Okay, that may be a bit of a reach but let’s face it, hospitality is one of the largest industries in the world and the steps we take can have an enormous impact on the communities in which we live and work. Sustainability has taken increasing prominence in recent years for several reasons, and rightfully so, as we determine how we continue to grow society while balancing the needs of our one and only planet. Look at the recent uproar from nations around the world about the massive forest fires in the Amazon, sustainability and environmental concerns will only continue to increase.

In recent weeks we’ve seen IHG and Marriott announce the end of their mini-amenities products in favor of wall-mounted dispensers. Not only does this make sense to reduce enormous amounts of plastic waste, but there should be long-term cost-savings to buying product only instead of thousands upon thousands of mini-bottles. Last year we saw the movement to end the use of plastic straws and for many years now hotels have been taking advantage of low flow showerheads and LED lightbulbs that both lower costs and reduce the impact on the environment. And the business community at large has stepped up by increasingly seeking information on a hotel’s green efforts as part of the decision-making process when booking room blocks and meetings.

Independent and branded hotels alike can take advantage of sustainability efforts through incremental changes that will also result in cost savings. But most importantly our guests are becoming more discerning and choosing hotels in part based on sustainability efforts. While we as an industry can still take enormous strides to reduce our environmental footprint, we need to remember that little steps can go a long way. And when it’s beneficial for the environment, our guests, and the bottom line, implementing these changes should be a no-brainer.