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Sustainability Wins for Small Hotels: How to Master Sustainability Data

Sustainability Wins for Small Hotels: How to Master Sustainability Data

On the Smarter Path to Green: What Small and Mid-Size Hotel Chains Need to Know About Managing Their Sustainability Data in 2024

Concern over the environment is rapidly changing consumer behavior in every corner of the globe. According to a 2023 Booking.com report, 76% of consumers want to travel more sustainably soon, a 16% increase from the company’s 2021 survey and 5% higher than in 2022. As many as 81% of travelers also say they would choose sustainable accommodations over properties without eco-friendly certifications.  

At the same time, hotel operators with properties in European Union properties are navigating new waters. The recent introduction of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting and compliance regulations requires those companies to pay meticulous attention to evolving sustainability trends—and mandatory reporting requirements. While the United States hasn’t adopted these practices as rapidly as the EU, it is making strides toward incorporating the assessment, disclosure, and mitigation of climate-related risks into sustainability frameworks, signaling a growing commitment to environmental stewardship.

Considering the commercial and regulatory imperatives, and not just in Europe, prioritizing sustainability is no longer optional for hotels, resorts, and other hospitality-focused businesses, regardless of size. The reality is that most smaller and medium-sized hotel chains often struggle to embed ESG principles deeply into their operations. This challenge stems from limited resources, such as specialized teams dedicated to developing, implementing, and promoting sustainable practices across properties.

For those who have embarked on this journey, the path has been fraught with obstacles, including the significant cost and time required to record, analyze, and interpret sustainability metrics. Additionally, the effort to utilize this data to obtain third-party eco certifications like Green Key presents its own set of challenges.

The Sustainability Data Dichotomy

These challenges become pronounced when considering the current sustainability data processes you are probably using. Whether your hotel chain encompasses 10, 50 or 500 properties, chances are you've relied on manual methods for collecting and transmitting sustainability data— ranging from ad-hoc surveys, emailed reports and analyses, and siloed spreadsheets and have no connection to any other systems. The same piece of data is likely recorded multiple times by different individuals under differing conditions, leading to inaccuracies, outdated figures, and, ultimately, unreliable information.

But without reliable and real-time data, how can you institute effective operational strategies to address growing client concerns and responsibilities… and meet regulatory reporting requirements?

Fortunately, embracing a sustainability data management platform designed specifically to meet hotels’ needs offers a level playing field, provided you know the key features to look for.

The 123’s of Managing Your Sustainability Data

Like any technology investment, there are critical questions to consider when choosing a solution to make sense of and maximize your hotel's sustainability data:

  1. Does the solution consolidate all your metrics into a centralized hub? If not, you’ll have a siloed, scattered, and disorganized data environment. Your sustainability data management platform should become your single “source of truth” for all sustainability matters, ensuring your data is easily accessible, up-to-date, and reliable.
  1. Next, check if the platform lets you repurpose your data. Collecting sustainability information is just the start; what matters is how you use that data. Imagine you’re aiming for a green certificate on water usage, but you also need to report water stats for something like the European Sustainability Reporting Standards. The right platform should allow you to use the exact data for both tasks, making your efforts streamlined and efficient

  1. Does the sustainability data management platform transmit information in real-time? Before moving to the BeCause platform, Booking.com struggled to verify hotels’ green credentials instantly. This lag made it challenging to label and promote properties as eco-friendly choices to customers confidently. As your hotels ramp up their sustainable practices, these achievements must be quickly acknowledged and showcased. Immediate data sharing ensures your hotels' green efforts are promptly recognized and rewarded, aligning with consumer expectations and enhancing your brand's eco-conscious image.

Putting sustainability first doesn’t have to weigh down your hotels. With the right data and digital tools that help you streamline and understand sustainability metrics, including carbon footprint and water usage, you're enabling each property to exceed environmental standards and gain key insights into your operations' impact. Two of these tools are free when you sign up for the BeCause platform: the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) and Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI)

Ultimately, you are equipping your hotels with a competitive edge to rival the big global names this year and beyond.  

Get started on your journey to better sustainability management.

Learn how a sustainability data management platform can help small and mid-size hotel chains like yours boost profits, reduce costs and help guide transformative ESG policies.