The hospitality industry finds it harder than many to be sustainable, due to the very nature of travel and short stays, air and car miles, frequent linen changes and wasted food.

However, hotels and resorts are no longer just places to rest your head; they have become essential in the global effort to reduce our ecological footprint. Sustainable tourism has moved from a minority fad to a key part of hospitality’s ethos.

Many hotels now offer energy-efficient lighting and water-saving measures; waste reduction and locally sourced food. Some even have green roofs and their own biomass boilers, kitchen gardens and composting schemes. By embracing these innovations, establishments within the hospitality sector can not only minimise their environmental impact but also appeal to a growing clientele who prioritise eco-conscious choices.

And now Avondata – one of the UK’s largest independent PMS providers and home to cloud-based hotel management solution Rezcontrol, which has hundreds of hotels around the UK on its books – has signed up to partner with Dutch non-profit organisation Hotels for Trees.

A beautifully simple concept

The concept is delightful in its simplicity – most hotel guests don’t need or want their room cleaned every day, so they can be given the choice to ‘skip a clean and plant a tree’, either through their booking process or on arrival. The tree  actually costs less than the clean, so the hotel saves on cleaning costs while helping reduce its carbon footprint, and everybody wins.

The trees are planted by Dutch foundation Trees For All, which has been going since 1999 and has planted at least nine million trees around the world, negating around 600,000 tons of CO2. So far, Hotels for Trees has over 180 hotels signed up to the scheme, in over 30 countries, and aims to plant at least a million trees per year by 2025.

Partnership with Rezcontrol

Rezcontrol became interested through the recommendation of one of its hotels, Seamill House in West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, in Scotland. General Manager Dan Rant said:

“We wanted to give something back and make a positive contribution to the environment.  I was already preparing for the hotel to be assessed by Green Tourism, and this initiative actually helped us to achieve a Bronze.

We are very proud to be the first Scottish hotel to partner with Hotels for Trees – the scheme empowers both our team and our guests, and to date Seamill House has been responsible for planting over 70  trees, since we signed up in June.”

The addition of Avondata to Hotels for Trees’ partnership list gives the charity access to all its hotels around the UK, including hundreds of hotels, pubs and inns of all sizes from smaller boutique hotel and spa destinations to pub groups such as Fullers, and full service hotels with well over 100 rooms.

Avondata’s director Sarah Cade said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to make a difference. We believe many of our hotels will be interested, which gives Hotels for Trees a real expansion opportunity, especially here in the UK.”

We will help our hotels with implementation, as we can add a feature in Rezcontrol so that hotel guests staying more than one night can incorporate ‘skip a clean, plant a tree’ into their bookings at source via our booking engine. Meanwhile, they will liaise directly with Hotels for Trees over the everyday running of the scheme and their own internal promotion.

We will also commit to plant five trees ourselves every time we win a new client!”

Hotels for Trees’ founder, Floris Licht, said:

“We are thrilled to have Rezcontrol on board. This new strategic partnership gives us the opportunity to help many hotels in the UK who are keen to implement green initiatives.

“Besides creating a greener hotel world together, we look forward to supporting hotels to increase guest satisfaction, reinforce their sustainability credentials, save on housekeeping costs, recruit talent and increase employee engagement.”