3 ways that digitally transforming hotels helps accelerate sustainability and simplify green certifications

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3 ways that digitally transforming hotels accelerate sustainability and simplify green certifications.

Tim Cordon, a senior VP with Radisson Group, said, “The pandemic has accelerated the attention on sustainability and responsible business … leading corporations have been announcing their plans to offset their carbon footprint, in line with global governmental efforts and to drive best practices on responsible consumption on a hotel group level.”

But how can hotels get there?

In this post, I’ll talk about the importance of making hotels more sustainable, using green certifications to demonstrate your commitment, and how technology can simplify this journey.

The importance of making hotel operations more sustainable

The hotel industry is now committed to supporting the targets set by the Paris Agreement. The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance further states that “the hotel industry needs to reduce its carbon emissions by 66% per room by 2030, and by 90% per room by 2050 to ensure that the growth forecast for the industry does not lead to a corresponding increase in carbon emissions [and] even further to help limit warming to 1.5oC.”

Beyond saving the planet, sustainability is also good for business. A trend report by Finances Online recognizes that sustainability not only reduces emissions, it also increases efficiency, reduces costs, improves the guest experience, and drives revenue. Beyond the financial benefits of lower energy costs and avoiding regulatory penalties, greener practices are now also expected by investors and sought by most travellers. And as younger hiring prospects want to work for innovative and green companies, 65% of hoteliers are adding new technology to attract and retain staff.

Green building certifications: getting the most from sustainability

One way to use sustainability to win over guests, investors, and potential hires is to advertise your commitment and achievements through green building certifications.

Global standards like LEED and WELL award points toward certification based on sustainability, occupant well-being, and other factors. Beyond rating design and build elements of a hotel, many standards now encompass the operational phase of a facility’s lifecycle. This allows you to continue improving your buildings while maintaining your sustainability investment.

However, standards like LEED recommend a recertification program to address the operational phase. This requires your facility team to take a more active approach, keeping up with efficient practices and meeting requirements for monitoring and reporting. For LEED, this means having at least 12 months of data to support recertification every three years.

Trying to meet these requirements using manual methods – e.g., collecting and entering data from analog meters into ad hoc spreadsheets – will be time- and resource-intensive. You can simplify this by taking advantage of the latest IoT-enabled technologies.

3 ways to digitize and automate sustainability and certification

Digitalization can transform your hotels into smart buildings for new builds or retrofit projects. This helps simplify, automate, and accelerate your decarbonization journey, including achieving and maintaining green building certifications.

Here are three ways you can take today to get started:

  1. Select connected devices:  The newest intelligent circuit breakers, energy meters, and sensors offer simple connectivity options to remotely collect the data you need to understand where and how your building uses energy. Having these devices in place will also earn points toward certifications.
  2. Integrate smart software:  Onsite or cloud-based apps automate data collection from connected devices, then turn that data into the insights you need to uncover opportunities and make data-driven decisions on improving energy efficiency while reducing emissions. Reporting tools provide continuous building performance scoring that saves time and effort during recertification.
  3. Add advisory services:  With connected devices securely sharing data with the cloud, you can take advantage of advisory services to help you push hotel sustainability further and gain points toward higher levels of green certification. Domain experts can help you find incremental savings while optimizing your operations over time.

To learn more about how EcoStruxure for Hotels solutions can help new or existing hotel projects reduce energy use and emissions while easing certification and recertification processes, download our ebrief, ‘5 products to accelerate sustainable hotels.’

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