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The hospitality industry collectively plays an essential role in creating a more sustainable future. The food system is estimated to be responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions, with the tourism sector accounting for around 8% (hotels around 1%). Therefore, it’s important to regularly review your business’s current environmental impact and identify opportunities for operational improvements. If you are just about to start your sustainability journey or are looking for ways to do better, here are some ideas to help your hospitality business reduce its carbon footprint.

Local produce

There are many aspects to food sustainability, but why not start with where the food you buy comes from? Planning your menu around what is available locally and is in season will reduce transport and your carbon footprint.

It is now broadly accepted that a meat-free diet tends to have a lower carbon footprint. So be sure to offer some plant-based alternatives on your menu – as many meat eaters are more frequently ordering plant-based options in their effort to help the planet!

Waste and plastic reduction

There are plenty of ways to reduce packaging and plastics across your business. If you’re offering or selling water to drink, rather than plastic bottles, use branded glass bottles, jugs, or water dispensing solutions. These provide not only a greener solution, but it feels more luxurious too. In the kitchen, use larger containers where possible without any impact on waste.

In the chemicals category, you can also reduce plastic and transportation impacts by looking into concentrated product solutions. If you are an accommodation provider, try moving away from miniature bathroom shampoos – many operators use refillable, wall-mounted dispensers today.

Energy conservation

A quick energy audit can often uncover some easy wins, including parts of your premises still not converted to LED lighting, lights left on, heating set too high, and defective seals on fridge doors. With energy costs rising, revisit modest investments that previously looked not worth the return – they may well be more worthwhile now.

There are many options, from lightbulbs and thermostatic valves to more efficient electrical equipment – and payback is likely to have halved compared to a year ago!

Promoting sustainable transportation

There are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and encourage greener transportation. Consolidating your purchases to fewer suppliers and reducing the frequency of your delivery drops will reduce trips from suppliers.

Consider greening your own company’s vehicles and installing EV chargers to encourage your staff and guests to drive green. And if you’re in an urban environment, you can promote non-car travel by providing e-bikes.

Minimising water waste

A review of water use within your property could quickly uncover ways to cut back on consumption by staff as they carry out their daily tasks.

If you provide accommodations, persuading guests to cut down may be more challenging, but you can use several tactics. When swapping shower taps, use technology to reduce water use. You could fit restrictors to outlets to reduce flow rates as an interim measure. And it’s always worth gently encouraging guests to make sustainable decisions, such as reusing towels and considering the water saved by a shorter shower.

Sustainable supply chains

Questions are being asked of all businesses about their sustainability initiatives. So, no matter where you are in the supply chain, it’s worthwhile asking your suppliers what they are doing – and learning best practices from their responses.

The Pelican team is helping our clients to reduce their carbon footprint by looking across the broad range of critical commodities – from paper and chemical usage to food/agriculture and plastic use. We can work on alternatives and suggest more sustainable options by identifying those commodities that impact our environment the most.

We are here to help.

We have teamed up with leading suppliers, manufacturers, industry bodies, and schemes offering solutions that will help you reduce your carbon footprint. If you need support on your sustainability journey – please get in touch with us at

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