Oct. 13, 2020

Circular economy and hospitality

We have seen many trends within the hospitality industry in past few years, but one in particular most probably will stay as it will generate a long term impact on the sector as well on the transformation in terms of a greater sustainability the industry needs to face.

How to explain in few words “circular economy”

A circular economy model implements strategies and processes that generate a significant reduction in the need for new materials and in the need for disposal; existing products are altered to facilitate reuse, minimizing the need for the harvesting of natural resources and reducing waste to protect environment while drawing awareness to ‘green’ and eco-friendly processes. Circular economy is not the end of production, but goods and services have now to be designed to minimize resources needed, to last and more importantly to be reusable or recyclable. On one hand, in the new economy approach, production may decrease given that goods are reused, but on the other hand the goods produced may incorporate more value added to satisfy new consumption patterns.

Circular hospitality

Recycling and sustainability is now a focus within the hospitality sector; new directions to follow are in place. Replacing plastic straws with recyclable paper or reusable stainless steel options or moving away from paper towels to washable fabrics, show that by taking small steps such as these, waste could be reduced up to 16 percent. At same time solar panels are becoming more popular as well as recycling food waste to provide nutrients to the hotel’s greenhouse plants. As more and more organizations in the hospitality sector embrace the concept of reusability, the indication now is that circular economy could be implemented in the whole tourism industry.

Circular economy in the tourism sector

There are good reasons to believe that firms within the tourism sector have a strong interest to adapt their production process. In the food & beverage industry, it is said that 60% of food that is thrown away can be easily avoided. A hotel or restaurant, when aiming at producing zero waste, increases its chances to prosper in the coming years and if steps towards circular economy are taken properly, costs do not increase. Even if costs slightly increase, they will be offset by the higher turnover the firm will be able to make. As competitors will adapt as well to comply with circular tourism and prices will probably decrease a little, not adapting to the new models of consumption will lead to a business collapse. Very soon consumers will reject the idea of consuming goods & services unhealthy for our environment. Changes do not have to be radical; the goal is showing the consumers that what they want and need is seriously considered and great efforts are in place in daily activities to achieve this result.

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