People, profit and the planet are the three macro areas of reference for the great change taking place in the hospitality sector: promoting social inclusion (personal) without penalising economic growth (profit) and without ever mortifying the protection of the environmental and cultural heritage (the planet), this is the objective of the new development model for the hotel sector.
The green revolution
Tourism has been identified as the driving force behind the green revolution, which should make an effective contribution to the global objectives of the Sustainable Development Agenda. All operators in the sector are therefore formally invited to take up the appeal of the institutions, and to present themselves as a virtuous example of the green lifestyle that should inspire the future of the planet.
In order to obtain the eco-label, it is necessary to demonstrate the ability to work in favour of environmental sustainability, with business plans oriented towards the protection of the environment and the enhancement of local resources. The bodies responsible for issuing the certification follow a specific procedure, which includes an inspection to analyze the characteristics of the structure, suggest any improvement activities, and raise awareness among staff in all departments about the conduct to be maintained to remain true to the principles of eco-sustainability hotel.
The eco hotels: a sustainable journey
The guidelines for remaining a member of the network are quite strict:
- a large part of the energy supply must come from renewable sources (solar or wind);
- the lighting must be mainly led;
- waste must be differentiated, and the newspapers available to users must be part of recycling programmes for paper and cardboard;
- organic and zero-kilometre food must be an integral part of the food supply;
- towels and sheets will be mainly made of organic cotton and guests will be expressly left to decide if and when to use the change of linen and laundry service;
- for cleaning, we recommend eco-compatible detergents;
- the use of packaging plastics must be reduced to a minimum, therefore no disposable glasses or cutlery in the dining room, and no single-dose soap containers in the room.
Eco chic, eco rich
If electricity consumption accounts for 60% of the running costs of the hotel, technological innovations must be implemented to effectively manage the environmental and water heating systems. The structural interventions involve the use of insulating covering materials, such as certain types of plaster and floors, and the choice of double glazing and curtains that can help maintain the temperature of the room.
A large part of these precautions is invisible to guests who, however, can and should be made aware of the initiatives taken by the hotel to protect the environment.
The design solutions for eco-sustainable furniture are varied and vast; a brief online search for images categorized under the eco-chic tag will immediately give an idea of the countless proposals by creatives, designers and producers of eco-friendly living, inspired in their creations by their love for Mother Nature.