Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry – Our Commitment to the Cause

Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry – Our Commitment to the Cause

The idea of sustainability as a whole seems somehow intangible, even though we’re presented with the abstract idea of it on a day-to-day basis. Until we can actively apply it to specific products and processes, it’s not something that we have a direct sense of, something concrete.

Sustainability is essentially, the mindful use of a resource so that it isn’t used up or damaged, and plays a vital role in the hospitality industry.

Our customer base is increasingly interested in taking a holistic view of the issue and wants to know exactly how our brands – and the brands that we carry, are positioned in the areas of both social and environmental sustainability.

Why Sustainability in Hospitality Matters

Sustainable practices make hospitality organisations rise above the noise. Today’s travellers, restaurant patrons, hotel guests, and online shoppers are concerned with sustainability. They want to ensure that the companies they support, follow environmentally and socially sound practices.

The majority of millennials and Generation Z’er’s are known to pay more for products and services that don’t affect the environment, diminish natural resources, or negatively affect the lives of humans or wildlife.

A recent Nielson study found that nearly 75% of the respondents from these younger generations are willing to take action to support this movement. In fact, the Nielson study found that an alarming 51% of baby boomers will spend more on sustainable products and services as well.

All in all, sustainability matters.

Conserving energy, reducing waste, using organic amenities, and using leadership to enforce and govern these processes, are all a part of the effort toward overall sustainability.

Ways to Increase Sustainability in Hospitality

While there are millions of individual acts that slowly accumulate to create a ‘sustainable brand’, there are many ways to gauge and evaluate the current and potential levels of sustainability of a company.

Educating Employees

Sustainability in businesses requires a group effort. Educating your workforce and raising awareness about sustainable practices should play a part in onboarding and ongoing training. Every aspect of a business can implement practices that take sustainability into account. Considering things such as water and waste management, the use of organic products that do not contain harmful chemicals, and the reuse and recycling of resources are key. In this way, sustainability becomes part of a culture.

Evaluating Energy Usage

Determining how businesses use energy is a clear indicator of success or failure. A clear understanding of energy usage allows leaders to identify crucial areas for improvement.

Embracing Renewable Energy

Another important aspect is the reduction of a business’s carbon footprint. This is possible by embracing renewable sources of energy. In addition to building a positive brand image, these investments pay off by reducing operational costs in the long run.

How our Brands are Getting it Right

BHS Tabletop – one of our main suppliers, and owner of the Bauscher and Playground brands, have been addressing strategic sustainability goals for years, and have been certified for them – long before it became mandatory. They were the first in the global porcelain industry to show concern for environmental issues.

They were also first to be certified in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 50001 test guideline. In doing so, they implemented the requirements of the Energy Services Act (EDL-G) and have been operating a systematic energy management system ever since.

What does this actually mean?

These certifications give a brand credibility when they communicate with their customers. Many of our brands talk a lot about sustainability, and we have to show that it’s not just about the intention, but also about the action behind it. Basically, we stick to our word.

Aida, one of our other cornerstone brands, prides itself on creating products from sustainable materials that will stand the test of time and can be used by multiple generations.

In a similar fashion, Koziol has been producing exclusively with green energy since 2013, saving around 1,276 tonnes of CO² annually. They prefer homegrown German raw material suppliers and practice all manufacturing processes under one roof – which rules out long transport routes. For the logistics of finished goods, Koziol cooperates with a worldwide partner who shares its strict sustainability principles.

Zwiesel Glas believes that companies must act and manage their resources responsibly to prevail in the future. That’s why they aim to manufacture their products with minimal resources and optimised energy input, to avoid unnecessary environmental burdens.

They have implemented an environmental management system certified according to ISO 14001 to ensure a sustainable corporate concept with consistent product quality.

They are particularly proud of their oxyfuel technology, which significantly reduces carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. This technology enables them to use 30% less energy in production, compared to conventional gas-heated glass melting furnaces.

Tritan® crystal glasses also stand out for their sustainability. Their consistent selection of low-emission, recyclable raw materials for production makes their products especially durable and environmentally friendly. Approximately 50% of each individual glass consists of recycled Tritan® crystal glass. They produce high-quality glasses that are 100% food-safe and 100% BPA-free.

These are only a few examples of our product offerings, and the ways in which their overall business structures are contributing to sustainability.

Challenges and Trends in the Industry 

Sustainability in hospitality offers clear advantages. However, professionals in this industry must still overcome certain challenges in order to build workable strategies. For one, they must correct misconceptions that sustainability is more costly and that consumers disregard it. When in fact becoming more energy-efficient saves more money and goes hand in hand with developing a brand identity that attracts more eco-conscious customers.

Advances in technology related to renewable energy have also lowered the costs of using sources such as solar energy. A major breakthrough for energy-conscious brands.

South Africa of course, comes with its own challenges – high inflation rates, the cost of fuel, and load shedding, to name a few, which further enhance the need for alternate energy sources and solutions for efficiency.

Hospitality leaders can also incorporate other simple current and emerging trends into their sustainability strategies, such as:

  • Eliminating single-use plastic
  • Creating paperless environments
  • Sourcing from sustainable suppliers
  • Developing recycling programs

What Should We Take From This

The three pillars of sustainability — social, environmental, and economic — provide a roadmap for visionary leaders to transform their brands We, as Ambience Hospitality, ensure that we add value to our brand partners and customers through world-class sales, service, and relationships and dedicate ourselves wholly to the brands that we represent. While they, in turn, use the best practices to ensure that their products and processes are sustainable and in line with global environmental standards.

The growing importance of sustainability in hospitality is obvious. Today’s hospitality organisations need leaders who can aid in the implementation of sustainable practices, as well as the creation of a culture of social, environmental, and economic responsibility.


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