UK – 70% of employees demand environmentally friendly businesses

57% consumers and 70% employees demand environmentally friendly businesses

consumers and employees demand environmentally friendly businessesAs environmental considerations become an ever-higher priority for consumers, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) will need to consider and improve their eco-credentials.

Research from UK bank Barclays found that over half of Brits (57%) placed going green highly on their personal agenda, with nearly half (45%) actively seeking to purchase products or services from businesses that are environmentally friendly.

It’s not only consumers who are paying attention to a business’s approach to green but the workforce too. Seven in 10 workers (70%) revealed it is important to them that their current or prospective employer is considered a green business, with the figure reaching nearly eight in 10 (77%) amongst Gen-Z.

Research reveals that SMEs are starting to listen to consumer demands, with 22 per cent actively making changes to reduce their carbon footprint and a further 41 per cent looking to make changes within the next year. Over the next 12 months, SMEs in the North East (47%), East Midlands (46%) and the North West (45%), look to be leading the way when wanting to introduce green polices.

For SMEs looking to cut their carbon footprint, Barclays has outlined the following top tips:

  • Buy sustainably: Next time the light bulbs need changing, consider compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED options, and opt for remanufactured printer cartridges, recycled paper and biodegradable cleaning products
  • Cut commutes: Introduce a flexible ‘work from home’ policy to reduce emissions and consider holding meetings remotely, with tools like video conferencing
  • Invest in renewables: Consider installing renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, or ask your utilities provider for a green power supply
  • Buy supplies locally: This will help minimise shipping costs and your business’ carbon footprint
  • Spread the word: Bring colleagues and customers on board with going green and provide incentives for those who actively participate in green initiatives

66% of US Tourists believe people need to act now and make sustainable travel choices – Booking.com

Booking.com Reveals Key Findings from Its 2019 Sustainable Travel Report

Over half (55%) of global travelers report being more determined to make sustainable travel choices than they were a year ago, but barriers include a lack of knowledge and available or appealing options when trying to put this into practice

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 17 April 2019 – As the world gears up to mark Earth Day on 22 April, Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, has released findings from its annual sustainable travel report. Research reveals almost three quarters (72%) of travelers believe that people need to act now and make sustainable travel choices to save the planet for future generations. While results were relatively consistent across ages, almost three-quarters (74%) of 46-55 year olds believe most strongly that this is needed, followed by millennials at 71%. The views expressed by travelers across the world are timely, considering the special report that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued in 2018, which asserts that the world has just over a decade to restrict global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which the risk of floods, droughts and extreme heat will significantly worsen.

Eco-mmodation

Consistent with overall intentions to make more sustainable travel choices, sustainable stays are growing in popularity, with almost three quarters (73%) of global travelers intending to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead. This is the fourth consecutive year that Booking.com research has seen this figure trend up, from 62% in 2016 to 65% in 2017, and 68% in 2018.** Additionally, 70% of global travelers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not.

However, when it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, almost three quarters (72%) of global travelers say that they are not aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations, while well over a third (37%) of affirm that an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodation would help encourage them to travel more sustainably, and 62% would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label. 

Sustainable Struggles

Despite the best intentions, it’s not all plain sailing for would-be green travelers. The report also exposes the common barriers travelers face when making sustainable travel choices:

% of global respondents who agree
I do not know how to make my travel more sustainable

37%

Although I do see options to travel more sustainably, other options tend to appeal more 34%
I cannot afford the extra expenditure of sustainable travel 36%
My agenda constrains me in the sustainable choices I can make 34%
Sustainable travel destinations appeal to me less than other destinations 34%
I understand what I can do to travel more sustainably 50%

Travel companies have an important role to play here in the eyes of travelers: 71% of travelers think that travel companies should offer consumers more sustainable travel choices. On the other hand, almost half (46%) of global travelers acknowledge that they find it harder to make sustainable choices on while on vacation than in everyday life. Almost a third (31%) of global travelers admit their vacation is a special time during which they do not want to think about sustainability.

Aspirations to Actions

Research results also indicated that travelers would be more encouraged to travel sustainably if there were economic incentives offered, such as tax breaks, when choosing eco-friendly options (46%). This is closely followed by online booking sites offering a sustainable or eco-friendly filter option (45%).

When it comes to in-destination experiences, over half (52%) of global travelers say they now alter behaviors to be more sustainable while traveling, such as walking, riding a bike or hiking whenever possible. Plus, 68% would like the money they spend on travel to go back into the local community. Likewise, almost three quarters (72%) of global travelers are seeking authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture, while two in five (41%) request that travel companies offer tips on how to be more sustainable while traveling and 56% of respondents say that if there was an option to offset the carbon footprint on their vacation accommodation, they would do it.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that Booking.com has commissioned its sustainable travel report and it’s heartening to see the sustainable travel motivations and intentions amongst travelers, though it’s clear that complex challenges continue to exist when it comes to fully realising these,” says, Pepijn Rijvers, SVP & Head of Accommodation at Booking.com. “As a global travel leader, we are continuously looking at ways we can innovate across our platform, from accommodation to experiences and transport, testing different ways to best surface information and support customers in their sustainable travel choices, as well as providing support and investment to foster innovation in the sustainable tourism space through our Booking Booster, Cares Fund and Cares Lab start-up programs. It’s important that all those in the travel ecosystem, from established companies to start-ups, destinations, accommodation, transport and attraction providers as well as travelers themselves, come together, as it’s only through collaboration that meaningful change will continue to gain momentum.”

_____________

Methodology:

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,077 respondents were surveyed across 18 markets (1000+ from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, UK, USA. In Israel 883 respondents were surveyed). Respondents completed an online survey in February and March 2019.

** Although this year’s survey covers 6 additional markets, the figure is still up to 72% if we only consider the markets from last year’s survey.

.

World is ‘On Notice’ as Major UN Report Shows One Million Species Face Extinction

Splendid Leaf Frog, Ecuador

PARIS—A hard-hitting report into the impact of humans on nature shows that nearly one million species risk becoming extinct within decades, while current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail without radical action, UN biodiversity experts said on Monday.

Speaking in Paris at the launch of the Global Assessment study—the first such report since 2005—UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world “on notice”.

“Following the adoption of this historic report, no one will be able to claim that they did not know,” the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said. “We can no longer continue to destroy the diversity of life. This is our responsibility towards future generations.”

Highlighting the universal importance of biodiversity—the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems—Ms. Azoulay said that protecting it “is as vital as fighting climate change”.

Presented to more than 130 government delegations for their approval at UNESCO headquarters, the report features the work of 400 experts from at least 50 countries, coordinated by the Bonn-based Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

In addition to providing exhaustive insights on the state of nature, ecosystems and how nature underpins all human activity, the study also discusses progress on key international goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The report also examines five main drivers of “unprecedented” biodiversity and ecosystem change over the past 50 years, identifying them as: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species.

One in Four Species at Risk of Extinction

On at-risk fauna and flora, the study asserts that human activities “threaten more species now than ever before”—a finding based on the fact that around 25 percent of species in plant and animal groups are vulnerable.

This suggests that around one million species “already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss”.

Without such measures there will be a “further acceleration” in the global rate of species extinction, which is already “at least tens to hundreds of times higher, than it has averaged over the past 10 million years”, the report states.

It notes that despite many local efforts, including by indigenous peoples and local communities, by 2016, 559 of the 6,190 domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture were extinct—around 9 percent of the total—and at least 1,000 more are threatened.

Crop Security Threatened Long-term

In addition, many crop wild relatives that are needed for long-term food security “lack effective protection”, the report insists, while the status of wild relatives of domesticated mammals and birds “is worsening”.

At the same time, reductions in the diversity of cultivated crops, crop wild relatives and domesticated breeds mean that farming will likely be less resilient against future climate change, pests and pathogens.

“While more food, energy and materials than ever before are now being supplied to people in most places, this is increasingly at the expense of nature’s ability to provide such contributions in the future,” the report states, before adding that “the biosphere, upon which humanity as a whole depends…is declining faster than at any time in human history”.

Marine Pollution ‘Has Increased Tenfold Since 1980’

On the issue of pollution, although global trends are mixed, air, water and soil pollution have continued to increase in some areas, the report insists. “Marine plastic pollution in particular has increased tenfold since 1980, affecting at least 267 species”, it says, including 86 percent of marine turtles, 44 percent of seabirds and 43 percent of marine mammals.

The 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is also the first of its kind to examine and include indigenous and local knowledge, issues and priorities, IPBES said in a statement, noting that its mission is to strengthen policy-making for the sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.

“The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being,” insisted Sir Robert Watson, IPBES Chair. “Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come. Policies, efforts and actions—at every level—will only succeed, however, when based on the best knowledge and evidence.”

Sustainable Spas

Showcasing Your Spa with Sustainable Best Practices

Shelley Lotz

The trend in spa vacations, wellness classes, and eco therapy is growing and continues to weave its way into business as usual. With our dependence on resources and mother nature, sustainability is front and center in the hospitality industry. Most guests expect certain standards and that includes a more restorative mindset in our business models. Are you up to speed with your initiatives? Here are some best practices to consider in your CSR plans for spas, wellness programs, and beyond.

Evolving Your Brand

Include your sustainability mission and vision in your culture, messaging and marketing. Make it visible and share your success stories with your staff and on social media. Benefits: Guests want to stay in healthy, eco-minded places that support their values and interests. Many people look for green programs and certifications on your website. Stand out from the crowd with focus on your niche and unique programs. Examples: Even if you don’t have a large spa, you can offer some wellness amenities in your rooms and fitness center. You can also sponsor local wellness activities, promote local parks, and host on-site events such as eco-brand pop-ups. Offer holistic therapies bringing natural elements into the spa.

Assess Your Spa Services

Use treatment protocols that use less water, chemicals, and products. Benefits: Smart menu updates save resources and reduce costs for a better ROI. Time and staff needs are also reduced with more efficient services. It’s a more tranquil atmosphere with reduced cleanup time that can be better used for a more luxurious service. Examples: Many spas are switching from steam rooms to salt rooms for the health benefits and water and energy savings. Lighter towels and linens that dry faster are worth the investment. Masks and scrubs that rinse easier save towels, water use, shower needs, and laundry costs. Vichy showers and wet tables use a large amount of water so switching from heavy water use saves significant precious resources. Concentrate major water use in the spa thermal areas for an enhanced water therapy experience. Train the staff to be eco-conscious in their protocols and facility operations.

Vet Your Product and Retail Choices

Are any of your skin care brands natural and organic? Are your retail items locally made with natural materials? Is packaging minimal? Benefits: Savvy guests are well educated on clean, healthy products and ingredients. They notice the eco details in what they are buying. Spas that sell and use local crafted items create a more distinctive atmosphere of cultural appeal. Guests are more apt to select and recommend custom products they support and believe in. An important part of a spa’s success depends on a strong retail program that is both interesting and benefits guest’s wellness. Examples: Beyond natural, organic products, look for local suppliers of textiles, boutique items, amenities, and food that be used in lounge areas. Promote these brands in messaging and talk about their story in the spa. Can the big fancy throw away retail bags still be eco-lux and smaller made with recycled paper? Ask vendors to cut their excessive packaging and plan to switch up your retail bags when it’s time to buy again.

Choose Sustainable Purchasing

This is the main mantra in becoming more sustainable. Since most of us don’t have time for research and getting into the complex life cycle assessment (LCA), simply asking how each item impacts the world makes a big difference in any business. What is it made of? Is it durable? Is it non-toxic? Does it save resources? Benefits: Buying less-toxic materials is healthier for everyone. Quality lasts longer in the long run. Saving resources also reduces utilities and recycling costs. The benefits carry beyond the spa to manufacturing and the ecosystem. Examples: Supplies and equipment can be vetted for materials and resource savings. Plastic reduction and buying reusable supplies, instead of disposables saves costs and keeps plastic out of our waste stream and water ways. Building materials are becoming healthier every day but unhealthy air and toxins still cause health problems. Chemicals and cleaning supplies are a concern. Switch from single-use plastic water bottles to water stations and refillable glasses. Give guests their own refillable bottle branded with your logo.

Create Healthy Spaces

The spa experience is attuned to the five senses: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste. The spa is based on all these aspects: scents, colors, natural elements, massage, music, and refreshments. Comfort, design, and wellness are woven into healthy spaces and rooms. Benefits: A healthy atmosphere and good indoor air quality affects the staff and guests both physically and mentally. The ventilation and heating system affect people’s comfort and happiness. Monitored temperature controls saves energy. Examples: Create wellness spaces and retreats for staff and guests. Use non-toxic products with natural scents, keep the facility amenities on brand, and pay attention to the details. Chlorine is not an appealing, healthy chemical—how can we reduce that? Check in with your staff and make sure they are comfortable and the space works for them as well. Can you add any fun touches to update the space on a regular basis?

Implementing sustainability standards as part of your brand is a positive step to long-term success. Stay competitive and current by adding eco wellness concepts to your services, products, purchasing, and spaces. We all know clean water is essential to the spa and travel industry, especially taking care of gorgeous beaches and oceans globally. Our decisions make a difference, so you can feel good about maintaining healthy spas, which is the true definition of an authentic spa and wellness philosophy.

Boston Hotel – Waste Food Donation

This 4-minute video depicts the Lenox Hotel’s food waste diversion program. The hotel donates over 80 meals per month to needy people, and sends over 300,000 pounds of food waste per year to a compost facility. The program cuts the Lenox’s waste disposal costs and it doesn’t increase staff workload.

https://recyclingworksma.com/the-lenox-hotel-2019/ 

Why Rechargeable Candles are Better for the Environment…and Your Bottom Line

NATIONAL REPORT—Rechargeable, “flameless” LED candles have been around for quite some time but technological advances, design improvements and environmental and economic awareness have made them the preferred choice for thousands of hoteliers and restaurateurs.

The environmental impact of the burning and disposing of wax candles is significant. According to The Amazing Flameless Candle, a 48-table restaurant will go through 122,000 tea lights, 61,000 votives or 17,000 non-recyclable, oil saturated plastic fuel cell containers over five years as compared to just 48 flameless candles.

In addition to the waste-related costs associated with disposable candles, there are also safety concerns. In New York City, for example, an Open Flame Permit is required prior to using wax candles. Similarly, in Boston a permit is required for some candles and the fire department there formally prefers the use of LED lighting.

Burning candles can not only start a fire; they can also negatively impact indoor air quality. A study by scientists at Copenhagen University conducted on mice found exposure to particles from burning candles to cause greater damage than the same dose of diesel exhaust fumes. The harmful effects of candle smoke included lung inflammation and toxicity, arteriosclerosis, and aging effects on chromosomes in the lungs and spleen.

A study led by Dr. Amid Hamidi from the University of South Carolina found that paraffin-based candles produce several chemicals, mainly because they do not burn at a high enough temperature to destroy the hazardous molecules they emit. Additional research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found scented candles to produce more soot than unscented, the particles of which can infiltrate deep into one’s lungs and be harmful to the respiratory system. A longer candle wick will produce more soot and a smoky flame, which releases even more air pollution.

A Very Reasonable ROI

From an economic standpoint, rechargeable candles can be easily justified. Most hospitality venues either use tea lights, votives, fuel cells or flameless candles. According to The Amazing Flameless Candle, assuming a 48-table restaurant operating a seven-hour/seven-day dinner shift, over one year, tea lights would cost $2,943, votives would cost $3,433, fuel cells would cost $2,657, and flameless candles would cost $1,300. It is in month six when a restaurant can start to benefit financially from using flameless candles as opposed to traditional burning candles.

Colin LaBerge, CEO of The Amazing Flameless Candle, says his company’s LED candles typically last five years and sometimes years longer.

“The primary reason people buy our products is the cost-saving factor,” LaBerge says. “They are eliminating a consumable product and the waste of those candles over the life of the product. A lot are switching over because they care about the environment.”

Design & Functionality Also Important

While cost, health and the environment certainly come into play when selecting candle type lighting, as important as ever are aesthetics, design, ease of use, and technological capabilities. The Lux Series Rechargeable Tea Light Collection from The Amazing Flameless Candle, for example, features a natural candle light color and flicker with a realistic flame shape designed to maximize glow throughout the candle’s 20-hour battery life. A remote control turns the candle on and off, one can set a 2, 4, 6 or 8-hour daily timer, switch between a static light or candle flicker, or brighten or dim the light. The candles are fully waterproof. Some flameless candles offer up to six colors and up to three flicker patterns.

“A lot of restaurants and hotels are becoming more open to the technology,” LaBerge says. “The flameless candles look more realistic.”

When asked what advice he would give to someone considering flameless candles for the first time, LaBerge said, “Understand the reason you are switching over to rechargeable lights. The candles need to last for four-plus years. It will mitigate your costs and help the environment. Also, make sure your candle holders are appropriately sized.” LaBerge says some flameless candles require a frosted glass holder.

 

Source: greenlodgingnews.com – Glenn Hasek

EU Energy Efficiency Directive

GHP Comment:  Many Irish Hotel companies employ more than 250 employees – the point where an energy audit is mandatory.  These can be extremely valuable and we expect to see that the availability of funding and support through SEAI will be restricted in future to businesses that comply.

EU Energy Efficiency Directive

 

The EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force throughout the EU in 2012. This requires all large companies to have a high quality energy audit every four years. The second round of audits are now due for completion by the end of this year (2019).Directive Impact
Whist reducing the impact of climate change is essential, this directive can be seen as a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The directive only applies to companies with more than 250 staff, yet there would be many companies with less than 250 staff, but would use more energy than larger companies. For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant with 200 employees would consume significantly more energy than a corporate headquarters with 500 staff.

The aim of the directive is to identify energy saving opportunities. This can be easily done and an audit should identify many such opportunities. However, for the large corporate headquarters mentioned above, if they are operating out of rented or leased offices, then the practicality of implementing significant energy savings is limited.

One aspect of directives is that it is up to each member state to decide how to implement. For the EU Energy Efficiency Directive this can result in significant differences and difficulties when carrying out audits for EU multinationals. One example of these difference is whether to include the grey fleet (these are vehicles owned and driven by employees on company business, but where the costs are paid by the company). In the UK, the grey fleet is included, in Ireland it is excluded. This would make intercompany energy performance difficult to compare across the EU.

Sample Size
A second example concerns the sample size of the audit. For example, a company may have a chain of stores. Many of the stores would tend to be similar in building type and thus to audit every store would be wasteful in effort leading to excessive costs. An energy auditor would therefore, if permitted, choose a representative sample of sites to audit.

For the UK ESOS implementation of the directive, the auditor is free to determine the sample size and some audits have had sample sizes of 1% of the company’s premises. However, in the Czech Republic, sampling is not allowed and thus every site would have to be audited. Such rigid rules increase costs without any corresponding benefit.

Despite the above misgivings about the directive, it is possible to identify real and practical energy savings by undertaking such audits. Examples from the second round of audits from our work include:

  • Chain of stores with manufacturing plant. Compressed air and process cooling savings with paybacks of less than 9 months
  • Chilled food distributor. Heating and chilling savings with paybacks of less than 4 months
  • Pharmaceutical manufacture. AHU and lighting savings with paybacks of less than one year.
  • Electricity generator with heating and lighting savings with paybacks of less than 6 months.

Environmental Efficiency
Bob Sutcliffe is a Chartered Engineer and a Certified Energy Manager. Bob is listed on the UK and Irish registers of approved energy consultants for EU Energy Efficiency Audits. He may be contacted at bobsut@enviro-consult.com

For more information, visit Environmental Efficiency

Showcasing Your Spa with Sustainable Best Practices

Showcasing Your Spa with Sustainable Best Practices

Shelley Lotz

The trend in spa vacations, wellness classes, and eco therapy is growing and continues to weave its way into business as usual. With our dependence on resources and mother nature, sustainability is front and center in the hospitality industry. Most guests expect certain standards and that includes a more restorative mindset in our business models. Are you up to speed with your initiatives? Here are some best practices to consider in your CSR plans for spas, wellness programs, and beyond.

Evolving Your Brand

Include your sustainability mission and vision in your culture, messaging and marketing. Make it visible and share your success stories with your staff and on social media. Benefits: Guests want to stay in healthy, eco-minded places that support their values and interests. Many people look for green programs and certifications on your website. Stand out from the crowd with focus on your niche and unique programs. Examples: Even if you don’t have a large spa, you can offer some wellness amenities in your rooms and fitness center. You can also sponsor local wellness activities, promote local parks, and host on-site events such as eco-brand pop-ups. Offer holistic therapies bringing natural elements into the spa.

Assess Your Spa Services

Use treatment protocols that use less water, chemicals, and products. Benefits: Smart menu updates save resources and reduce costs for a better ROI. Time and staff needs are also reduced with more efficient services. It’s a more tranquil atmosphere with reduced cleanup time that can be better used for a more luxurious service. Examples: Many spas are switching from steam rooms to salt rooms for the health benefits and water and energy savings. Lighter towels and linens that dry faster are worth the investment. Masks and scrubs that rinse easier save towels, water use, shower needs, and laundry costs. Vichy showers and wet tables use a large amount of water so switching from heavy water use saves significant precious resources. Concentrate major water use in the spa thermal areas for an enhanced water therapy experience. Train the staff to be eco-conscious in their protocols and facility operations.

Vet Your Product and Retail Choices

Are any of your skin care brands natural and organic? Are your retail items locally made with natural materials? Is packaging minimal? Benefits: Savvy guests are well educated on clean, healthy products and ingredients. They notice the eco details in what they are buying. Spas that sell and use local crafted items create a more distinctive atmosphere of cultural appeal. Guests are more apt to select and recommend custom products they support and believe in. An important part of a spa’s success depends on a strong retail program that is both interesting and benefits guest’s wellness. Examples: Beyond natural, organic products, look for local suppliers of textiles, boutique items, amenities, and food that be used in lounge areas. Promote these brands in messaging and talk about their story in the spa. Can the big fancy throw away retail bags still be eco-lux and smaller made with recycled paper? Ask vendors to cut their excessive packaging and plan to switch up your retail bags when it’s time to buy again.

Choose Sustainable Purchasing

This is the main mantra in becoming more sustainable. Since most of us don’t have time for research and getting into the complex life cycle assessment (LCA), simply asking how each item impacts the world makes a big difference in any business. What is it made of? Is it durable? Is it non-toxic? Does it save resources? Benefits: Buying less-toxic materials is healthier for everyone. Quality lasts longer in the long run. Saving resources also reduces utilities and recycling costs. The benefits carry beyond the spa to manufacturing and the ecosystem. Examples: Supplies and equipment can be vetted for materials and resource savings. Plastic reduction and buying reusable supplies, instead of disposables saves costs and keeps plastic out of our waste stream and water ways. Building materials are becoming healthier every day but unhealthy air and toxins still cause health problems. Chemicals and cleaning supplies are a concern. Switch from single-use plastic water bottles to water stations and refillable glasses. Give guests their own refillable bottle branded with your logo.

Create Healthy Spaces

The spa experience is attuned to the five senses: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste. The spa is based on all these aspects: scents, colors, natural elements, massage, music, and refreshments. Comfort, design, and wellness are woven into healthy spaces and rooms. Benefits: A healthy atmosphere and good indoor air quality affects the staff and guests both physically and mentally. The ventilation and heating system affect people’s comfort and happiness. Monitored temperature controls saves energy. Examples: Create wellness spaces and retreats for staff and guests. Use non-toxic products with natural scents, keep the facility amenities on brand, and pay attention to the details. Chlorine is not an appealing, healthy chemical—how can we reduce that? Check in with your staff and make sure they are comfortable and the space works for them as well. Can you add any fun touches to update the space on a regular basis?

Implementing sustainability standards as part of your brand is a positive step to long-term success. Stay competitive and current by adding eco wellness concepts to your services, products, purchasing, and spaces. We all know clean water is essential to the spa and travel industry, especially taking care of gorgeous beaches and oceans globally. Our decisions make a difference, so you can feel good about maintaining healthy spas, which is the true definition of an authentic spa and wellness philosophy.

California Hoteliers try and delay single use plastic amenity ban

Baffled by Industry Response to Single-Use Plastic Amenity Bottle Bill

Glenn Hasek

The big news out of California this past week is Assembly Bill No. 1162, legislation that would eliminate single-use plastic bottles used to provide amenities to California lodging guests by January 1, 2023. It was introduced by California Assembly Member Ash Kalra and coauthored by Assembly Member Mark Stone. The next hearing date for the bill is April 23. While I applaud this groundbreaking legislation—a bold step to reduce the mountains of plastic amenity bottle waste that ends up in landfills, oceans and elsewhere—I am baffled by our industry’s response to it.

First, let’s assume your property is in California and you know this bill is going to become law. How much time would you need to transition away from single-use plastic bottles to dispensers? I would like to know. It couldn’t be too long, could it? The authors of the bill believe you would need about three years. The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA)? They believe you will need up to five or six years! You read that right. We in the lodging industry are extremely slow to catch on to sustainability, aren’t we?

In a letter to Mark Stone, CHLA said it would support the bill if amended to account for certain initial and ongoing operational challenges. Here is what CHLA said:

“Lastly, we request an implementation date of January 1, 2025 for all lodging establishments with 50 rooms or more and January 1, 2026 for all lodging establishments, to provide hotels with enough time to exhaust their current stock of shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap so as not to encourage unnecessary waste. Additionally, the component of the hotel and lodging industry that manufactures, produces and sells these amenities will need to adjust their business models specifically within California, which is expected to be lengthy and significant. The reality is, a mandate like this on a state with more than 500,000 hotel and lodging rooms may cause backlogs and shortages.”

Have you stopped laughing yet? Or, crying? Let’s address the “exhaust their current stock” issue first. Hotels do not have years of stock on their shelves waiting to be used. While CHLA argues that the industry will need from five to six years to eliminate inventory, Ian Wallace, President of Dispenser Amenities, explained that, “It’s not an inventory issue. It is a contract issue. The guys who make the bottles have a lot invested in it. They typically sign a two or three-year agreement and they fill it as it goes. It’s not a case of inventory sitting in a hotel. I have never heard of an agreement longer than three years. Most contracts are two years.”

Most Hotels Use Stock Amenity Program

Ray Burger, President of Pineapple Hospitality, says 80 percent of hotels use a stock amenity program that does not even require a contract. “If they use a custom program, the contracts are written for a year or two.” He adds that if a hotel owner is faced with a requirement such as Assembly Bill No. 1162, the owner should be able to get out of an agreement with the supplier.

CHLA also infers that dispenser makers may not be able to keep up with the new demand for dispensers. Says Wallace of Dispenser Amenities, “No, I would say that comment is not factual. Certainly, Dispenser Amenities can ramp up to meet increasing demand.  I would presume others could too.”

What is clear here is that the authors of the bill need a reality check from folks outside of CHLA. They do not know enough about our industry. Also clear is that CHLA believes the makers of single-use plastic bottles are not agile enough to “quickly” transition to a dispenser-based business model.

In Assembly Bill No. 1162, there will be a warning, then a $500 fine, then subsequent fines not to exceed $2,000 annually if a property does not comply with the law. For a large property that would be peanuts; for a smaller property that is quite a pinch. I am not a big fan of government interference in a case like this but if there are going to be fines the money should go to organizations dedicated to cleaning up plastic waste. The money should not go to the government. Plastic waste is a huge problem and our industry has contributed a lot to it.

I contacted California Assembly Member Ash Kalra for my article but am still waiting to hear back. If I do have a chance to chat with him, I will share our conversation with you.

Your thoughts? I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

ABTA announces ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ as Make Holidays Greener 2019 campaign theme

2019

ABTA announces ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ as Make Holidays Greener 2019 campaign theme

The theme for this year’s Make Holidays Greener (MHG), the annual summer campaign led by ABTA in partnership with Travelife for Accommodation, is ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’.

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ was chosen as a follow-on from MHG 2018’s ‘Say no to plastic’ theme. Plastics will continue to be addressed in this year’s campaign, but it will also address managing waste, including food waste, from a broader perspective.

This year’s campaign also reflects consumer growth in awareness and industry action on sustainability issues. ABTA’s latest research shows that over a third (36%) of people would now choose one travel provider over another if they had a better environmental/sustainable record, compared to a fifth in 2011.

Travel companies can get involved in a number of ways, from looking at recycling in destination, reducing food waste, finding credible alternatives for single-use plastics or inviting customers in resort to help take part in green initiatives. This year’s campaign will launch on 5 June, World Environment Day, and will run until the end of September.

Make Holidays Greener encourages holidaymakers and the industry to take positive action to help create better places for locals to live in, and better places for holidaymakers to visit.

ABTA and Travelife for Accommodation will be supporting the industry in the lead up to the launch and throughout the campaign, offering advice and guidance. A campaign support pack has been developed and shared with travel agents, tour operators, destinations and accommodations to help them participate in the campaign. It includes how to engage customers, suggested social media activity and example case studies for inspiration. Travel companies can contact sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk to sign up and request a support pack.

ABTA also recently launched new plastic guidance to support travel businesses to take a long-term strategic approach in tackling their use of plastics, as part of a wider approach to waste management1. The guidance uses the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle framework and can be used as a tool to help identify potential initiatives for Make Holidays Greener.

Sustainable tourism is essential for the industry’s long-term viability, and waste management is one of the main environmental issues, alongside carbon and water saving. ABTA Members and destinations have been including waste management as part of their wider sustainability strategy for some time now – working on areas such as recycling in destination, managing waste in the supply chain, reducing food waste and finding credible alternatives to plastics.

Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability said: 

“Whilst plastics has been high on the agenda, and will continue to be, it’s important both the industry and consumers look at waste from a broader perspective to make a positive change in the long term – which ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ aims to highlight.

“Make Holidays Greener offers an opportunity for travel companies to try out new approaches using the waste framework of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. By testing out new initiatives and sharing best practice of what has worked, businesses can work towards achieving ‘the circular economy’ – where resources would be in use for as long as possible and we minimise waste or pollution.”

ABTA’s sustainability programme, Better Places, supports Members to adopt the best sustainability policy that works for them – offering guidance and support on how businesses can seek to address the impacts of tourism.

For travel companies looking for further guidance on how to implement sustainable approaches across their business, ABTA’s ‘Delivering Sustainable Travel’ seminar on 18 June offers practical and up to date guidance, as well as advice on addressing the key supply chain risks. For more information or to sign up please visit abta.com/events.

For further information, contact:
020 3117 0596 or press@abta.co.uk
Emily Jones, Media and PR Manager, 020 3117 0592

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