study conducted in 2021 found that an impressive 81% of travellers have expressed their intention to choose sustainable accommodation in the near future.

This revelation highlights the urgent need for the hospitality sector to address its environmental impact, as it currently contributes approximately 1% of global emissions.

To stay aligned with the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, hotels must strive to reduce emissions by 66% before 2030 and an ambitious 90% by 2050.

Travellers worldwide are increasingly scrutinising hotel managers’ efforts to protect the environment. Implementing small operational changes can have a profound effect. Initiatives such as measuring energy and water usage and improving waste management provide a foundation for improvement.


Cape Town is at the forefront of sustainable development and environmental initiatives

For instance, the Radisson Hotel Group has successfully encouraged guests to reuse towels, saving 15 litres of water for each set reused. These seemingly minor adjustments can lead to substantial savings, particularly for larger hotels.

Energy efficiency improvements, reducing single-use plastics, and effective waste management contribute to more sustainable practices without compromising the guest experience.

Sustainability should extend beyond the hotel premises and encompass the surrounding communities.

Collaborating with local organisations and institutions dedicated to positive impact is crucial. Hotels can partner with the city and governmental institutions to support initiatives addressing poverty and other social challenges.

By closely working with managers, hotels can identify local projects that require assistance. Additionally, hotels can participate in community-driven initiatives, such as providing warm blankets to the homeless during winter or organising beach cleanups.

Encouraging guests and staff to actively participate in sustainability efforts through donation boxes in hotel lobbies fosters engagement and a sense of responsibility.

Looking towards a sustainable future

While hotels have various incentives to prioritise sustainability, the ultimate goal is to create a future where hotels, communities, and the environment can thrive together.

By embracing sustainability, hotels ensure the long-term viability of their businesses, contribute to a healthier environment and enhance the well-being of the communities they operate in.

This commitment to sustainability not only fulfils corporate responsibility but also aligns with the evolving expectations of environmentally conscious travellers and investors.


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Feature image: Valeriia Bugaiova  via Unsplash

Originally written for Getaway magazine.