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Home » Careers in Hospitality » How Hotel Sustainability Is Making Travel More Eco-Friendly

People are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of short-term hotel stays, and the hospitality industry is changing as a result.

World travelers are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint, with 68 percent seeking out eco-friendly hotels while traveling. This can be challenging; the single-use focus of traditional hotels has a harsh environmental impact, but eco-conscious travelers can choose hotels that pursue sustainability by using energy-efficient appliances, installing low-flow bathroom fixtures, and reducing plastic waste.

“Single-use products are very prevalent in hotels,” says Roys Laux, senior vice president of Gilchrist & Soames, the personal care manufacturing division of hotel supplier Guest Worldwide. “Because guests stay only a couple of nights, smaller sizes have always made sense. But they may generate more waste.”

Scrapping single-use

Gilchrist & Soames is helping hotels solve this problem in a variety of ways, including the introduction of shampoo bars instead of individual plastic bottles, and Not Soap Radio soap dispensers offered in Tru by Hilton properties.

“Our brand vision was shared with Gilchrist & Soames to help us identify new, innovative, and more sustainable amenities solutions,” says Talene Staab, global head of Tru by Hilton. “The bottles used within this system have a much longer life than other dispensers and can easily be recycled.”

Sustainable solutions

Gilchrist & Soames pursuit of sustainability goes beyond single-use. “All the boxes that the products are shipped in are recycled and recyclable,” says Laux. “We also use biodegradable bottles, tubes and a portfolio of eco-friendly dispenser solutions including hygienic closed systems and refillable alternatives.” The products are also sourced and manufactured sustainably. “We use natural ingredients, and retain meaningful certifications,” notes Laux. “[In] using responsibly-sourced palm oil, we know where it’s coming from, that the people harvesting those ingredients are treated well, and the resources are being replenished.”

For Laux, sustainability and business are common causes. “The hospitality industry has an opportunity to take a leadership role and adopt more sustainable practices and products,” she says, “because it’s right for their business, and it’s right for global sustainability.”

Jeff Somers, [email protected]

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