Hotels are a home away from home, whether we're on vacation or a business trip; it's Hello Hotel; please give me the best experience. When it comes to hotel hydration, you can be left in an awkward position depending on the hotel's location, how advanced its sustainability initiatives are, and how well they treat their guests. All of these factors determine what water options are provided during your stay.
Often, we're either greeted with single-use plastic bottled water, and in more advanced hotels - a refillable cobranded bottled water like PATH. The hotels that are ahead of the curve stay up to date on guest needs and have sustainability initiatives all have one thing in common: accessible filtered water hydration stations and reusable bottles provided.
Did you know that according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, “58% of consumers are thinking more about the environment since 2020?” That means it's most beneficial to highlight the ecological benefits of staying at your hotel, like providing aluminum refillable bottles like PATH, so guests have water upon arrival and can refill at conveniently located hydration stations.
What is hospitality's role in promoting refilling?
The transformation of the hospitality industry, with hotels as its focal point, is experiencing a pivotal shift towards environmental sustainability. This evolution gained significant momentum in 2020, catalyzed by the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. During this period, hotels were compelled to scrutinize their expenses and identify any inefficient practices that could be curtailed to remain viable. This shift, while initially a reactive measure, has now become a proactive response to increasing consumer consciousness and evolving regulatory requirements. A critical aspect of this change is the transition towards refillable solutions, particularly in the context of reducing reliance on single-use plastics.
Hotels are increasingly recognizing that aligning sustainability with guest comfort involves prioritizing accessible, clean drinking water. Guests are now more inclined to seek hydration options that are convenient and environmentally responsible, leaving behind an old habit of consuming single-use bottled water. This insight marks a significant paradigm shift in the hospitality industry, one that is unlikely to reverse. Providing guests with an effortless and eco-friendly hydration experience has become a key objective. Promoting the practice of refilling water bottles emerges as a strategic initiative, offering hotels an opportunity to lead in environmental stewardship while enhancing guest satisfaction and, when partnering with PATH, the ability to promote your hotel's brand.
Local laws and industry response
In July 2022, California passed SB 54 to reduce single-use plastics by 25% by 2032 and ensure 30% of plastic items are recyclable by 2028. Hotels are responding proactively to such mandates, with many adopting refillable non-plastic alternatives, such as refillable aluminum PATH bottled water, and installing accessible filtered water hydration stations. These changes resonate with guest preferences for sustainable options and align business with new mandates for how plastic is bought, sold, recycled, or disposed of.
Tips for increasing sustainability in hospitality
In a recent assessment by the hotel yearbook, the team explored sustainable measures hotels can adopt to increase revenue or save costs. The shift towards green practices complying with laws is about a holistic approach to sustainability. Number 5 on the list of must-make upgrades hotels should adopt ASAP was "moving away from all single-use plastics, including surcharged water bottles." You can see the full list of suggestions here, and below are the action steps to make those shifts successful.
- Educating all team members, not just specific departments.
- Using recyclable materials and supporting recycled packaging.
- Adopting creative meal presentations with reusable items like "jarcuterie."
- Providing reusable water bottles for event attendees.
- Digitizing event materials and utilizing digital signage.
- Implementing reusable dishware consistently.
Gains in sustainability
One of the key steps in sustainability for hotels is moving away from all single-use plastics, including water bottles. This move aligns with broader trends in the hotel industry, which are veering towards options like refillable water bottles and conveniently located filtered water dispensers. These trends underscore a commitment to offering guests eco-friendly alternatives to traditional amenities. By integrating refillable water solutions, hotels can secure immediate financial gains through operational cost savings and increased revenue from eco-conscious consumers. At the same time, these actions are an investment in the longevity and relevance of their brand in a market that increasingly values sustainability. Delaying such initiatives could result in falling behind competitors who are already adapting to these emerging trends.
Hotels that are leading by example with PATH
Several hotels are setting the standard for guest sustainability through cobrand partnerships with PATH. These collaborations highlight a brand commitment to exceeding guest expectations for sustainable living and delivering comforts and experiences when away from home. 1Hotels, The Westin Las Vegas, The Rockaway Hotel, and Wild Dunes Charleston's Island Resort are just some of the brands that have taken leadership on guest hydration and sustainability.
The role of hospitality in promoting refilling and reducing single-use plastics is more critical than ever. With legal mandates, consumer awareness, and industry trends pointing towards more sustainable measures, hotels are at the forefront of the refillit revolution. By adopting practices that prioritize sustainability, hotels can cater to a growing demographic of environmentally conscious consumers, ultimately leading the way in the hospitality industry's sustainable transformation.