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When it comes to the hospitality sector, hotels have a role to play in adopting sustainable initiatives, as consumers are making far more conscious purchasing decisions based on sustainability. Hoteliers are now considering multiple solutions for their procurement, weighing a combination of factors, including delivery options, prices, products, and their environmental impact. It’s about finding what fits their business better in the long run.

In this article, Andrew Parsons MIH, Head of Sales at Pelican Purchasing Group, will share the latest trends adopted by hotel and hospitality operators.

Consolidation of the supply chain

We now see many hoteliers leading the way in sustainable procurement by consolidating their supply chain and making direct changes to their purchasing where they can. This reduces delivery drops, generating fewer road miles and reducing their carbon footprint.

We have recently helped one of our clients that runs several leisure venues. They previously used multiple suppliers, but we worked with them to identify a supplier that could provide a diverse range of products – and even expand their line items to accommodate them. By consolidating, they now receive just one efficient truck delivery and reducing carbon emissions.

Business Differentiation

Similarly, another client that runs an exclusive wedding venue in a forest has made sustainability a central theme. They amalgamated their purchasing basket and opted for local and regional supply solutions. While national suppliers offered cost savings, the venue prioritised local suppliers to minimise their ecological impact, in line with its eco-ethos.

Removal of Single-use Plastic

We are working with a hotel client looking to replace in-room plastic water bottles with a filtered water tap fitted in a communal corridor. Guests instead fill a carafe with filtered water when needed.  For the 246-bedroom hotel, they would switch from providing around 8,000 bottles a year and over five years, seeing the installed system saves them around £20,000 if they rented it or £33,000 if purchased outright.

In addition, many hotels are moving away from single-use plastics by replacing small toiletry bottles with fixed dispensers for refillable options. Though high-end hotels may continue providing bespoke amenities, many embrace eco-friendly alternatives.

From a catering perspective, using biodegradable straws, recyclable tetra packs, and compostable take-out trays is becoming more common. And with the new legislation coming into effect from 1st October 2023, they will be bans on single-use plastic plates, bowls, containers, cutlery trays and balloon sticks!

Greener Room Service

We are also seeing hotels re-evaluate their daily room servicing practices, offering guests the choice of whether they want their rooms serviced every day or not. This reduces unnecessary water, cleaning chemicals and energy usage while maintaining guest comfort. 

Eco-friendly Food Service

To further measure eco-impact, some hotels are adding food carbon footprint information to their menu items. This encourages chefs and customers to make more environmental purchasing decisions, which helps hotels with their sustainability journey.

Furthermore, some hotels are also looking more closely at waste management to reduce food waste as well as costs. We are currently working with customers to conduct waste audits to find solutions to recycle more effectively, leading to accreditations that hotels can proudly promote to environmentally conscious guests.

Energy Efficiency Solution

Energy efficiency is a critical aspect of sustainability. Standard practices now include switching to more energy-efficient lighting, implementing timer switches, and managing occupancy to reduce energy consumption.

Some hotels even invest in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, which may have a higher initial cost but provide long-term sustainable benefits and help demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

What next

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, hotels implementing genuine sustainability measures will stand out. Guests now actively seek information on a hotel’s eco-friendly practices when considering accommodation options.  As attitudes continue to evolve and innovations arise, the hospitality industry has a bright future in creating a greener, more sustainable world.

We are here to help.

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and need advice or help sourcing sustainable solutions for your property – contact our team at

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