Industry insights

How to save money through sustainable practices

To a holidaymaker, a tourist experience is often about fun and relaxation, but from a business perspective, the tourism industry is a heavy hitter. The size and growth of the industry is responsible for 1 in every 11 jobs worldwide, and contributes 10 per cent to global GDP – an economic contribution that is critically important to many nations around the world, including Australia.

The celebrated economic contribution of the tourism sector comes as a substantial environmental cost. The industry generates eight per cent of all global greenhouse emissions and contributes up to 12.5 per cent towards global warming.

Tourism also produces more than 35 million tons of solid waste annually – a staggering amount. At an individual level, catering to a single guest for one night requires, on average, 300 litres of fresh water.

The challenge for tourism and hotel operators is how to reduce their environmental footprint without affecting guest satisfaction or their bottom line.

Room cleaning

What does it cost to clean 17 million rooms worldwide? After experimenting with the standard operating procedures in a 3-star hotel, the research team were able to alter the frequency of room cleaning without negatively affecting guest satisfaction.

Incentivising towel reuse

How do you convince guests that your sustainable practices are about more than just your bottom line? By implementing guest incentives, both parties benefited from small changes in behaviour. And now you and your guest can celebrate successful change together.

Ways to reduce plate waste

Can gamification reduce waste in your hotel? Our researchers found that adding activities to meal times could greatly reduce buffet plate waste (and add lots of fun for young guests).

Reusable cotton or single-use paper?

What's the difference between paper serviettes or laundered cotton napkins, both to your bottom line and the environment? And will a change affect your customer satisfaction rating?

Carbon emission levels on food menus

Nutritional information is available for the food we eat, so what about informing customers of the carbon emission cost of their food? We experimented by putting simple visual guides on a burger menu to gauge customer interest.

Read more about these tips and myriad others, and challenge your organisation to make a sustainable change.

See more of our research in these presentations and journal publications.

Download our free industry brochure (PDF, 13.3 MB)

CETT award image

Low Harm Hedonism Initiative received a CETT Alimara Barcelona Award for applied research in responding to the challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality industry.