Sustainability in the housekeeping and hotel industry

The Scotland Region of the UK Housekeepers Association (UKHA) met at the Gleddoch Hotel and Spa on 18 September and was privileged and happy to welcome guest speakers and presenters Aileen Williamson from Ac Eco, and Karen Miller, from Gordon Castle, to talk all about sustainability, the future of it in the hotel industry and the impact it has on our environment, guests and our housekeeping departments.

They had a great session by both ladies who presented the meeting with their own ideas on how to manage and run daily work processes in more efficient, cost reducing, environmental friendly and sustainable ways, looking at each aspect of the daily operation, rethinking and looking for new ways to reuse, recycle or completely eliminate waste to achieve the reduction of the carbon footprints that impact directly on our planet.

Sustainability is all about making smart choices when it comes to running departments and businesses. Housekeeping teams have the responsibility to improve, reduce and recycle waste of anything they see fit and everything they are using on a daily basis as part of our living and working.

It is not only a financial cost, but also has a cost for our environment, such as how much waste is sent to landfill or pollutes the water by daily use or misuse of cleaning chemicals. Can this be done better by all of us in a more sustainable manner?

The main points which were highlighted were:

• Single use goods
• Waste management
• Chemical waste
• Linen and laundry
• Energy conservation
• Capex
• Staff training
• Deliveries and bulk ordering
• Use of, and trading with, companies with sustainability programmes which promise to reduce their waste and carbon footprint
• Donation of any items to second homes which might not be suitable for guest use, but can be reused elsewhere
• Documenting, evaluating and telling our guests!

The region hope this will help housekeeping and hotel teams to start the process of creating a better and more sustainable future in their departments and the industry.

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