With the COP26 Summit paving the way for the world’s next steps to tackle climate change (and not a moment too soon might we add!), sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips. In the hospitality sector, many hotel groups and boutique independents have already laid out their policies for change and are already on their way to achieving their targets. But with increased scrutiny for better standards and the demand for commitments to be translated into physical action, suppliers and hotels need to work together to provide sincere and tangible changes that create impact whilst gaining the trust, reassurance and ultimately investment from prospective guests. In essence, offering meaningful value through sustainable practice.
Over recent years, as we have all become increasingly more informed and aware of the need to prioritise sustainable habits in our everyday lives, discerning guests have become more scrupulous with their hotel choices when travelling. Sustainability therefore needs to be treated as an integral part of the overall guest experience – approached holistically – with every design choice and fitting having purpose, meaning and environmentally friendly credibility.
We advise that sustainability not only be an add-on or after thought but a narrative and journey that is seamlessly incorporated into every element of the customer experience, carried through all touchpoints from arrival to check-out. In designing the very best sustainable hotel experience, it is not only investing in the elements the guests can see but those that can’t be touched or seen too.
At GROHE, we have recently taken the next step in our sustainability journey as a brand by achieving Gold level Cradle-to-Cradle certification in four of our best-selling taps and shower products. By specifying Cradle-to-Cradle certified fittings, hotels can begin to incorporate more circular practices into their business. Cradle-to-Cradle products consider the material health of each of the components in their creation as well as how these components can then be repurposed at the end of their life, to prevent unnecessary wastage.
Whilst the sustainable impact of Cradle-to-Cradle products may not always be overtly apparent to the guest, they offer viable sustainably sourced solutions that highlight a carefully considered approach to the interior design of a hotel washroom or bathroom suite.
Similarly, the use of 3D metal printing can be particularly resource-efficient, pushing and defying the boundaries of design to create fittings that use less material and equally, create visual spectacles that are well-suited for premium projects. Through GROHE’s own exploration of this manufacturing method with its Icon 3D-printed series of basin mixers, it has been found that energy used for producing a 3D metal-printed tap is about 20% lower compared to the production energy used for a brass cast tap body.
In addition to creating a sustainable storyline that forms an integral part of the customer experience, implementing features that puts the control in the guest’s hands is another approach hotels can use to inspire and empower its visitors. Giving guests the option to switch their shower to eco mode for example or use LED temperature displays to encourage them to reduce the temperature of their water, is a powerful way of enabling them to make sustainably minded decisions and feel good about these choices. Empowering guests in this way can help to form an alliance between hotel and guest and build a customer’s trust and loyalty in a brand they know truly values sustainability.