Make No "Reservations" About Being a Smarter, Greener Hotel

If you stepped out of a 1950’s-era hotel room into a modern-day suite, you wouldn’t notice much difference other than the décor and high-definition TV. It seems as if decades have gone by without any real improvements to the guest experience or efficiency-focused best practices. Thanks to green hotel tech and other smart technologies though, this has been changing in recent years.

Keeping guests happy and building an eco-brand – all the while maintaining profitable margins – is essential for success in the hospitality industry. And if you’re a hotel manager, or engineer or any other key decision-maker, then smart and sustainable tech can help you accomplish these goals.

Recent Sustainable Technology Advances

Before understanding how green hotel technology has changed the hospitality industry, it’s first important to recognise the advances that got us here. After all, understanding the benefits of sustainability means little if you don’t take away actionable steps for implementation. Here are just a few of the green hotel tech advances that are changing how the industry is being run.

RFID Advances

It’s far less expensive to have room keycards rather than actual keys. Unfortunately, plastic cards are made from PVC – which has a toxic manufacturing process. Thanks to advances in radio frequency identification (RFID), however, hotels are now able to create room keys made from bioplastic, paper and even wood!

Bead Cleaning Tech

Hotel guests love the idea that their linens are always fresh and that they have access to laundry services. Unfortunately, this makes up a significant portion of a hotel’s carbon footprint. New bead cleaning technology, however, has changed this. These pea-sized beads cut washing machine water use in half, and they’re more environmentally friendly than traditional detergent.

Occupancy-based HVAC Smart Tech

Heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) make up a disproportionate share of a hotel’s spending and carbon footprint. SensorFlow has changed this by integrating smart technology with HVAC systems. This retrofit solution maintains the ideal temperature in rooms while using occupancy-based automation technology to ensure systems are only running when necessary.

Improving Sustainability and Guest Experience CAN Go Hand In Hand

Now that you have a few ideas of how to make your hotel more sustainable, you might be wondering just how these tech advances can benefit both you and your guests.

To start with, first, consider the guest experience. Recent studies have found that nearly 90 per cent of travellers want to travel sustainably. However, though many might participate in your “Reuse the Linen” scheme, many travellers still leave a significant carbon footprint via their misuse of the A/Cs. For example, guests typically turn their A/C units down to 19°C in hopes of cooling the room faster – only to move the thermostat back to 23°C when the room gets too cold.

This tells us that guests don’t quite understand how to best use their A/C, which means they unnecessarily spend in-room time and excessive A/C energy just trying to adjust to their preferred temperature.

Not surprisingly, the frequent over-cooling and uneven usage of the A/Cs often lead to it malfunctioning or breaking down at irregular intervals. This makes it difficult for hotels to pick up on these faults, oftentimes discovering them only when guests complain!

“By predicting and preventing costly breakdowns… overall guest satisfaction can also be improved… – they will never have to experience a room with malfunctioning appliances again.”

However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology – such as that used by SensorFlow – live data monitoring is now easily achievable. This enables hotels to better track and manage their equipment performance – HVAC or otherwise – in real-time, and engineers can be alerted immediately if any appliance is performing poorly. That way, rooms with faulty ACs or other appliances can be blocked off so guests are not assigned to them until engineers resolve the issue. Not only does this significantly reduce overall energy and maintenance costs – by predicting and preventing costly breakdowns before it occurs – but the overall guest satisfaction can also be improved since they will never have to experience a room with malfunctioning appliances again.

“(Use occupancy sensors) to plan the most efficient housekeeping routes… and avoid ever disturbing a guest.”

Additionally, occupancy-based technology can greatly cut down housekeeping costs. The typical “three knock rule” before entering a guest’s room, for instance, adds far more time to these services than necessary, not to mention causing disturbance to any guests still in the room. Occupancy sensors remove this necessity. In fact, you can use the data from wireless sensors to plan the most efficient housekeeping routes based on occupancy status and avoid ever disturbing a guest.

Not only that, but being able to access key data trends in occupancy can also help hotels identify peak periods when most guests are back in the hotel. With these higher-level data insights, hotels can better plan their food and beverage (F&B) promotions as well as on-site events and activities – thus improving the in-hotel experience for guests while also maximising guest spend!

The verdict is clear: green hotel tech is doing great things for everyone – guests and stakeholders alike – in the hospitality industry.

Green Hotel Tech: The Future is Now

There’s no industry that hasn’t improved thanks to tech advances in recent years. Fortunately, this trend shows no sign of slowing in the hospitality arena. Green hotel technology will continue to improve efficiency, sustainability, productivity and the guest experience. Technologies such as SensorFlow have made significant headway in the industry, but consistent technological advancements will no doubt continue to change hotels for the better.