footprint. While such projects are laudable, they can be cost-prohibitive and require extensive planning. If you’re looking for an easy-to-implement initiative that makes an immediate impact, plus supports future environmental change at your hotel, then look no further than a robust Cloud Property Management System (PMS).
Sustainable Functionality in Cloud Property Management Systems
When it comes to making an immediate ecologically friendly impact, a cloud PMS is your low-hanging fruit in terms of easy installation and instant environmental benefits.
Cloud-based tech: Did you know that cloud technology is a more sustainable option over onsite technological infrastructure? In addition to being more economical, cloud-based software maximizes server space by sharing technological infrastructure among multiple users. By doing away with their own servers, hotels can decrease their energy consumption, but it’s the combined energy impact of multiple properties switching to cloud technology that really makes a big difference to our environment.
Go Paperless: COVID-19 made contactless and paperless hotel check-ins more popular than ever, reducing the financial and environmental costs of paper and printing. Cloud PMS make going paperless easy. Digital guest registration can be completed by guests online for contactless check-ins, invoices and receipts can be emailed to guests directly from the system, and mobile housekeeping reports eliminate the need to print out housekeeping schedules and checklists.
Increased Efficiency: Sustainability is about conserving resources and this is also true when it comes to human resources. Digital processes streamline and automate workflows so employee energy and time are used efficiently.
Mobile Housekeeping Reports: Not only do mobile housekeeping reports save paper and printing costs and help boost staff productivity through real-time room status updates—they can help conserve energy too. With real-time room and occupancy status updates available via their mobile device, housekeeping staff can promptly tend to vacated rooms to turn off left-on lights and air conditioners.
Sustainable Integrations: There are many cloud-based software applications that can integrate with property management systems to complement sustainable business strategies.
- Keyless Entry: Throw those plastic keycards into the recycling bin and take advantage of PMS-integrated keyless entry systems such as Loxe and STAYmyway. Using Bluetooth technology, guests can use their phones to unlock their room for a sustainable and contactless experience.
- Smart Rooms: Automated guestrooms can enhance guest comfort while significantly saving energy. Reservation data integrates with the smart room system to trigger room temperature and lighting based on whether a room is occupied or not. An innovation to watch is IoT technology that uses machine learning to make automated adjustments based on room conditions. For example, lights dim or shut off as the sun streams into a room, and heating decreases as a room warms up.
- Guest Engagement: By communicating reservation information through a CRM integration, a PMS can help automate guest communications through your digital marketing system. This not only streamlines marketing outreach and customer services, but it serves an important function in communicating your sustainable initiatives with your guests. Why is this important?
As Booking.com reports, 49% of guests believe that there aren’t sufficient sustainable travel options. Despite the fact that three out of four properties say they have made sustainability efforts, only one-third communicate their efforts to guests. The disconnect is obvious. Since the statistics show guests want sustainable travel options, make that information available. In addition to communicating your initiatives through your social media and website, reiterate what you’re doing in your automated messages. Such efforts will also contribute to guest loyalty.
Packages: A robust cloud reservation system should also have the capability to create accommodation packages that include tours, activities, or additional products. After the pandemic, many guests are looking for experiences and value-adds over bargains.
Agile rate and package management tools allow you to update pairings based on changing partnerships or seasonality of activities. Use your PMS to create and book packages that support local businesses in your community. The definition of sustainability has expanded beyond green operations to incorporate inclusivity. It’s no longer about what we are doing individually, but rather how we are working together. Partnerships with local businesses that are aligned with your hotel’s values and objectives can help sustain your sustainability while supporting your community at the same time.
Serve Your Triple Bottom Line with WebRezPro
The pandemic has made us realize now more than ever that we’re all in this together. Travel is opening up and we can once again experience what the world has to offer. The statistics show that many will not take this for granted.
As Hervé Hourdré says in Forbes, “Sustainability is definitely what’s called the triple bottom line—making a profit while taking care of the environment and taking care of the communities around you.”
The pandemic has also shown us how vital technology is in keeping operations going and in staying connected. In the hotel industry, technology has been vital for adhering to protocols and keeping guests and staff safe. And it’s technology that will help us recover and move forward in new ways. As post-pandemic travel rolls out, WebRezPro is there to support you all the way.