Today is Earth Overshoot Day. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day falls on 29 July which means we are using the resources of 1.7 Earths.
The Earth Overshoot Day serves as a reminder that our approach to growth and utilisation of resources is unsustainable in the long run. While the resources on our planet are finite, human potential is not. We all can work towards a transformation that is not only technologically possible but is also economically beneficial and is our best chance for a prosperous future.
What can hotels do to ensure we live prosperous lives within the means of our planet? Start by measuring your environmental footprint and assessing the areas where you can make the biggest impact. The solutions might look different depending upon the size of your operation, location, and other factors. Many solutions exist to help players in the hospitality industry work towards progress and sustainability for all.
Sustainable procurement of resources
Responsible purchasing can positively impact hotel operations, reduce costs, enhance the company’s reputation, allow them tax breaks, and improve access to capital. To start, consider utilising sustainably certified products, avoid disposable products and reduce, re-use, recycle at every level.
Limit food waste
18% of the annual foodwaste in the UK is created by the hospitality and foodservice industry.
Calculations from the UK estimate that about 18% 1 of annual food waste is created by the hospitality and foodservice industry. In the hospitality industry, food can be wasted throughout the value chain: at farms, in manufacturing processes, in cooking processes and by consumers leaving it on their plates. Addressing this issue is not just a priority in terms of sustainability, but also benefits the bottom line via significant reductions in food costs.
Limit the use of single-use plastic
The increased use of single-use plastic items has been a global sustainability concern, greatly contributing to pollution and negatively impacting wildlife as well as increasing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hotels can start by reviewing each area of their operations and work with suppliers to procure multi-use items and reduce the amount of plastic packaging.