hotel restaurant with greenery. Photo: 'Hotel Owner'

UK hotels adapt as consumers go green

Consumer eco-conscience is on the rise, and with it, hoteliers must keep abreast of evolving demands. HEATHER SANDLIN spoke with hoteliers who are doing their bit for the planet, to find out exactly what it means to them, what others can do and where the industry is heading. 

Arguably 2019 will be remembered as the year where the eco-conscience reigned. We saw the rise of ‘eco-anxiety’, and figures such as Greta Thunberg generated headlines and captured hearts as more awareness has spread globally.

In light of the activism, there is a tangible shift in the way that consumers seek to purchase goods, experiences and everything in between. And with this, hospitality is firmly in the spotlight. 

Just this week, CGA discovered that consumers are demanding more engagement on sustainability from hospitality operators across the board. Its latest Future Shock report revealed that 83.1% of consumersnow expect their hospitality brands to “engage on at least some aspects of sustainability”. 

Indeed UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said that sustainability is “arguably the key issue of our time” and that hospitality must now “lead efforts to promote sustainability further”. Meanwhile, CGA’s Karl Chessel said that the environmental impact of hotels is under intense scrutiny, and going forward, operators need to demonstrate a “genuine commitment to sustainability as we enter the new decade.”

The hotel industry has already shifted gears in the drive towards sustainability. In 2017, an International Tourism Partnership report concluded that hotels need to reduce their absolute carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 and by 90% by 2050. Whilst this may seem ambitious, ITP director Fran Hughes said this goal is certainly “achievable”…

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