TFG Asset Management has released an eight-step guide to help hoteliers achieve ‘green’ hotel certification.
The step-by-step framework was outlined in the company’s recently-published white paper, The Hoteliers’ Guide to Going Green.
The paper stresses that in an age where sustainable practices are becoming more widely used and recognised, it is imperative for hotels to put a ‘green’ strategy in place.
By obtaining a credible green certificate, hoteliers and hotel brands can reach out to larger audience, particularly environmentally-aware guests who seek accommodation that adheres to sustainable practices.
A green strategy also helps to reduce costs and can provide hotels with a commercial and competitive advantage.
TFG Asset Management’s eight-step guide is as follows:
Stage 1: Plan
The Asset Manager is responsible for communicating the green vision and its advantages to the operator and the owner to initiate the request to execute sustainable practices to the hotel owner. It is important to clarify the payback period for each investment to the owners and justify the bottom-line advantages of adopting green initiatives.
Stage 2: Selection of a credible approach to green practices (based on an Environmental Certification Programme Guideline)
After acknowledging the importance of adopting green practices, a hotel should consult professional bodies or organisations. Both the Asset Manager and the General Manager should choose an accredited green programme that is well aligned to the property’s objectives. The hotel property will use the programme guideline to effectively measure, monitor and carry out cost-effective green practices.
Stage 3: Form a Green Committee
The hotel must request the criteria it needs to adhere to in order to obtain certification from the chosen organisation. A green team should then be created that is responsible for putting together the green strategy required to meet these criteria. This Green Committee will introduce and monitor sustainability practices.
Stage 4: Self-Audit and Analysis
The Green Committee will identify issues that need addressing to adhere to the green programme criteria. The committee leader may choose to organise departmental audits. It is important to conduct a thorough analysis to understand the hotel’s current position in terms of resource usage per department. In this way, the committee will be able to identify the criteria the hotel needs to adhere to.
Stage 5: Design and Implement (Roll-out)
Having identified the issues that need addressing to comply with the green programme, the team will start brainstorming solutions. They will also budget the cost of implementing each new practice. It is highly imperative to design a cost-effective implementation plan. A detailed financial analysis will be required.
Stage 6: Third-Party Audit and Analysis
When the hotel is ready to obtain green certification, the staff member responsible for rolling out the programme will submit the application and request a formal audit to evaluate the property.
The selected green programme body can also provide guidance and tools to assist with any unfulfilled criteria. Once again, any changes must be communicated through all the hierarchies within the hotel property. A training programme needs to be rolled out to ensure the level of staff understanding, awareness and engagement is consistent and ongoing.
Stage 7: Benchmark and Report
A comparative analysis against the past performances and/or against other hotel establishments can help evaluate the effectiveness of the green initiatives on the hotel’s performance. Progress of how targets have been achieved must be recorded, assessed and communicated in a transparent fashion to all stakeholders.
Stage 8: Manage and Control
It is the duty of the designated Green Committee to conduct regular audits to monitor green practices and ensure they are being adhered to by all departments. The committee should then send update reports to the Asset Manager. The Asset Manager is responsible for analysing the impact of green initiatives on the hotel’s bottom-line profit and for ensuring continuous improvement.
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