Faced with the climate crisis, several sectors of the economy are adopting more sustainable protocols to minimize the impacts of their activities on the environment. One of these processes is decarbonization, a topic that is already a concern for hosting means, but should gain even more space in the coming years. But, after all, what does this have to do with the hotel industry?
The sector's establishments operate around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, they demand a large volume of resources, such as electricity and water. Furthermore, accommodation facilities also depend on the delivery of inputs, which can be done with means of transport that use fossil fuels, and gas for heating, for example.
Decarbonization measures in the hotel industry
Preserving the environment and reducing the effects of the climate crisis are the responsibility of all sectors of the economy. Not surprisingly, the adoption of sustainable measures, together with the other premises ESG (acronym in English for good environmental, social and governance practices), has been demanded more by the market and consumers. Therefore, decarbonization needs to be part of the agenda of hotel sector managers.
Firstly, it is important to understand that decarbonization is the process of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and industrial activity. Therefore, the objective is to reduce the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
In the hotel sector, some measures can be adopted for this purpose. Some examples are:
- Invest in energy efficiency
Improving thermal insulation, using LED lighting, adopting more efficient heating and cooling systems, and controlling energy use help reduce carbon emissions in the long term.
- Adopt renewable energy sources
Investing in solar panels or other renewable energy sources allows hotels generate at least part of their energy cleanly. Currently, there are cases in which 100% of the energy consumed by the establishment comes from renewable sources.
- Have good waste and water management
Reducing waste, recycling and reusing materials, as well as adopting efficient water management practices, are also ways to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.
- Encourage sustainable transport
Encouraging the use of public transport, offering bicycles to guests or installing charging points for electric vehicles can reduce emissions associated with transport.
Today, some hotel chains are already part of the carbon market. Carbon credits are digital certificates that ensure that a company has avoided the emission of GHGs. Today, each carbon credit is equivalent to one ton of CO2 that was no longer emitted. Thus, companies that reduce the emission of these harmful substances are rewarded.
Carbon credits can be traded. So, organizations can buy certificates for projects that have reduced or avoided greenhouse gas emissions to offset the effects of the activity itself. In the hotel industry, there are examples of programs in which both the establishment and the guest They can acquire credits to compensate for the environmental impacts of their stay.
Other advantages of decarbonization for the hotel industry
In addition to environmental responsibility, decarbonization brings other advantages to the hotel industry. One of them is to attract travelers concerned about the impacts of their stay on the environment. Knowing that the accommodation has actions to reduce its carbon footprint can win over guests who are looking for a ecotourism or regenerative tourism.
Adopting alternative energy sources and measures to improve energy efficiency also helps reduce long-term operating costs. Considering that hotel activity is continuous, the savings can reach hundreds of thousands of reais in just a few years – or in the seven figures, when we consider global hotel chains.
Therefore, decarbonization, together with other sustainable practices, can make accommodation more competitive.
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