In Évora, we were the world stage of the “A World for Travel” forum, under the motto of sustainability.
Then, we received the Greenfest that has contributed to the education of Portuguese society regarding the importance of sustainability awareness and practice.
Now, it is time to put this into practice and implement sustainable measures that are crucial for our hospitality industry (in existing units and those under construction):
1. Legislative requirements for the classification of hotel units out of step with the reality that we all want to see differently.
Without urgent updating of the legislation, it is impossible to review some essential points for the implementation of sustainable measures. The truth is that, if it is not “mandatory”, we will hardly see people adopting a proactive attitude in this matter, with legislation functioning as a “mandatory” incentive.
Ex.: According to the current legislation for star rating, a 5* unit in which 50% of the bathrooms have a bathtub, gets 10 more points. However, since water is a scarce resource, it might make more sense to assign these 10 points to the unit that has implemented the reuse of bath waters.
Another example is the choice of Amenities that, in addition to requiring consideration of the packaging material, raise other complex issues such as their biodegradable potential in relation to the reuse of bath water.
2. The funds of the European community are already attached to the fulfilment of certain fundamental requirements which, if not presented, will make it impossible to access this form of financing. Despite being an important measure, it is not enough as the investment is considerable, and it is critical to know how to reap the rewards of the investment during the operational phase.
Eg: The energy of the photovoltaic panels must be consumed immediately, otherwise it is lost. So, do you know what equipment you should allocate? And quantities?
3. I believe that a good preventive maintenance technician, with in-depth knowledge of the technical operation of a hotel, will have to assume sustainability as a priority, reinforcing his position, which is more qualified and recognized.
4. How to financially quantify the gains from investment in sustainability in a hotel unit?
5. Minibars? This is a topic I have been addressing for years, as I consider them a waste. What to implement so that, in a more sustainable way, the Guest can have products and beverages at his disposal that also contribute to sustainability?
We are at a crucial time to simplify processes and be able to apply them quickly and efficiently. We need to rethink many of these points and all become more creative with the “consent” of those who apply the rules.
Ana Cristina Beatriz
New Business & Projects Manager
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality