The World Tourism Organisation has recently set targets for the hospitality industry in terms of energy consumption in UK and other countries accommodation venues. As the concept of sustainable hospitality enters the mainstream, the pressure is on to reduce energy usage by 20%. The UK accommodation industry has on the whole been slow about taking action on minimising their carbon footprint but it is becoming increasingly important, especially to discerning consumers looking for ‘green’ accommodation options.
Can luxury UK accommodation be ‘green’?
The shift in consumer trends towards environmentally friendly products is being mirrored in their choices of destinations and activities. Are we redefining luxury? While for some it may remain the ability to waste resources at will, for many luxury now centres round personalised service, great levels of comfort and the opportunity to have authentic experiences. Leading UK accommodation options are taking this to heart and including their efforts at reducing their carbon footprint in the marketing of their destinations.
Ways in which UK accommodation outlets can reduce their carbon emissions are varied. The simplest way is to cut their use of electricity. This is done through the adoption of ‘green’ technologies to reduce heating and lighting use – for example lights may only come on when someone is in the corridor; using your keycard to enter the room will activate the lights and offering the option of having your towels and linen changed every second day instead of daily. Air-conditioning is a huge energy user and guests may be encouraged to ensure that they only activate them when in the room.
By sourcing products (towels, equipment, food etc) locally, UK accommodation outlets can also minimise the amount of ‘carbon miles’ these products take to reach the hotel. Many outlets are already or beginning to plant their own kitchen gardens, often with organic produce, offering fresh, seasonal food to guests. Taking it a step further, hotels can also promote local restaurants, destinations and activities to guests – this not only stimulates the local economy but cuts down on carbon emissions from cars and taxi’s taking guests further afield.
Water is another resource that is often undervalued in terms of real costs and therefore wasted. By harvesting rainwater and recycling grey water for use in gardens, UK accommodation venues can not only reduce their costs but ensure that they are a lighter burden on the earth’s resources.
These issues will become increasingly prevalent and forward-thinking UK accommodation outlets need to take action now to not only fit in with the World Tourism Organisation’s reduction targets but to place themselves in good stead as more and more guests turn to ‘green’ accommodation options. Have a look at our UK accommodation choices now.
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