How is a Sustainable hotel?
The definition has more complexity than it seems. The youth of the concept brings with it heterogeneity in the normative development, in the application and even in the vision that each one has of sustainability. It is no coincidence that, if there has been a coincidence on the part of many Hotel Sustainability professionals that I have interviewed for this Report, there is currently no clear and homogeneous line of action regarding sustainability: nor as a sector, nor as a country.
So, can we give a definition of Sustainable Hotel? The field work carried out for this Report tells us about five common points that hotels and tourist accommodations that develop specific sustainability strategies meet. They are the five R’s of Hotel Sustainability: Rethink • Reduce • Reuse • Recycle • Respect.
Rethink: The first exercise carried out by a hotel when designing and implementing a Hotel Sustainability Strategy is to rethink the business in a holistic manner in a sustainable manner.
Reduce: A Sustainable Hotel is a hotel that actively works to reduce consumption and waste in its establishment, with the aim of “reducing its impact on the environment”.
Reuse: The reduction of consumption and waste results in the third R, the “Reuse”, either in the hotel itself or as a way to start up and promote sustainable initiatives in the community, immediate or distant.
Recycling: Along with the reduction and reuse of resources, we find the fourth R, recycling, which is often confused with reuse but is not the same and is also a fundamental issue in the development of the sustainability strategy.
Respect: This R has to do with people, the local culture, the environment. It has to do with “respecting the natural, social and environmental environment. That is, not pollute, respect the culture of the area, be in tune with the environment. “