Two of the most important parts of any environmental plan are the communication and education components. The communication component clearly relays to guests, employees, vendors, suppliers and contractors the facility’s commitment to environmental protection. However, as important as the communication of environmental practices and achievements is, the only way to enact sustainable change is to provide some level of education to these groups.
Florida’s tourism industry serves an estimated 98.9 million visitors annually. More than 50% of these visitors are hotel guests during some portion of their stay. The waste generated by these guests constitutes a large portion of the state’s commercial waste stream. A hotel waste audit showed that the majority of waste in a hotel is not produced in guest rooms, but in the food and beverage department. If a hotel’s waste is not reduced or recycled, it contributes to the state’s overall environmental problems.
Many believe water conservation is the biggest environmental challenge faced by Floridians. It is a precious commodity that tourism and industry depend on for economic viability. In Florida, the majority of drinking water comes from groundwater aquifers that are replenished by rainfall. Florida must average at least 53 inches of water per year to avoid drought conditions. During drought conditions, individuals as well as businesses are asked to conserve water. It is important to conserve water not only during these times, but everyday as well.
Energy savings means cost savings. Energy is a controllable cost, and many organizations are realizing the cost-benefits of energy reduction. Hotel energy costs can consume from 4-7% of a property's revenue, which for many properties is more than their profit margin.
Over the past few decades, clean air practices have become increasingly important in progressive hotel management. These changes have not only led to an increase in energy efficiency and reduced exposure to health-related liabilities but have also created positive impacts on the bottom line and higher employee and guest satisfaction.
At first glance, transportation issues may not appear to be pertinent to the day-to-day operations of a lodging facility, however, guests, staff, suppliers, vendors and contractors all use some type of transportation to arrive at their destination and during their stay.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.