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Credit: Mode Green on sustainablebrands.com

Technology has been quickly evolving into many markets such as clothing, food, health and home, and hotels are certainly no exception.

Many hotels are adopting technology that enables more engaging, customized and immersive guest experience; these systems have become a Trojan Horse for the hotel industry to embrace higher-tech sustainability practices.

Conservation is being increasingly embraced in hospitality, and it’s proving to be important to guests; a survey by Bouteco shows that “the youngest and oldest among us care most about sustainability when choosing a hotel.”

New technology is constantly enabling hotels to further reduce and manage their consumption while also engaging guests to be active participants. Previously, hotels would have to choose between sustainability or guest amenity initiatives with regards to technology, because the systems had separate function, cost, implementation and ROI.

Read the full article here.

By Bill Lally for Sustainable Brands

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Interview with Javad Hatami, CMO & Co-founder, Optishower

Categories: Blog Posts, Uncategorized
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email interview with Javad Hatami, CMO & Co-founder, Optishower

1.    In 2-3 sentences, what is your product, what does it do? What is your elevator pitch?

Optishower integrated solution helps hotels achieve operational excellence, decrease water and electricity consumption, and ensure the highest levels of guest satisfaction. We use IoT-based smart sensors to monitor water and electricity in buildings; engage and motivate guest to reduce the utility consumption by gamification techniques.

2.    Where did your inspiration for this idea come from? 

It was started from a friendly discussion between two co-founders.  Me and Mohamamdhossein, very close friend of mine and the co-founder of Optishower, were both avid travelers. We’ve been to many countries and usually we stayed in hotels during our travels. The idea came from the observation about high levels of water that was wasted in bathrooms and once someone enters a hotel they usually don’t care about the consumption. We found that 1) guests don’t know about their consumption and 2) they don’t know how they can help environment and avoid unnecessary consumption, 3) and most importantly, they don’t have any incentive to do so.  We found there is not any tailored solution for hospitality sector to tackle these challenges. It was the begging of our journey to create Optishower.

 

3.    Why should hotels be interested? 

Our solution could benefits hotels in 3 different ways:

1)      Optishower technology supports hotels to benchmark the current status of their buildings in terms of consumption and find out any bottlenecks to implement more efficient and sustainable technologies. Optishower could also help hotels to achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility goals in terms of Sustainable Responsible Operations.

2)      Finding leakages in big buildings is hard and time consuming. Our technology can detect any leakage in water pipes and abnormalities in electrical system of building, thus it saves money and time for hoteliers to avoid any damages and losses.

3)       Optishower platform connects guests to their consumption. We use gamification techniques to engage guests with their water and electricity consumption in-room. Therefore, this technology could be used as a new feature to transform in-room guest experience. Moreover, reduction in utility consumption leads to increase in profit margins of hotels.

 

4.    What are some of the initial results you are seeing?

Once our technology is implemented, it can provide lots of data and insights about status of consumption in hotels. Our technology makes utility consumption visible and easily understandable. The recent result from our pilot test in Marriott Amsterdam demonstrated that if guests know about their consumption, they were more conscious and could make more smart choice of water and electricity usage in rooms. We found behavior change is a key component to leverage sustainability status in hotels.

 

5.    What is your vision for this technology/app? What does success look like to you?

Our aim is consumption behavior change through user engagement. We aim to provide data and insight to hotel guests mixed with gamification techniques, so they can make better and smarter consumption decisions.  On the other hand, we aim to provide a platform that makes life easier and more convenient for hoteliers. We are envisioning a system that is an integral part of each hotel and provides visibility on all corners of water and electricity consumption in the hotel. Success for us means developing a solution that makes the lives of hotel guests easier and more comfortable, and provides new and seamless experiences that also positively contributes to environment.

 

6.    What is the role of tech in sustainability for the hospitality industry? 

Technology plays an important role in achieving sustainability goals in hospitality. New technologies that help hotels’ business become resource efficient can both create a competitive cost advantage and further reinforce brand focus on sustainability at the same time. This investment can be profitable and resonate the brand in the heart of customers. For example, new technologies that drives environmentally friendly atmosphere can have positive impact on guest experience. At the end of day, what the guest feels and thinks about the hotel experience leaves an impression with the guest that has a direct impact on occupancy and ADR.

 

7.    What have been your biggest challenges?

As a tech start up that wanted to disrupt travel and hospitality sector, our main challenge was to understand the major pain in the hospitality sector and to craft an innovative and wining solution for that. We looked to the hospitality sector and found that sustainability is still a luxury word; everyone talks about it, but nobody wants to implement it. We looked to the current solutions that exist and found that most, if not all, of them are technology-based and lack active end-user engagement. It took some time for us to find a way to connect tech with social and economic behavior strategies to craft a specific solution that deals with sustainability challenges in the hospitality sector.

 

8.    What is your prediction for the future of hotels, particularly in terms of sustainability and guest engagement? 

There is a visible trend in the travel and hospitality market that guests prefer sustainable tourism as a requirement in their travel. Personalization also would be a key component of future hotel service. The hotel of the future offers new and diverse experiences that can evolve with the guest. If you want to have a hotel that is sustainable and provides personalized service, you need clear engagement with your guest regarding your sustainability activities. I believe tech and behavior science are helping at that stage to provide innovative solutions that transform the guest experience. Hotels of the future would integrate sustainability as their core elements from hotel design to operation, therefore technology will bring innovative environmentally-friendly solutions to provide seamless experiences for guests in the future.

 

9.    In your opinion, what should the sustainable guest experience look like? 

I believe the trend in the travel industry where sustainability is an important concern is increasing. There are statistics and surveys demonstrating that more and more guests are booking green and eco-friendly hotels.  Sustainable design offers such travelers a place where they can feel comfortable spending their time and money. These environmentally conscious travelers likely expect sustainability efforts in the design of rooms, reducing waste, saving water and promoting green activities in operation, energy-efficient appliances, recycling programs and gluten-free meals, at the very least. Recent advances in technology made it possible to re-design hotels according to green practices. Hospitality is always about experience and connecting people. Environment influences behavior and mindset, and guests are sensitive to small things in their surrounding that change their mood. For example, rooms with new designs that enjoy lots of natural sunlight is more likely to be perceived as energizing and inspiring. To offer a sustainable guest experience, hoteliers should think about innovative ideas that combines suitability with new experiences. As an example, lamps that are energy efficient yet offers a relaxing environment for guests would create a memorable and authentic experience for guests during their stay in a hotel.

10. Anything else you’d like the reader to know about yourself or Optishower? 

Optishower is a Portuguese brand offering an innovative platform for the hospitality sector with a very disrupting idea that incorporates elements from tech to social behavior. As a young tech start up in the travel industry, we believe proactive engagement of guests is a key to achieve sustainability in the hospitality sector. Recently, our disruptive idea has grabbed the attention of Marriott hotels and we have been selected from around 150 applicants from 24 countries to pilot our technology, as part of Marriott test bed acceleration program, in Marriott Amsterdam.

 

 

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Startup helps Ikea save 350,000 meals from the trash can

Categories: Food & Beverage, Recommended Reading
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Credit: Shutterstock

 

A startup is turning waste into wealth by helping companies like Ikea slash the amount of food they throw away.

 

The global hospitality industry trashes food worth $100 billion a year, estimates Winnow, which says its technology can save commercial kitchens big bucks and stop good food going to waste.

Winnow shows chefs how much they’re wasting in real time, and what it costs their employers.

Retail giant Ikea estimates that Winnow (and U.S. competitor LeanPath) have helped its in-store restaurants save the equivalent of 350,000 meals worth nearly $900,000 in just eight months.

 

Read how Winnow is helping restaurants like IKEA slash the amount of food they throw away. 

By Jim Boulden @CNNMoney

 

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3 Apps for a Sustainable Lifestyle

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Sustainable Lifestyle sustapps02The path to sustainability is a hard one, with many bumps and detours along the way. Here are three free apps that reminds, challenges, and guides you in living a sustainable lifestyle.

Rippl

Sometimes, the biggest challenge in going green is remembering to do so. How many times have you forgotten to bring your reusable bag to the market or say no to that straw at the restaurant? This is where Rippl comes in. Developed by the Ocean Conservancy and Invoke, Rippl can send you daily reminders as well as a green tip every week. By using Rippl, users also help researchers by providing data to analyse collective impact in reducing trash. (Photo: www.appicker.com)

Sustainable Lifestyle rippl

JouleBug

JouleBug is an interactive app that help you develop sustainable daily habits by earning pins, points and badges for actions as simple as turning the lights off when you leave a room, taking short showers or using a reusable bottle. The app is very easy to use and comes with videos that can help you complete challenges. You can even have a healthy competition with your friends and share your accomplishments on Facebook(Photo: www.joulebug.com)

Sustainable Lifestyle joulebug

Seafood Watch

Living sustainably means eating sustainably too. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app helps us make food choices that are healthy for ourselves and the world’s oceans – 80 percent of which are over-exploited. By using this app, we can be sure that the seafood we are eating are not endangered and have been sourced sustainably. Seafood Watch provides you with a colour-coded seafood guide – green (best choice), yellow (good alternative), or red (avoid). It can even use your phone’s GPS to provide you with a guide that is specific to where you are. (Photo: www.dianamartinez.net)

Sustainable Lifestyle seafoodwatch_screens_1

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Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions

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An e. You can write it with one fluid swoop of a pen or one tap of the keyboard. The most commonly used letter in the English dictionary. Simple, right? Now imagine it printed out millions of times on thousands of forms and documents. Then think of how much ink would be needed. OK, so that may have been a first for you, but it came naturally to 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money at his Pittsburgh-area middle school. By Madeleine Stix. Read more.

Green Hotel Bookings Made Easy

Looking to stay at a green hotel? Here we give you a presentation of the top sustainable and eco-friendly hotel booking engines. Now there is no excuse not to stay green! Peter Berg Schmidt. Read more.

Reducing traffic congestion, carbon emissions and accidents while increasing travel speed

November 12, 2015 – Intelligent Mobility is an integrated approach towards achieving the global transportation industry’s three key goals of safer, cleaner and leaner mobility through creating vehicles that promote an eco-driving experience, are insulated from crash fatalities and are tuned to combat congestion. Read more.

November 08 2015 – Her laptop brims with satellite images pitted with thousands of black dots, evidence of excavations across Egypt where looters have tunneled in search of mummies, jewelry and other valuables prized by collectors, advertised in auction catalogs and trafficked on eBay, a criminal global black market estimated in the billions of dollars. 

Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

by Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

How can hotels offer guests a luxury experience but also make rooms sustainable?

The drive to increase sustainability in hotels is growing year on year. The responsibility case for properties to demonstrate good environmental practice has been proved beyond argument and now they have the bottom line figures to prove the business case as well. But focus is invariably on good energy, water and waste stewardship whilst preserving the guest’s in-room experience. Going forward, if hotels want to continue to reap the rewards of sustainable practice, they may have to build it into the fabric of their rooms. Read more

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by Jude Kasturi Arachchi, Director, Jetwing Hotels

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Jude Kasturi Arachchi, Director, Jetwing Hotels

Known as Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand, the Jetwing story spans over four decades. A family owned company from inception, the brand currently owns and operates 21 properties (hotels and villas) within the country, with plans for five more in the next two to three years. Focusing on creating spaces for guests to live, relax and enjoy the best Sri Lanka has to offer, Jetwing has placed a great deal of prominence on sustainable practice and community development through the Jetwing Eternal Earth Programme (JEEP).

JEEP is a result of genuine caring, and ensuring that tourism existing not in isolation but beneficial to all stakeholders involved – especially communities, and the reduction in usage of natural resources. With the latest in sustainable technology implemented at Jetwing properties, the company seeks to reduce burdens on operating environments, as the island of Sri Lanka is a gift that is meant to be treasured.

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