Sustainable Programs Start With Staff

Sustainability trends are not limited to hotels, with guest frequently trying to live their lives in a sustainable manner as well. Because of this, guests can sometimes be receptive to changes in hotel operations that could benefit the environment.

“As a business hotel, the average guest stay is two-and-a-half days,” said Florian Schultz, hotel manager for the Sofitel New York. “The guest usually doesn’t mind having the same linen for that time, but they often want bathroom towels replaced on a daily basis. We place carts in the rooms and inform our guests that if they place the cart on the bed we will change the linens, and if they hang their towels up we will refrain from washing them.”

This small reprieve from the washing machines resulted in a 33% reduction in chemical usage, labor and energy costs for the New York property. What makes this system work best is the training given to hotel staff that assist in the process.

“If the font-desk agent can communicate our laundry policy with the guest to avoid confusion and let them know the program is available, it is best.” Schultz said. “The guest has to be aware, and if they have the same linens at the end of the day. Finding a way to communicate that is a skill.”

Additional training was necessary for housekeepers to redo a bed in a way that is appealing even though it was used the night before. “Associates shouldn’t be afraid to try new things,” said Scott Bastin of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. “Make sure that your associates have input when trying new things, though. These are the people that handle these duties every day. You want them to be your eyes and ears, and you want to use what they give you.”

Written by: C. Elliott Mest, Associate Editor of Hotel Management


Thank you so much for a wonderful stay and for taking such good care of the team, coaches, and support staff this past weekend. The trip went very smooth and the team had their first victory over Millikin in 40+ years! We really appreciate your hard work and wanted to extend our sincere appreciation to you and your staff that made everything possible. Thank you again for your hospitality.
Lauren Cavallaro
My stay was delightful and very relaxing and staff were very welcoming. Thanks for everything.
Marry Ribben
Your hotel is one of the best I have ever visited! Thanks for making my stay super awesome. I would surely recommend you guys.
Mark Anthony
I just want to say THANK YOU for everything. I thought the meetings went really well, the guests seemed to enjoy their rooms and stay, the food was fabulous, and we were well taken care of if we needed something. We didn’t have to want or wait on anything!! I have to admit I was very impressed!
Becky Garrett
I enjoyed working with you last December on our Christmas Party for the BLET. You are very professional and your staff did a wonderful job.Everyone at the party said the food and JR’s was great!We are looking forward to having the party again there this year.
Toni Cusanelli
“I hosted an event for work at the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel and was very impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the quality of the food provided by catering. I hope to host future events at your facility.” – Kim Mangan
Kim Mangan
My stay at the Decatur Conference Center was one of the best stays I have had in my many travels throughout the Midwest.  Thank You!
Irene Paliomentro