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The Importance Of Sustainability In The Hospitality Sector

9 Jan 2023, 2:49 PM

Ways in which the hospitality sector
Can improve their sustainability

Why Sustainable Businesses are Key

Climate change is one of the biggest and most pressing challenges the world is currently facing. As such, increasing numbers of consumers are considering the environmental impact of their lifestyles. Sustainability is something that many people now factor into their decision-making process when buying products or services. Across all industries, businesses are striving to reduce their waste output, cut down on their energy consumption and minimise their plastic usage due to consumer demand.

In the hospitality industry, customers are keen to know whether the businesses they visit are considerate of their carbon footprint. Many are drawn to those which prioritise sustainability. By making eco-friendly changes to your business practices or setting up a new business with sustainability in mind from the get-go you can position your brand as an eco-friendly choice and appeal to climate-conscious consumers.

How the Hospitality Sector Can Benefit from Going Sustainable

Sustainability is the process of conserving natural, limited resources in order to protect ecosystems around the world. There are many ways in which restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and guesthouses can improve their sustainability, but the four following tactics are a great place to start:

#1 Increase Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste into reusable materials. It cuts down on the need to use new raw materials in order to protect natural resources. Plus, it reduces the amount of waste sent to incinerators and landfill where it can pollute the environment. Many different types of waste can be recycled, including plastic, cardboard, glass, food and cooking oil. By investing in waste recycling services and taking the time to separate recyclables from your general waste, you can make your business more eco-friendly.

To get started with recycling, first perform a waste audit to assess the quantity and variety of waste your business produces and the opportunities for recycling. From here, start with the items that tend to be easiest to recycle, such as cardboard and glass. You can gradually increase your recycling efforts as your staff gets used to the process of separating out recyclable items.

#2 Use Eco-Friendly Products

A great way to improve sustainability is to switch to more eco-friendly products, particularly if your business uses a lot of single-use items like takeaway containers and disposable cups and cutlery. Eco-friendly products are those which are made from sustainable resources and biodegrade easily. For example, palm leaf plates and bowls are made from renewable, fast-growing palm plants, so they're not draining finite resources, unlike plastics which are made using fossil fuels. They also biodegrade very quickly after being disposed of. Plus, they're resistant to water and heat so you can place them in the microwave, oven or freezer if you're preparing food in advance.

Bamboo is another popular eco-friendly material for disposable dinnerware. Bamboo, much like palm, grows incredibly quickly, which makes it an excellent renewable material for single-use cutlery. It's more durable than plastic too, so diners don't have to get frustrated using flimsy, bendy plastic cutlery. There are also compostable plates, bowls, cups and containers to consider, and these are made from a renewable byproduct of wheat. They're resistant to oil, grease and water which allows them to be used for a wide range of dishes, including very oily and liquid-heavy foods.

#3 Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is detrimental for the environment because it contributes to pollution and leads to unnecessary carbon emissions. Food releases methane when it rots at landfill sites, and this potent greenhouse gas contributes to climate change. Plus, when we throw food away and buy more, we waste precious limited resources growing, farming and distributing excess produce. When you aim to reduce your business's food waste, you cut down on landfill waste and reduce the overall demand for food.

You can reduce food waste in your hospitality business by carefully monitoring demand for dishes and preparing just enough produce to keep up, rather than over-preparing and throwing unused food away. Control portions carefully and if any dishes regularly come back unfinished, this is a sign the portion is too big and could be reduced. Create special dishes to use up produce that is soon to expire. This has the added bonus of appealing to regular customers who are interested in trying new dishes that aren't on the main menu. You could even speak to your suppliers about buying up their soon-to-expire produce at a discounted rate and then come up with new dishes in which to use them. This has the added benefit of saving your business money on reduced costs.

#4 Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic does not biodegrade easily like natural materials, so when it ends up in landfill, it remains for hundreds of years. It can also leech harmful toxins into the environment which can harm local habitats. Plastic is made from fossil fuels which are not renewable, and the process of manufacturing plastics contributes to pollution and uses a lot of energy. By reducing your plastic waste, you can reduce your environmental pollution and cut down on the demand for plastic production.

You can minimise your plastic waste by buying produce that is not supplied in plastic packaging. Aim to reuse solid plastic containers where possible they come in useful for food prep. If you opt to use plastic takeaway containers, encourage customers to reuse them or return them to you so they don't end up being thrown away. For example, you could impose a small charge that is reimbursed when plastic containers are returned, or you could offer a free dish when they return a set number of empty containers to your restaurant.

Make Your Brand Sustainable Today

Now that you know where to start with your sustainability journey, it's time to start making some changes to your hospitality business. Check out our range of eco-friendly products which includes disposable food and drink supplies from brands like Fiesta Green which specialises in sustainable solutions. You'll find compostable plates, bowls, cartons, straws and coffee cups, as well as biodegradable cutlery such as spoons, knives, forks, chopsticks, skewers and tongs.

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