Table of contents

Are you looking to reduce your hotel's carbon footprint? There are many actions your hotel can take to reduce its impact on the environment. Becoming more eco-friendly improves reputation, too – it's a deciding factor for guests who care about sustainability. 

With carbon being one of the biggest contributors to climate change, the hospitality industry must take steps toward reducing its environmental impact. Let's explore how hotels can leverage renewable energy sources, sustainable building practices and waste reduction.


Why should hotels care about reducing their carbon footprint?

With the hospitality industry accounting for around 1% of global carbon emissions, hoteliers must do their part in reducing the impact. It's not just about environmental responsibility – brand reputation, cost savings, resilience and futureproofing, compliance, and employee engagement are all at stake.

Environmental responsibility

Hotels can play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. When people go on vacation, they tend to be less mindful of their energy and resource consumption than in their homes. That's why hotels should encourage guests to reduce energy consumption, water usage, and waste generation. Find out how to make hotel waste management more efficient.

Brand reputation and differentiation 

Guests increasingly lean more towards hotels committed to sustainability, so keeping eco-friendly practices in mind is crucial for your brand’s reputation. By implementing sustainable practices, hoteliers can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more environmentally minded guests.

Cost savings 

Energy-efficient practices and technologies can reduce operating costs in hotels. Here are some ideas for significantly reducing utility bills: 

  • LED lighting 
  • Improvements in insulation 
  • Installing solar panels or vertical gardens 
  • Optimizing HVAC systems 

ways to reduce carbon footprint in hotelsCompliance

More and more local authorities are introducing new regulatory standards regarding emissions to help fight climate change. The sooner you embrace environmentally friendly practices, the more compliant you'll be as regulations change. 

Employee engagement and retention 

Sustainability can be a deciding factor when attracting and keeping hotel staff. Employees are more likely to feel engaged, motivated, loyal and productive when working for an eco-conscious hotel. Sustainability also promotes employee involvement, which leads to greater job satisfaction. Here are more tips on how to improve employee satisfaction.

Resilience and futureproofing

Long-term resilience and future-proofing start today. Hotels that adopt sustainable practices are better prepared to face the changing global environmental panorama, including extreme weather and scarce resources, which present a significant risk to the hospitality industry.


Six best ways to reduce carbon footprint in hotels

By adopting these practices, hotels can significantly reduce their environmental impact and prove their commitment to sustainability. Maximize their effectiveness by customizing your approach based on your hotel's size and location. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle 

Hotels that implement the "reduce, reuse, recycle" approach into their business model can save on energy costs, prevent pollution caused by harvesting new raw materials, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money, and sustain the environment for future generations. 

Reminders around the hotel 

Friendly reminders around the hotel in the form of signs and cards in strategic places remind guests to be conscious of their energy and resource use. It also shows that sustainability is at the core of your hotel’s ethos. 

Water-saving measures 

Installing low-flush toilets throughout the hotel saves water over time. Both gravity and pressure-assisted models can reduce the amount of water needed to channel waste through your hotel’s plumbing system, which slashes costs and your hotel’s carbon footprint.  

Low-flush faucets and showerheads can also reduce water consumption. Reusing rainwater for irrigation and other non-potable uses has an equally beneficial effect.

reducing their carbon footprint

Motion sensors 

Motion sensors are another fantastic way to reduce your hotel’s environmental footprint. Install them indoors or outdoors to make your hotel grounds safer, provide better lighting and save money. 

Renewable energy 

Transitioning to renewable energy to power your hotel reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint. Despite an initial cost, installing solar panels to generate clean electricity will reduce your hotel’s energy costs. There are often government incentives to help you cover the cost. You can also utilize geothermal or wind energy options or purchase renewable energy. 

Ban single-use plastic 

Are you still providing single-use amenities? Consider using refillable containers or shampoo and soap dispensers inside the shower. The same goes for housekeeping. You can buy cleaning supplies in bulk and refill spray bottles instead of using excessive plastic. Provide branded water bottles with refill stations to avoid plastic water bottles.  


Hotels can – and should – help mitigate the negative effects of climate change by reducing their carbon footprint. Commitment to sustainability benefits the hotel, its guests, and the environment while helping to ensure business viability.


Download our guide The Green Hotel of the Future

the green hotel of the futureDownload your guide and learn how to incorporate sustainability throughout your property.