Sustainability- A Global Initiative
After launching our sustainability commitments last week, this week we take a closer look at a couple of key pressures affecting sustainability in accommodation. With New Zealand’s government recently declaring Climate Change an emergency, we are faced with the need to take action and implement long term solutions aligned with global benchmarks. Looking at New Zealand’s current trajectory, Climate Action Tracker illustrates that we are on target to contribute to global warming of between 2 and 3 degrees, exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement outlining a limit of 1.5 degrees celsius.
Painting the bigger picture
According to the United Nations, the accommodation sector contributes roughly 1% of all emissions and this is said to increase as demand grows. To align with the Paris Climate Change agreement, the International Tourism Partnership has indicated that the hotel industry must look to reduce overall emissions by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 to ensure we have a sustainable environment for the future. This means the industry must act and undertake changes that work towards the wider strategy of reducing emissions. A report from Urban Land Institute demonstrates that operators will notice that these changes also will create a flow on effect, where reduction in use of resources is presented as direct savings affecting the bottom line.
If we look to technology, a recent report by the World Economic Forum demonstrates that technology (in a broad sense) which is produced through sustainable supply chains can reduce carbon emissions by 15%, one third of the overall 50% required to reach the 2030 goal. Serving as a foundation for future reductions in carbon emissions is the use of cloud-based technology. Cloud-based and Internet of things (IoT) technology support a connected future. They maximise experience and streamline processes providing high levels of service, removing hardware and reducing overall emissions.
Too much paper!
I once stumbled across an article that outlined the paper consumption of hotels in the US, featured on Hotel Tech Report. If we were to apply the same logic to New Zealand alone, a report from Stats NZ outlines that New Zealand averages at approximately 140,592 total room nights across all accommodation properties available per day.
Thinking in broad terms, if hotels use one piece of paper per room, per day, that is 51,316,080 pieces of paper a year. One tree can produce approximately 6,820 pieces of A4 paper, meaning to supply New Zealand accommodation operators with paper for one year, we are using approximately 7,524 trees. The US however, looks to the potential use of 268,000 trees per year.
By reducing our use of paper in accommodation, we are supporting a key component of our environment while also encouraging a change in behaviour of both guests and team members for the future.
We do know that the past time of hotels churning through significant amounts of disposable toiletries, guest rubbish, and internal printing is coming to a close. Hotel’s are now emphasisng recycling programmes and are supported by industry initiatives which focus on repurposing partially used toiletries or plastics. As mentioned earlier, technology and cloud-based digital solutions like Altitude’s Guest Platform curate a refined and engaging experience without the waste. Thankfully, we see guest behaviour changing in this area too, with conscious consumers now actively aligning their spending habits to reflect their own values on the environment.
If you would like to read more about Altitude’s commitment to our environment and to providing a sustainable digital experience for both guests and team members, you can read our commitments here. We like to think of technology and digitising experiences as the future of the accommodation industry, and prioritise going digital with purpose.