Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword used to capture the attention of policymakers and business owners. Research has shown that climate change, almost entirely caused by human action, is already taking place, and impacting our world in devastating ways.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in 2022 which shows exactly how climate change is impacting the global population today. When assessing the risks associated with climate change in the near term, (from 2021 to 2040), the IPCC found near-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 natural wildlife and ecosystems. There is also a high risk of global temperature reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades if no preventative action is taken by people and businesses.
On a positive note, adaptations to combat climate change are already being practised. The IPCC also found that adaptation responses are showing positive co-benefits, pointing to societal benefits from adaptations like better land management and building technology.
This is especially true for hotels. When hotels adapt to eco-friendly practices, they not only help the environment but also can maximize efficiency.
Hospitality Technology and Sustainability
Implementing modern building technology benefits a hotel in a myriad of ways. Overall, these systems increase efficiency, reduce costs associated with operations, and benefit the environment, too.
The Impact of Hotel Management Software
A PMS (otherwise known as a property management system) helps hoteliers organize and track day-to-day operations in their hotels. Property management systems take the heavy lifting out of hotel management by automatically tracking every facet of the hotel, making it easier for staff to run the hotel efficiently.
With a PMS, long gone are the days of having to manually enter check-ins or check-outs, manually verify rooms have been cleaned, or keep paper files on guest information and billing. A PMS can track all of this with no paper or manual effort needed.
It goes without saying property technology like a PMS is attractive to hoteliers because it increases their operational efficiency greatly. However, applications like PMS technology are also great for the environment.
The main reason a PMS positively impacts the environment is this software completely negates the need for paper in your hotel. A PMS can bill guests digitally, and send digital invoices, making paper invoices obsolete.
Plus, since guests can book online using an integrated web booking tool, guests no longer need to print out paper confirmations or bring paper payment information to check-in. This is all captured digitally and stored on the PMS for secure staff access.
For hoteliers that invest in a cloud-based PMS, the benefits are even more numerous. A cloud-based PMS allows guests to check themselves in, drastically reducing the overhead needed to assist guests with check-in.
Plus, cloud-based property management systems offer features like interactive hotel maps, so your front desk no longer needs to print info sheets on where to find the restaurant or water stations on the property.
The Impact of Web-Based Booking Software
Hoteliers can take advantage of another software, called a WBE (or, web-based booking engine) to allow guests 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 right then and there.
The WBE is integrated with the property management system, so when a guest 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 ensure you are never overbooked.
Hotel technology, such as a web-based booking engine, can greatly impact your hotel’s success. It takes the manual labour of tracking and reviewing hotel reservations by hand away. The WBE streamlines and automates this process for more robust operational success.
Plus, when guests book online, as opposed to over the phone or in person, all documents they need for check-in can be sent via email. This drastically reduces individual consumers’ paper waste. Furthermore, a WBE makes the job of the front desk staff less stressful, as they no longer need to manually track incoming reservations and worry about accidental overbookings.
A sustainable workplace is one where people feel healthy and happy, so applications in hotel technology, like a WBE, can make your workplace more sustainable by improving staff mental well-being on the job.
Another web-based booking technology tool every hotel should get is a channel manager (CM). Channel managers oversee the hotel’s listings on several different websites. To be a successful hotel today, you need to list your available rooms across several channels, such as OTAs like Expedia.com.
Manually tracking this would be a headache and nearly impossible. Luckily, channel managers automate the work for you. The CM automatically updates the OTAs, the hotel website, and internal PMS each time a reservation is made, on any channel.
Being able to list your open rooms across several channels will increase occupancy and revenue. Plus, since the CM seamlessly updates all channels, you can be sure you are never overbooked. As bookings ramp up, you can ensure, with a CM, that your hotel can sustainably cater to all guests’ needs without overlooking a thing.
New hotel tech, like OTAs and CMs, allows hoteliers to advertise across an array of channels without impacting the environment.
Sustainable Building Features
In addition to technologies that make hotel operations smoother and more eco-friendly than ever before, physical features of hotels are getting sustainable makeovers, too. Of the latest technology trends in the hotel industry, a shift toward “smart” hotel rooms is underway.
Using technology such as smart thermostats, hoteliers allow guests easier access to their room’s temperature controls, while saving costs on utility fees. Smart thermostats, like the Google Nest, allow users to set certain temperature settings for specific times of day and access their temperature controls remotely.
There are sustainable options for bedding and linens as well. Many companies now offer bedsheets made of 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 do away with providing guests with complimentary bottled water (a common practice) by adding tech-enabled water dispensers on their property. Some water dispensers today even offer bubbly or flavored drinks, from a singular tap, which will upgrade the guest experience and reduce plastic waste.
A shift toward sustainability is inevitable if we want to work towards a healthier planet. Many initiatives, like the LEED building certificate, already incentivize hoteliers to take steps 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. Not only can technology like management software help reduce wasteful practices, but it also benefits a hotel’s operational processes.