What are the levers to reduce the carbon emission of a hotel?

Tom Bengaouer
Responsable Communication & Marketing

Today, respect for the environment is at the heart of all debates, regardless of the size of the company or its field of activity. The implementation of actions to reduce carbon emissions is increasingly integrated into decision-making and is becoming a real selling point. 

The tourism industry is not spared, it is even at the heart of the debate, because at first sight, it seems difficult for its actors to implement effective actions to reduce their carbon emissions and maintain their level of activity. 

First of all, it is important to know if the hotel is a franchisee. When a hotel is part of a franchise, it must respect the standards set by the franchise. It may therefore be worthwhile to do some research on a larger scale and find a franchise that shares similar values to your company.

To know if a franchise is committed or not, several solutions are available to you. 

  • Go to the group's website, it is rare for a group not to highlight its 
  • CSR strategy on its website
  • Find out about relevant labels and go to labelled hotels

What are the main sources of pollution in a hotel?

For a hotel, the majority of CO2 emissions can be classified into 3 main categories : 

  • The first category with 10% of the emissions represents direct emissions, we find the daily trips of the employees to come to their workplace, the emission of cars belonging directly to the hotel...,
  • The second category with 40% of the emissions represents the energy supply for the hotel, mainly electricity and gas. This energy is used to heat the hotel, to start the appliances..,
  • The third category with 30% of the emissions comes from the purchase of goods and services for customers. It includes the daily needs of customers, food, supplies, sheets ...,

There are other more specific, but lower impact factors that cannot be properly accounted for.

How to reduce the carbon impact of a hotel? 

It is interesting to see what are the main sources of carbon emissions for a hotel, but the most important is to know what are the concrete solutions to reduce it. 

As a first step, it may be interesting to engage one or more sustainability experts to create a roadmap in partnership. Once the roadmap has been created, the hotel will have access to solutions and, above all, to objectives to be reached for each step. It is necessary to move forward step by step to reduce emissions without reducing performance and guest comfort.

It is all the more important for hotel franchises to set up an extremely precise and detailed environmental charter so that each hotel can implement and/or adapt it as easily as possible. Failure to comply with these new standards should lead to the end of the partnership between the franchise and the hotel.

In order to reduce electricity, heating or gas expenses, one of the first solutions is to make an assessment of the hotel's infrastructure. This plan includes a study on the hotel's insulation and on the polluting thermal vehicles. Obviously, once the assessment has been made, solutions will have to be implemented (work, etc.).

Choosing the right energy supplier is very important, we must favour or impose the greenest possible electricity supplier. To do this, several solutions are available to hotels:  

  • To be supplied only via renewable energies, it is possible with certain suppliers to have this type of contract 
  • Turn to a supplier that implements carbon offsetting actions

Choosing a good supply company is important at any stage, no matter what product or quantity is purchased. Using a local/organic food supplier can reduce carbon emissions. When purchasing linens, choose a supplier that saves water or does not produce in off-shore factories. We realize that for almost every good and every product, there is a more respectful alternative.

Of course, in some cases, it is impossible for the hotel to supply itself in this way, which is why carbon offsetting exists. For each step that is not properly implemented, a carbon offset can be purchased to gradually get closer to carbon neutrality.

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