In our extensive Hotel Amenities edit, we are exploring the benefits of opting for sustainable products and how to choose them.

Amenities within a hotel room are an added feature purely to boost guest experience. With travellers now becoming more and more eco-conscious as the days go by, many overnight stay venues are deciding to opt for sustainable amenities. So, what effects can this have?

Jon Shepherd, CEO at Hotel Buyer, sees that amenities can have a somewhat polarising effect on guest perception: “Some would view the provision of a selection of amenities as a thoughtful gesture providing convenience and adding value to the room offering. Others, predominantly the younger generation, will see them as an unnecessary and unsustainable waste.

“The provision of more environmentally friendly alternatives is a way to continue to provide the convenience, whist acknowledging the need for sustainable practice.”

Jon revealed that by far the most popular amenity that Hotel Buyer sells are shower caps. They now offer a biodegradable corn starch-based material, packaged in a stone paper wrapper. Toothbrushes and razor handles are made from a straw-based product. Dental Kits and Shaving Kits tend to be more expensive than other amenities like vanity kits, sewing kits and shower caps, so to keep the cost under control some hotels keep a box of these items in reception to make them available on request. This approach tends to reduce wastage from guests chucking them in the case and then deciding not to keep them when they return home.

“There has been a huge rise in demand for sustainable or eco-friendly businesses.”

“Most traditional amenities are now available in a more sustainable form from suppliers like Hotel Buyer. Presenting toiletries and amenities in a PVC bag would appear to be step backwards on the sustainability scale though. A presentation tray, basket or a hotel-branded recycled paper envelope is a much better option.” Added Jon.

At Sutton Hotel Collection, they have recently started providing ‘100 Acres’ products across their three hotels – Castle Hotel Windsor, Queens Hotel Cheltenham, and Francis Hotel Bath. 100 Acres is a British botanical fragrance brand based in the heart of the British countryside. All packaging is recyclable, biodegradable or post-recycled and a percentage of each sale is donated to Rewilding Britain.

General Manager of Queens Hotel Cheltenham, Shaun Bowles, said: “We believe that this change of introducing sustainable amenities will not only boost the guest experience, but these new products will also allow us to move forward in becoming more eco-conscious as a hotel group. Taking the initiative to use a local, sustainable brand is a small step towards our eco-friendly initiatives.”

Shaun recognises that there are numerous benefits associated with eco-friendly amenities, for example, 100 Acres include completely 100% natural, botanical ingredients which are always kind to the skin and the environment. Moreover, there has been a huge rise in demand for sustainable or eco-friendly businesses, with more and more customers choosing sustainable businesses over non-sustainable businesses.

“The easiest products to swap out for more sustainable ones would be products used within the bathroom or bedrooms, such as hand/body wash, shampoo and conditioners and we will continue to look at all of our bedroom products in this manner.” Added Shaun.

Noble Isle has created a fine fragrance, luxurious bath and body collection, which is made in the UK using locally sourced extracts from the British Isles. Each product from the fragrant bath and body collection is available in luxurious hotel amenity sizes ranging from 30ml, 50ml, 75ml and 250ml including 30gr and 50gr Soap Bars and a full range of plastic-free accessories. As of January 2020, all of their hotel accessories are plastic-free and eco-friendly. Their formulas are all created with natural extracts, natural bases and naturally derived ingredients where possible. Glass will make an introduction into the range in 2022, with refillable bottles and glass jars.

“Sustainable amenities allow guests who care for the environment to stay in a hotel confidently.”

All Noble Isle products are vegan and cruelty free. Noble Isle also partners with Clean Conscience to ensure any excess hotel amenity stock is re-distributed to those in need.

Sustainable amenities allow guests who care for the environment to stay in a hotel confidently in the knowledge their own values and beliefs are aligned with the hotel, which will be reflected throughout the venue across other products and initiatives.

When deciding to make the change to implementing sustainable amenities as opposed to ordinary ones, it can be tricky to know what to look for without any experience in that field. So, what should you remember to consider?

Katy Simpson, Founder and CEO at Noble Isle, added: “Key things to look for in a sustainable amenities partner include looking at the ingredient lists, looking out for natural ingredients, where the products are made, looking out for symbols for vegan and cruelty-free. Other ideas are to find out if refillable options are available and lastly what material the accessories are made from.”

It’s easy to reduce the amount of plastic waste by using refillable options. Katy advises looking out for sustainable hard soaps by reading the ingredient list. Looking at the back of the pack for country of origin will also give you an indication. 

The use of eco-friendly hotel amenities has a significant impact on the future of the hospitality industry. Making eco-conscious decisions will not only have an effect on the longevity of the industry, but where consumers are becoming more interested in eco-friendly housing, it will contribute to boosting the reputation of a business.