7 Proven Ways to Make Hospitality More Eco-Friendly

January 31, 2024
food in a recycleable takeout container
There’s an increased focus on—if not demand for—hotels and food service organizations to be more environmentally friendly in how they reduce and dispose of food waste, lower energy usage and follow recycling best practices. This consumer-driven focus aligns with laws enacted by some states that restrict the amount of food waste that can go into landfills. At least five states have passed laws to keep food out of landfills. 

Establishing a sustainability culture that motivates all employees to participate in recycling is an important step in meeting environmental goals. Organizations can also create a recycling plan that entails what items will be recycled, such as paper, cardboard and plastics.
Companies need to make it easy for employees to follow the plan. To that end, they can provide clearly labeled recycling bins in high-traffic areas, such as lobbies, conference rooms and exits. Making bins visible encourages staff and guests to dispose of items in the correct places.
One way to inspire staff to embrace recycling efforts is to reward them. After training staff on recycling best practices and the company policy, stakeholders can recognize employees for their contributions by acknowledging them at meetings, in emails or internal communications, or with gift cards.


Readily and locally available in-season food items typically cost less than out of season items. They also incur lower carbon emissions from transportation because shipping distances are reduced. Even better, fresh in-season produce often appeals more to customers.
Serving organic foods that follow sustainable best practices provides a twofold benefit:

  • It promotes healthier food ecosystems that can lessen the use of harmful pesticides
  • It meets the preference of customers who want meals prepared with organic food

A farm-to-table approach is trendy, and many customers realize this is good for the environment, minimizes the environmental impact of supply chains and delivers great-tasting food. 

Globally, the organic food market grew from $259 billion in 2022 to an estimated $295 billion in 2023, according to The Business Research Company.
“Awareness about the environmental impact of conventional farming practices is growing,” according to a LinkedIn article by Generalika Group. “Local and organic farming practices are seen as more sustainable, promoting biodiversity, conserving water and reducing carbon footprint.”


Many modern hospitality organizations automate processes, such as check in and check out, to reduce the need for paper. Apps and emails replace paper receipts and printed invoices as hotels and other businesses strive to be paperless.
“By going paperless, hotel and resort owners can streamline their operations, reduce their environmental footprint, and provide guests with a more convenient and personalized experience,” explains Roomsy.
Replacing paper with digital workflows and apps helps with internal processes, too. For example, using digital forms for human resources and other departments rather than printing out lengthy manuals and documents is better for the environment.


Non-toxic cleaning products offer a more eco-friendly option. These products use natural ingredients, so they have a lower carbon footprint and don’t contain substances that can pollute the air and water, yet they have the cleaning power to be effective.
Buying these supplies through a group purchasing organization (GPO) can save money. “We offer the most competitive prices,” says Chef Henry Hill, a Culinary Strategist for Provista in a short video. “With Provista, you can purchase a vast range of cleaning products, including environmentally friendly options.”
By using refillable dispensers rather than single-use plastic bottles, hospitality companies save money while practicing reuse.


Minimizing the amount of food that’s wasted is one important step in becoming more eco friendly. To accomplish this, organizations should try to better align food ordering with actual usage. This requires the ability to accurately predict what’s needed based on seasonality and previous usage patterns.
Hospitality organizations can also implement and follow inventory management best practices to avoid spoilage. This includes repurposing food and ingredients whenever possible to maximize their use.
Companies across hospitality should also provide training to employees on how to mitigate and handle food waste.
“Discuss food waste and its impacts on the environment consistently throughout daily meetings, training, casual conversations, and especially when onboarding new staff,” advises the National Restaurant Association.


A GPO like Provista offers contracts with leading hospitality suppliers to deliver products and services that support sustainability. This includes competitively priced options for packaging, cleaning supplies, and water- and energy saving devices that positively impact the environment.
Provista also has expertise in helping members create environmentally friendly business strategies that prioritize recycling and minimizing waste. Sustainable hospitality businesses can reap many benefits, including saving money, appealing to customers and employees and enhancing their brand. 


Ready to Get Started?

Take the next step to start saving.

Become a Member