Every little helps
When it comes to improving sustainability, the small, immediate changes quickly add up, says Krystal Taylor-Groom, Operator Partnerships Director, Mysa
Recently, I was most privileged to be in the company of a number of corporate buyers at the serviced apartment Business Travel Lunch Forum organised by The Business Travel Magazine.
Though many topics were covered, sustainability was by far the prominent keyword. It’s a word that many operators dread but is most certainly at the forefront of many client conversations and here to stay.
As the sustainability credentials of operators become a greater focus of RFPs the need to tackle current practises as a sector head on is clear.
It can be a minefield and I hear ‘what do we need to do?’ and ‘what support is there?’ from much of the operator community.
Many see cost as a challenge with operational margins already squeezed.
My advice is focus on what can be implemented immediately; small changes begin to add up.
Sustainable practises affect us all, and the sooner all operators take it seriously, the less it becomes a selling tool for those with deeper pockets and maybe we can start to make differences within our sector.
But these differences need to be tangible; we need to go beyond a ‘green’ option – it needs to be specific and measurable.
So where do we start? Well, it depends on where each operator is on their sustainable journey.
There is a plethora of websites available, such as normative.io, which are free and support SMEs to estimate their current Scope 1 and 2 emissions. These measure the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions a company makes directly and indirectly through sourcing of electricity, energy and other commodities.
Using such tools will support operators reduce their own carbon footprint, whilst partnering with companies like Greengage Solutions and Responsible Futures can support operators through their journey.
Technology to measure the individual impact of a guest stay is certainly moving at a pace but the good news is there is still time to adjust.
Providing specific measurements will come, with companies increasingly signing up to science-based targets, but for now, most buyers are satisfied with estimates. This makes it less daunting and something we can tackle as a community.
Our industry has made considerable strides in the last five years. There is greater awareness amongst buyers and more are including serviced accommodation in their policies.
We could say that serviced apartments, with weekly house-keeping and controlled food consumption, has a head start on hotels.
However, the reality is that if we cannot find a way to provide the information required when required, we will lose that market share back to the hotels.
Hotels are already working with TMCs to provide estimations for carbon emissions, which means that our sector needs to act fast.