The rise of sustainability in the serviced apartment sector and what it means for apartment providers

Like most sectors, tourism and hospitality are also taking note of the impacts climate change has and will on our lives in the future. Companies, in general, have incorporated sustainability in their strategic objectives and accommodating their employees in a sustainable serviced apartment would naturally become part of their corporate social responsibility.

This blog will focus on what serviced apartment stakeholders can do to diminish their share of waste creation and what you can do to contribute as an individual or company. The wrong way to go about thinking in terms of bringing a change would be by drowning in hopelessness because you think the issue is too big for one person to handle or maybe even become indifferent towards the subject.

Before diving deeper, it should be said that serviced apartments are already a more sustainable choice than conventional hotels who need more to keep everything running 24/7 and have more facilities such as pools and 24-hour service. The most important issue would be for serviced apartments to become more sustainable and maintain their profitability as well as providing an added value to their customers.

Amount of waste generated in the tourism sector

The amount of waste generated by tourism amounts to 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Even though a large chunk of this (90%) is caused by transportation the stay itself has a significant impact as well along with logistical activities surrounding the serviced apartment itself.

Stakeholders

There are several stakeholders involved in the serviced apartment sector which are engaged in implementing sustainable practices and the following play a significant role:

Serviced apartment owners: Providers of serviced apartments are also responsible for the waste management and materials used. This makes them an important driver in both providing alternatives to conventional hospitality providers and also providing customers with an added value in the form of an environmentally friendly stay. Serviced apartments are usually operated by a small group which makes it challenging to implement something on a large scale, this could mean that cooperation between serviced apartments could enable a shift towards more sustainable practices.

Customers: The customers (leisure, business travellers and companies) are the ones that play a role in demanding more sustainable apartments from providers. Furthermore, B2B serviced apartment customers can also incorporate sustainable stays into their strategic objectives considering CSR (corporate social responsibility).

Regulators: Regulators can both become enablers as well as cause obstacles with regards to implementing sustainable practices in general. In the tourism industry on both the national as well as an international level, such as the European Union, there are regulatory and policy changes being made to incentivize sustainable tourism.

(Online) Travel agents: (Online) travel agents are the ones presenting the profiles of serviced apartment providers on their platform or company and fulfil the role of connecting the customer with the serviced apartment provider. There is a minimal role reserved for them as the stakeholder with the least control with regards to implementation. What they can do however is actively search and promote sustainable apartments in order to appeal to customers and provide them with an added value.

What can serviced apartment providers do?

With all the earlier mentioned stakeholders it’s important to synergize sustainable practices in order to provide a completely sustainable apartment or come as close to it as possible. Sustainability in the serviced apartment sector can be divided into two types, one of them is conventional apartment providers who strive to become more sustainable at a later stage and the second type is serviced apartments that are already built with sustainability in mind. Some of the things that serviced apartments can do is choosing the right suppliers and is essential for a sustainable serviced apartment. What has to be taken into account are their ethical values as a supplier and if their products are sustainably produced. By reducing energy and water consumption for unnecessary use, it’s possible to save on scarce resources.

So, all in all, we can say that in general, the tourism industry has a long way to go to fully implement sustainable practices but there is progress being made towards reaching it.

Are you curious about how large your carbon footprint is? The WWF provides a useful tool to calculate how much CO2 you are emitting per year. If you would like to house your employees in a sustainable apartment feel free to contact us so we can help you out.

 

By Selcuk Salman

 

Sources:

Oceaneering.com

TheWorldCounts.com

Cbss.org

Unep.fr