Sustainability is a hot topic across all industries these days, but when you say eco, another less flattering concept must also be taken into consideration. It’s called greenwashing and it happens when companies pretend to do more for the environment than they actually are. In this post, I’ll explain a bit more about greenwashing and how you can spot if a hotel is practicing it or not.
I’m sure you’ve come across it at some point. For example when Oatly (famous plant-based milk brand) present themselves by being climate-friendly but it surfaced that they’ve actually received investments from a deforestation-linked company. Or when major plastic water bottle brands like Evian and Fiji claim to be ‘true to nature’, for example through their labels and branding, but they’re actually polluting the environment more than anything else (single-use plastic bottles contribute to the massive plastic waste crisis around the world).
In the hospitality industry, it’s not uncommon for hotels to take part in greenwashing as well. Fortunately, many are realising their social responsibilities as traveller’s are also becoming increasingly aware and demanding.
So, how do you spot if a hotel is committed to sustainability and thereby do not practice greenwashing? Here are some key indicators:
* It engages with the local community
* It reduces plastic and energy waste
* It practices waste control and recycling
* It’s clear and transparent about its practices
- It doesn’t use single-use plastics, e.g. plastic water bottles and small-sized shampoo & body lotion bottles
Ask questions to make a difference
Although there’s a lot more focus on sustainability in the hospitality sector, there’s still room for improvement. One of the best things to do as a guest – if you want to take part in the change – is to ask questions. As guests – and travellers – we must ask the questions and raise the standards in order to really see the change happening. Without guests, no revenue. Without revenue, no hotel. It’s that simple.
It’s always OK to be curious about how a hotel operates, how they handle sustainability issues, and if they’re committed to their local communities or not. If you want to know more about greenwashing, click here.