Cohesive Data in Waste Management for the Hotel Industry

By Michael Hess Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Waste Harmonics | January 13, 2019

As a hotel owner and operator, you consistently work to be a go-to destination for travelers, locals and tourists. While some hotel executives may manage only one hotel operation, most owners and operators oversee hotel chains big and small. Executives have a large order of tasks, employees, guests and more to keep straight-all while keeping the bigger picture in mind to ensure steady revenue and growth. Having a cohesive data system is of utmost importance whether managing hotel chains or singular locations-from a revenue, profits, employee and guest standpoint. One area that often gets overlooked but can greatly impact your bottom line is waste management. When developing a plan for cohesive data across your hotel operations, working with a waste broker to set up a tracking system that delivers consistent reporting should be your first step.

1.   Implement a Tracking System

While your waste needs are unique, they also change at each hotel operation-just like your guests and the time of year. One hotel in your chain may have fewer than 200 guest rooms, while another may have 1,200 guest rooms and the capacity to hold large convention meetings. Auditing the waste and recycling data across your hotel chain or at your single hotel operation is the first step, but the true benefit comes from the continuous monitoring of your output. Closely monitoring your waste management data across each hotel outlet can help you identify your current waste streams, along with how much waste and recycling you're generating. As a result, you can greatly reduce costs and increase your environmental benefits.

A waste broker can be your true partner in setting up a waste and recycling tracking system that consistently monitors and delivers cohesive data across your hotel operation and chain. For hoteliers who decide to monitor their waste and recycling process, there are business platforms that capture and deliver this data for you in one place. The platforms can capture cost reduction, track it, and generate reports for waste and recycling productivity for your entire hotel chain and each individual outlet. An important consideration when looking for a waste management partner is to remember that most waste management companies offer upfront savings when you begin a program. You should partner, however, with a provider that offers continuous improvement on an ongoing basis and the reporting to support it.

2.   Consistently Monitor Your Metrics and Analytics

The next step to establish cohesive waste management data is partnering with a provider that uses metrics and measurements to evaluate waste and recycling flow overtime. Some waste solutions even include the monitoring of your entire waste system, including temperature, controls and connections, safety features, performance, fullness and more. Waste providers can implement individualized waste and recycling monitoring at each of your hotel locations, reporting into a remote system that allows you to easily review and understand data from your full operation.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.