Easy does it
Once your properties have calculated their carbon emissions and assessed their other environmental impacts, consider providing color coded ratings of your properties on your website. For example, use the HCMI calculations to award a green rating for your most carbon efficient properties, orange for less efficient properties, and red for properties who do not measure their emissions. More and more leisure and corporate customers are asking for this type of information, and it’s only a matter of time before corporate customers filter out less green hotels from their list of preferred properties.
A similar traffic light system can apply to food items on your menus.
Make it fun or competitive
If all else fails, appeal to your guests inner children and/or competitive streaks. For example, some organizations have made their recyclable bins to look like arcade games.
Walk the talk
Finally, if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ll need to walk the talk. You may not want to be the greenest hotel in the world but you should be consistent. For example, if you provide a green key made out of recyclable materials at check in, don’t leave all the lights and TV switched on in the room.
You need to convince guests that you are doing something about the environment besides asking them to re-use their towels.
A powerful, yet low cost, approach is through staff training. We’ve all stayed in hotels where the housekeepers replaced the towels even though we did not want them to. Housekeepers are trained to provide a clean room (and are proud of the cleanliness of their rooms), but we need to train them to also be green!
Hotels that can effectively market their green credentials will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition, attract green-minded guests, but also reach beyond this group of green customers and attract the vast majority of guests who are not tree huggers but who can be convinced!
Of course, to be successful, hotel managers need to have something to shout about and need to implement green initiatives and build up their green credentials.