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Sustainable Design

New research suggests that hotels are not doing enough to be eco-friendly

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New research suggests that hotels are not doing enough to be eco-friendly

New research published by the Independent Hotel Show London has revealed that 76 per cent of holidaymakers feel as if hotels could do more to be greener and become more eco-friendly. Editor Hamish Kilburn took to stage to present the findings and writes… 

I am sick to death of hotels – large and small, chains as well as independents – doing the bare minimum in order to claim that they have become more sustainable. Yesterday, I took my frustration over the ‘greenwashing effect’, which so many businesses are guilty of, to the stage at the Independent Hotel Show London to deliver the Conscious Bedroom Report. And here are some of the new stats that have emerged.

Times are changing, and hotels – like all other businesses and sectors worldwide – need to change with them. A report by the conscious bank Iriodos reported that in 2017, UK consumers spent an estimated £83.33 billion on ethical goods and services. And given the recent developments in climate change awareness, that number has increased drastically. While 76 per cent of consumers who were surveyed believe that hotels could do more to become greener, a whopping 72 per cent hoped hotels could also provide local produce.

Question: Are you more likely to book a room if a hotel has a clear sustainability policy? Would your preference change if you were given an incentive? Of the 2,000 individuals who were polled in the survey (64 per cent female and 36 per cent male), the answers to these particular questions were divided. While 57 per cent responded in the affirmative, 43 per cent were not converted by sustainability policies in and of themselves. Furthermore, this plunged to just 16 per cent once an incentive of some sort was involved. When asked why, however, many responded that protecting the environment itself was a strong enough incentive.

It seems, more recently, that sustainability has gone on tour to become a global concern and conversation and not one that is restricted to regional areas. 14 per cent of consumers surveyed admitted to being more aware of their environmental impact when away from home. Interestingly on the flip side, the same number that they believed to be less mindful. 72 per cent, though, managed to keep their beliefs consistent when both travelling and when at home.

“62 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling frustrated by single-use plastics in their room.”

The report also stated that “180 million plastic cotton buds are flushed down the toilet every year in Britain.” For many, and certainly myself after reading that statistic, it is unfathomable for hotels to still be providing guests checking in with single-use plastics. 62 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling frustrated by single-use plastics in their room. 26 per cent claimed not to be bothered and 12 per cent argued that they didn’t notice whether or not single-use plastics were in a hotel room during their stay. Whats more, plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and straws will be banned in England from April 2020.

“73 per cent of guests asked did not consider a hotel to look ‘budget’ by using large dispensers.”

From recent discussions I have had with hoteliers on how to activate sustainable change without diluting the quality of service, there is a concern that replacing miniatures in the bathrooms with large dispensable bottles will look like a hotel is scrimping. However, 73 per cent of guests asked did not consider a hotel to look ‘budget’ by using large dispensers. If you needed further reassurance, a large proportion of the top luxury hotels in London have replaced bathroom miniatures with large dispensers and are, as a result, feeding back to the editorial desk at Hotel Designs zero complaints. “We ensure that the product remains high quality,” one hotelier said. “And in order to illuminate the opportunity for guests to complain, we ensure that each bottle is always topped up.”

“78 per cent of those surveyed embraced the rag ‘n’ bone revolution.”

The report also examined the design element of a hotel guests’ experience. 78 per cent of those surveyed embraced the rag ‘n’ bone revolution. 22 per cent maintained to feel ambivalent at the thought of restored furniture. In regards to art, which is further being taken outside the frame in hotel design with new innovative design scenes coming into vision, seeing locally sourced pieces around a hotel is becoming more of a demand among travellers. 61 per cent of guests said that they did appreciate the use of indigenous arts and crafts, and only six per cent were non-plussed.

The Conscious Bedroom Report is a step in the right direction. Although positive to see that consumer demands are very much in line with ensuring that the international hotel design scene becomes more conscious both socially and environmentally, it also exposes an industry that is behind many to become sustainably driven.

“In short, the value of becoming a more conscious hotel operator, designer and architect far out weighs the cost.”

EDITOR’S COMMENT: “Never before has it been more transparent than it is now to see hotels either choosing not to embrace and adopt new eco initiatives or doing the bare minimum and greenwashing. I believe that in order to really make an impact on the international hotel design scene, examples need to be set. Examples like Heckfield Place, The Langham London and Inhabit London. All of which, interestingly, are sheltered in grade-listed buildings. The excuses are fading.

“By the industry creatively thinking about how they can add sustainability into their core values, hotels and hotel designers will naturally open themselves up to local suppliers, businesses and communities that surround them. In short, the value of becoming a more conscious hotel operator, designer and architect far out weighs the cost. We have an opportunity to make a real change and the statistics in the Conscious Bedroom Report just highlight further the changing demands of modern travellers.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

The seven-page report was unveiled in an exclusive panel discussion, hosted by Kilburn. He was joined by Alex Harris, the creative director for Harris + Harris London; Olivia Richli, the general manager for Heckfield Place; Sue Williams, the general manager for Whatley Manor and Xenia Zu Hohenlohe, the managing director of Considerate Group.

The Independent Hotel Show London continues…

Next month, Hotel Designs will be putting sustainability under the spotlight. If you have a story for the team, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Inhabit London

 

GROHE continues to demonstrate sustainability commitment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE continues to demonstrate sustainability commitment

GROHE has launched a number of innovations that save energy, water and materials as the company continues to keep sustainability an integral strategy…

GROHE has presented a record number of new solutions that help save water, energy and material resources, many of which were unveiled at ISH last month. These serve to underline the importance of sustainability in all areas of product design and functionality, and production processes.

In addition to quality, technology and design, sustainability is an integral and crucial part of GROHE’s corporate strategy. It is integrated into all products and processes and shapes the daily actions of employees worldwide. The global brand consistently pursues a 360-degree sustainability approach that incorporates the entire value chain, partners, customers, suppliers, employees and contribution to society in equal measure. At GROHE, sustainability also means responsibility – responsibility for people and the environment.

GROHE products that are embracing sustainability

Individual water management on the go: The new generation of the GROHE Sense water security system provides full transparency of water consumption and energy costs thanks to the new GROHE Sense app. By entering their water and energy prices, customers can receive a precise list of costs based on their water consumption. This not only ensures full control over the valuable resource of water, but also offers the opportunity to adapt user patterns and to use water more consciously.
Regional differences in water quality are becoming obsolete: The GROHE Blue Pure tap, which will be available in the UK later this year, offers state-of-the-art filter technology, delivering tasty water directly from the tap. In addition, in regions with poor water quality, previously non-potable water becomes drinkable. While the production of one litre of water in plastic bottles requires up to seven litres of water, GROHE Blue Pure works with just the actual water which has been drawn off.
Shaping the future of water sustainably: GROHE’s 3D metal-printing process is not only a revolution in terms of design, but also a particularly resource-saving method of manufacturing taps. During production, it is possible to use components such as spouts and handles in a significantly slimmer way, using less material.

Infra-red technology helps minimise water wastage

The Bau Cosmo E range offers infra-red tap technology for the home, a cost-effective solution that ergonomically delivers water only when the motion sensor is activated, benefitting all households from young families to older couples wanting to future proof their home. Not only do infra-red taps have added hygienic benefits, but GROHE’s Bau Cosmo is affordable as well as ensuring that water wastage is minimised. Through GROHE’s EcoJoy technology, water flow is limited to 5.7 litres per minute, helping to save water while guaranteeing an optimum user experience.

More transparency: The new tap in the GROHE Plus range, available from Summer 2019 in the UK, uses a digital display to inform users about the exact water temperature and to make them aware of how often hot water is being used. This promotes responsible use of the valuable resource of water and helps to save energy.

Valuable insight into GROHE’s sustainability highlights

GROHE EcoJoy technology which is incorporated into a number of its tap and shower ranges can reduce water consumption by up to 50 percent. The intelligent GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard water security system avoids wasting water by detecting leaks early on and by shutting off the water supply in the event of a broken pipe. The system’s new generation now also makes it possible to use it in multi-family homes, drastically reducing water damages in 90 percent of the real estate market. Aside from water-saving, GROHE has also carefully considered how it can reduce other vital resources. With the development of its Sensia Arena shower toilet which promotes the gentle yet hygienic washing with water, the need for toilet paper is completely eliminated. The annual consumption of toilet paper per person is about 15kg on average, yet with products like the Sensia Arena, the pressure on this precious resource would be greatly alleviated.