Sustainability in Hospitality
Sustainability is one of the most important issues currently facing our world. Historically the hospitality sector has had a dramatic environmental impact through a variety of factors including its rate of water consumption and a hotel’s use of consumable goods and energy. However, this has started to change with hotels and suppliers now realising that they can provide an enhanced guest experience by integrating natural elements into their sites and products.
Furniture used within the hospitality industry is receiving a makeover with many designers now looking to use sustainable and recycled materials within their designs.
For example, Benchmark Contract Furniture recently launched the Park and Garda Collection. Park has a solid aluminium frame and the seat is constructed of recycled composite wood slats with the option of a stone-like section made from recycled materials. Meanwhile, Garda is a modular bench system with an aluminium base supporting seats and optional planter boxes made of recycled wood composite slats.
Designer Robert Midler launched his outdoor furniture brand, Van de Sant in 2012 which is a range of indoor and outdoor furniture, targeted at the hospitality and commercial sectors. The plastics, foams and textiles all used in the furniture are recycled from local NGOs. Currently their furniture is made of 75% recycled materials.
Palé Hall, the five-star country house hotel in North Wales, has recently installed two electric vehicle charge points, capable of charging four cars at the same time. With Palé Hall’s electricity generated from their very own hydropower system, the cars essentially run on water – an incredibly innovative and unique eco policy. Palé Hall’s environmental efforts extend beyond their hydropower system, with the hotel adopting an array of green policies in order to increase their sustainability; these include recycling, providing organic toiletries in re-useable glass bottles, purchasing local produce, and employing local staff.
The Grand York Hotel has also committed to its environmental efforts but launching a new scheme, which will see them eliminate all single use plastics by December 2019. During the first six months of the project, the hotel has already implemented several initiatives to support their green ambitions, including starting an internal communications channel where members can share monthly tips, eradicating plastic straws from the business, installing a filter system to reduce glass bottle use, introducing separate bins for plastic, signing up to the Sustainable Restaurant Association on behalf of both the on-site restaurants and working with suppliers to remove plastic packaging from the goods they receive.
The Fleet Hotel in Dublin is fully committed to their social responsibility and continues to be at the forefront in innovation with how the hospitality sector can help the environment. The hotel is thrilled to be leading the way and be the first hotel in the world to trial a full room linen solution which uses up to 25% of recycled plastic bottles in the manufacture of their sheets, towels, duvets, pillows and robes. Following the completion of these trials in March 2019, the hotel hopes to be in a position to roll out this room solution to all of their bedrooms by July.
North-East based Innerglass Ltd – part of the IG Group – provides bar accessories, catering disposables, glassware, crockery and thousands of other products to many of the UK’s biggest names in hospitality.
It has now launched Green Planet, having sourced a range of mainly plant based alternatives to materials which are damaging to the environment. Among the many products now on offer through Green Planet are straws made from plant-based PLA which are both 100% compostable, biodegradable and recyclable.
They also offer a range of PLA glassware, including oxo-bio flexy glassware which will naturally decompose after exposure to air, warmth and light. Cups for hot beverages are being offered which are made from sustainably sourced board, along with food cartons which are water based and compostable.
Green Planet has also managed to source microwave and dishwasher safe take away containers, which are made from recycled sugarcane rather than plastics.
A number of new tableware options are also proving extremely popular, including the Bagasse range, again made from recycled sugarcane and a second range made from naturally fallen palm leaves. Other products now being offered through Green Planet include bamboo picks and skewers from sustainable sources, wooden cutlery and biodegradable napkins.
The company also offers a range of cleaning materials many of which are made from recycled materials, such as green refuse sacks, flushable wipes and envirowipe cleaning clothes.
Finally, Room Mate Group, the visionary brand founded by business magnate Kike Sarasola, has unveiled an important initiative that represents a major step forward in its ambitious eco-sustainability plan. Since the beginning of the year, all Room Mate hotel employees have been wearing 100% recycled uniforms, made exclusively for the chain by Ecoalf.
The company known for giving a second lease of life to what others call waste, has used the highest quality organic cotton to produce these new uniforms, whilst maintaining the same design and comfort as before. Every single part of the uniform, from the shirts, right down to the shoelaces, has been made from bottles collected from the Mediterranean Sea.