Talking Point: How can hotels switch employees on to energy saving?

Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB says employees are a crucial resource in good energy management at any hotel and keeping them switched on to sustainability is really important. In today’s Talking Point she describes some ways to keep employees fully engaged on the energy front.

Saving energy in the hotel sector.

Many of the small changes required to save energy in hotels across the globe are the same as those in the home – even if they are sometimes on a larger scale.

Whether it’s turning down the heating and air conditioning, turning lighting and other appliances off, or trying to save hot water, there is a plethora of ways to tap into the behaviours that employees and guests are already aware of. Drawing on experience in the home and topical sustainability events can be a great way to encourage behaviour change and get employees thinking about energy – at work as well as at home.

For example, in Great Britain, the rollout of energy smart meters to every home is providing an opportunity for hospitality employers to engage with their staff on sustainability issues like never before. Some hotel staff are likely to already have smart meters in their homes and others will be offered the opportunity to upgrade shortly.

Smart meters are installed by energy suppliers, and they show consumers how much energy they are using in pounds and pence, in near real time. The new technology is encouraging people across Britain to change the way they use energy, with eight in ten people with smart meters taking steps to reduce energy waste at home.

The national rollout presents the perfect opportunity to inspire energy behaviour change in workplaces. Simply put, behaviour change in the home is vital to make consumers and employees smarter and greener at work too.

Smart Energy GB worked with Hilton Worldwide's Energy and Environment Manager, to coordinate a session at Hilton’s head office to share information about smart meters with their staff. Encouraging employees at all levels to understand the concept of smart energy helps receptiveness for further smart energy initiatives.

A guide for employers

How to engage employees with energy saving is a challenge that the International Tourism Partnership has been working on with the Carbon Trust.

They have produced this easy to use guide for employers. The guide explains how to design and run an energy efficiency awareness campaign in the workplace, including giving practical advice to employees on how they can benefit from getting a smart meter and saving energy at home. You can download a copy at, or get started with the tips below.

Tips for kick-starting engagement with energy efficiency

  • To engage employees you need to be creative

Homes, personal experiences and saving money, are topics that can help make a campaign relevant to your employees.

Creative campaigns can provide information on sustainability options outside the office, such as transport or energy saving at home, to make a connection with workplace behaviour.

User-generated content is always popular and effective at bringing campaigns to life – ask your employees for their views and stories to really engage them in the subject.

  • Make data visual

People respond well to visual data. If you have smart/half-hourly metering in the workplace you could use the data it provides to help employees feel more connected to their energy use at home and at work.

  • Tap in to a range of motivations

Look at people’s existing values and motivations and build specific behaviour change campaigns around those. For example, a campaign around productivity gains from planning and daily routine changes are more relevant to staff than a campaign addressing costs and carbon.

Source: Green Hotelier

The Hotel sector must cut Carbon Footprint by 90% to meet 2-degree climate threshold

The Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) states that the hotel sector must reduce its carbon footprint by 90% by 2050 in order to keep global warming below the 2-degree threshold agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.  

The Report by Greenview, commissioned by ITP, was published earlier in November, just before the start of COP23 (the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change) taking place in Bonn, Germany, where the convening parties will further discuss how to meet the Paris Climate Agreement agreed upon at COP21.  The Report reveals the huge contribution hotels must make to help in the fight against climate change.

In order to manage the global increase in tourism over the coming decades, the hotel industry must reduce its absolute carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, the Report states. The Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report was published to complement the September launch of ITP’s 4 Goals for 2030, which align the hotel sector’s sustainable activity with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called the Global Goals. The ITP Goals focus on Carbon, Water, Youth Employment and Human Rights, which are core sustainability issues impacting responsible hospitality providers globally, and the goals are a carefully constructed and practically achievable response to these issues.

The threshold of 2 degrees is a quantifiable “science-based target”, which forms the basis of ITP’s Goal on Carbon:

To drive sustainable growth for the future, ITP members embrace the ambition of science-based targets* and encourage the wider industry to join their collaboration to develop carbon reductions at scale.

Fran Hughes, the Director of ITP, said at the announcement of the Report: “These figures are significant, but we believe they are achievable. They are representative of the level of reduction the whole hotel sector needs to make in order to decouple its growth, from growth in emissions. The reductions individual companies need to make may vary, dependent on where they are located and their infrastructure. That’s why we’re encouraging hotels to develop their own science-based target.

“The technology exists today to fully decarbonise the sector. Solving the issue of climate change becomes how to accelerate the solutions which are currently available. To do so, hotel industry leaders will need to support an evolution of thought and approach to make it happen through carbon pricing and how projects are financed.

“ITP’s members support our vision and our four ITP Goals which tackle carbon, water, youth unemployment and human rights. We are supporting our members with research and best practice sharing to build their capacity to develop science-based targets. Going forward we want to explore opportunities to collaborate where we can deliver carbon reductions at scale.”

Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Frankfurt is mentioned as a case study in the Report. 

Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Frankfurt is mentioned as a case study in the Report. 

Founder of Greenview, Eric Ricaurte, added:

“We all share one planetary KPI: 2-degree temperature rise or less. Now translating that to each industry and company, we can shift focus toward the opportunities to decarbonise while protecting what travellers value. No other sector like tourism will play a role in literally shaping the future of our world.”


* A Science-Based Target is one adopted by a company to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is considered “science-based” if it is in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C. It is based in scientific research and evidence.

Source and Pictures: International Tourism Partnership