This short blog suggests 5 things you can do to shrink the carbon footprint of your holiday accommodation. It is not an exhaustive list. Our tips are aimed at specialist hospitality owners. Anything from glamping to boutique hotels to holiday rentals – and everything in between.
What are the benefits?
There are countless benefits to becoming more eco-friendly. Here are just a few that you and business can hope to achieve from shrinking your carbon footprint:
- It’s a savvy PR move. What do you have over your competitors? You’ll likely provide a very similar offering to your competitors. If done well, positioning your business as eco-friendly will give you the competitive edge.
- The feel-good factor. OK, having a clear conscience might not pay the bills, but it will help you sleep at night. You can rest soundly knowing your business is leading the way to a better society for future generations.
- Increased business. As previously mentioned, as a society we are becoming more aware of the impact we have on Earth. Consumers want to feel like they are making a difference. More people are basing their buying decisions on whether something is sustainable or not. In fact, research suggests that people are likely to pay up to 5% more for environmentally-friendly services.
Top 5 tips from ACT Studios
Becoming more environmentally aware shouldn’t be a chore. So here are 5 simple tips to help you adapt your business:
1. Sustainable extras
Whether you’re a 1 bedroom self-catering unit or a 200-bed hotel you probably offer your guests more than just a bed for the night. From toiletries to loo-roll, a welcome hamper or chocolate, it’s the little things that count. Whatever you supply, do you know what sort of environmental impact it has?
The first thing to consider is choosing suppliers that are eco-friendly. The second thing is telling people about your eco-friendly choices. You might even find out that most of your suppliers are already sustainable.
It’s easier now, more than ever, to find sustainable brands. For instance, this toilet paper brand is doing loads for the environment! They are totally sustainable and give back, plus they give you a bit more bang for your buck. What’s even better is, they come individually wrapped and look fantastic. Your guests will love it, and so will Earth.
2. Plant trees to offset emissions
Planting trees on behalf of your guests is a really simple way to win your guests’ respect and to help offset their travel emissions. This is something that anyone can do personally or professionally. We do this at ACT Studios too. For every one that recommends us to their friends, we’ll plant a tree for them.
We recently spent a great deal of time researching which charity we’d like to support. There are tonnes of amazing charities that do this sort of work. Some offer more trees, for less money. Others are a little more pricey. We chose a charity called Treedom that is a little more expensive, but they use that money to help developing nations too. They have trees for every budget. There are no recurring fees and you can donate in someone else’s name. When you purchase a tree it explains the impact that decision makes.
There are a few models you can adopt for your hospitality business. Holiday rental properties could do 1 tree for every week booked. Hotels could plant a tree for every repeat visitor. There are a plethora of approaches you can take. It feels great to give back to nature, and your guests will also feel like they’re contributing.
3. Offer alternative transport
The way your guests travel to and from your property isn’t necessarily your responsibility, but you can always make it easy for them to choose the eco-friendly option if they want to. For instance, you could offer free/for-hire bikes. If you’re in a city or near a town this is a lovely feature and your guests will love it. It’ll keep congestion down and give your guests the opportunity to ditch the car for short trips.
4. Make recycling easy
Every council jurisdiction in the UK has a different approach to recycling. Most are similar, and all are fairly self-explanatory. However, when you’re on holiday you don’t always know best practice. Sometimes recycling won’t be at the forefront of your mind. If you don’t already, you can make it super easy for your guests to recycle. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:
- make recycling bins readily available
- provide a flyer or infographic on what goes in each bin
- if you send an email before their stay, mention it there too.
5. Smart home solutions
There are so many technological advances that can help you achieve a carbon-neutral business. Smart home solutions are just the tip of the iceberg. There are new solutions every day it seems, so we understand how difficult it can be to choose the best products for you.
Whilst it might require a little bit of investment, smart heating solutions do appear to be the way forward. Not only will they help reduce your carbon footprint, but they also enable guests to control the heating with ease.
This is especially useful for owners who live far away from their properties, you can set the heating to turn on a few hours before your guests arrive. This means you don’t have to guess the temperature days in advance and don’t have it on for longer than necessary. Your guests will certainly thank you for it in the depths of winter. Who doesn’t love arriving to a warm and cosy home-from-home?
How to effectively market
The decisions to put measures in place to reduce your carbon footprint is fantastic in itself. However, telling your guests and potential guests about your efforts is important too. You don’t have to needlessly brag, but do make sure your guests know that you’re carbon-conscious. As previously discussed their buying factors may be affected by your eco-policies, so it’s best to be transparent about your efforts.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Social media – publish your policies on social media. Plenty of other businesses do.
- Website – include an eco-policy link on your website. You might find it is used more often than expected.
- Copywriting – your copywriting should reflect the eco-friendly strides that you make. For instance, if you plant a tree for every booking – mention that. Not many people in the industry do it, so it’s a significant selling-point.
To summarise, mention your environmental efforts organically everywhere you can. ACT Studios will be happy to help you reflect this in your marketing. Our expert team can evaluate your current marketing situation, then work with you to help your business grow even more. Get in touch to discuss scheduling a ‘Hospitality DNA’ session with Jo Blaylock (our Head of Marketing).