Green Hotelier

Talking Point: Why is it important for housekeeping to clean green?

Housekeeping is at the frontline of any hotel business, both in terms of their contact with guests and their presentation of rooms for guest appreciation. Their role in creating a sustainable hotel is often overlooked, but it is critical. This news feature describes how staff can be trained to help boost a hotel’s environmental performance.


1. Eco-friendly products

Many of the products that are used in everyday tasks at a hotel can have a tremendous impact on the environment and people around them. For example, chemical-based fungicides can impact local insect populations including bees, and certain cleaning liquids can release toxic fumes or harm cleaning staff if improperly handled. This is a completely unnecessary risk when there are many alternative eco-friendly products - including disinfectants, glass and window cleaners, liquid soaps, degreasers, laundry bleach and many more - to choose from.

2. Clean towel policy so guests help cut down on washing

 It has been standard practice for hotel guests to get clean towels daily. While this is undoubtedly a perk for guests, when thinking green there’s a lot of doubt over whether it’s really necessary. This shift in attitude has resulted in many hotels adopting a policy where only dirty towels which are left on the floor will be replaced by housekeeping. Other hotels may have their own rules regarding how or where you leave your dirty towels, such as a rack or a hook on the back of a door, but the end result is the same: less washing means less harm to the environment.

It’s also a positive way to portray your hotel to residents when an information card is placed in the bathroom.

3. Organic washing powders

 Many of us don’t think twice about the washing powders we use, often choosing our favourite brand or whatever best suits our pocket. This attitude carries through to the washing powders hotel managers use in their hotels, without taking into consideration two major factors:

The washing powder you use may contain toxic chemicals that can negatively impact your health

Excessive washing dumps these chemicals into the sewers, which in turn might end up in rivers or the ocean

Switching to more eco-friendly brands can reduce water consumption and lower your waste production - which is especially important as water scarcity becomes an increasing concern across the globe. Modern washing machines use less water and some include technology which allows them to use just a fraction of the water of a usual machine.

4. Products with less packaging

Anyone who has ordered an item online will be familiar with the huge box that arrives filled with packing material, only to dig through all of it looking for the tiny item that you actually ordered. While most people understand the reasoning behind this (we’d all be frustrated if our orders arrived damaged or broken), there’s no doubt that we also recognise how much of these packing products will just be thrown away, ending up in a garbage dump or landfill.

As a hotel manager, you’ll be ordering items in bulk so make sure to choose companies that offer eco-friendly packaging or communicate with your favourite brand that there are steps they could take to more efficiently package their products.

5. Training course for staff to learn company values when it comes to cleaning green

Having eco-friendly products and processes in place are no good if staff aren’t making use of them. This is impacted by each staff member’s individual beliefs in regards to environmentally friendly practices, which is why it’s important for hotels to offer training courses for their staff. This will help hotels conserve water which might be wasted otherwise by unnecessary flushing of toilets or washing of towels and linen when the guest hasn’t specifically requested clean linen.

This doesn’t only affect the hotel environment but will carry over into other aspects of the staff’s lives as well. There are a number of areas that hotels can focus on when it comes to training their staff, including water management and rationalisation, energy efficiency, and waste recycling, and as they say, every little helps.

The Green Key criteria support all of the above-mentioned recommendations. 

Source: Green Hotelier

Green Hotelier Award 2018 - apply now!

The Green Hotelier Awards, which seek to discover the world's most sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible hotels, has launched for 2018. Will a Green Key awarded establishment be the winner this year?


This year the Awards unveil a new look which changes the winning categories. In previous years hotels have been grouped geographically. This year hotels across the world will compete to win in categories which examine their carbon footprint, their water stewardship, their waste reduction, their community impact and their role as a responsible employer.

The move aims to align the awards with the industry call to action of the International Tourism Partnership(ITP) for hotels to focus their sustainable, environmental and socially responsible actions on the United Nations’ Global Goals also called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Green Hotelier Editor Siobhan O'Neill said, "The Green Hotelier Awards have been growing in popularity year on year and we expect record numbers of hotels to share their sustainability stories with us in 2018. Although the form hoteliers will complete is essentially the same as previous years, the new approach allows us to focus on the winners' actions and impacts, rather than their geographical location. In addition it means there will be more winners and hotels named Highly Commended because we've increased the number of categories we're awarding in.

"We wanted to reflect ITP's call to action to the hotel industry to work together to achieve the Global Goals, and we can use the Green Hotelier Awards to show hoteliers how their sustainability actions and initiatives are doing just that. The application process is still free and deliberately designed to be quick and easy. The scoring on each section is simple and transparent, and hotels will need to complete every section to be in with a chance of winning, but we'd like them to indicate which category they think they're a strong contender in. It doesn't mean they won't be considered as a winner in other categories as well.

"We're really excited to be launching our new look and we're looking forward to reading all the amazing sustainable and responsible business actions we know so many hotels around the world are actioning for a fairer future for all."

The new look Awards means that no hotel is excluded from entering. Previous winners can apply this year. The Awards are open to hotels, resorts, eco-lodges and B&Bs of any size, anywhere in the world. Entrants should read all the rules and tips for applying before completing the form to make sure they maximise their chances of winning. The closing date for entries is Friday 23rd March 2018, and the winners will be announced in April during Responsible Business Week.

Download the form as a pdf here or as a Word document. Completed forms should be emailed to

The judges look forward to receiving the Awards and showcasing the winners' actions in support of the Global Goals.

Source and acknowledgement: Green Hotelier


Green Key wishes all Green Key awarded establishments that participate good luck!