Nominations are now open for the 2019 HM Awards. CLICK HERE to nominate.
As the big night gets closer, HM is looking back on the successes of 2018 and checking in with The Little National Hotel in Canberra – winner of the 2018 HM Award for Best Environmental Program – to see how the award changed their professional lives.
How did it feel to be validated with recognition by your peers for the environmental work you’ve been doing at The Little National Hotel? What was the team’s reaction?
The recognition of Little National’s dedication and commitment to our environment and sustainability practises was fantastic. It’s an area that the staff are truly passionate about so to win the HM Award was acknowledgement that we’re a market leader in hotel sustainability.
How have your award-winning projects evolved since winning the award and what new initiatives have been devised for the future?
Since winning the HM Award, the ACT Government recognised Little National at its ACTSmart Business Sustainability Awards and announced Little National the winner of the Corporate Award for Sustainability. Working with ACTSmart has seen us maintain our accreditation and continue to be accountable for waste management and minimising our impact on the environment. Nationally, we were recognised as the winner at the Australian Hotels Association awards for Best Environmental Practices. As a small, independent hotel, these accolades were indicative of our passion and commitment to sustainability.
We are always seeking ways to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. This year we challenged the staff to set their own personal goals at work and at home. These included things like setting up a compost in their back yard, using cloth nappies instead of disposable, replacing single use plastic wrap with reusable bees wax wraps, to name a few. Staff discount on coffees is only applicable when staff provide a ‘to go’ cup and this is now a Doma Hotels-wide initiative.
Does environmental sustainability help your hotel stand out from the pack? Have you been marketing your achievement to guests and potential guests?
I hope so! Sustainability is a such a hot topic right now and every industry needs to be consciously making decisions around better environmental practices. Some of our incentives are marketed directly in the room such as the example with our ‘Who Gives A Crap’ toilet paper. The packaging on this paper is cleverly designed and considered, expecting people will read it! Whilst this is a more expensive toilet paper than we previously stocked, we made the conscious decision to change over based on the sustainability aspect of this product. Other ways we educate our guests are through our sustainability workshops. Most recently we conducted a bees wax wrap workshop at the hotel were guests and the public could purchase tickets and learn how to make reusable bees wax wraps, a substitute to single-use plastic wrap. Our in-room ‘Do Not Disturb’ incentive offers guests who opt-out of daily servicing to be rewarded with a complimentary drink in our lounge. This encourages our guests to visit the lounge (to hopefully stay for more than one drink) and also reduces our water and power usage in the laundry.
Our social media sites are great communication tools for things like this and a space where we can showcase projects like our solar panel install and award recognition.
The 2019 HM Awards will be held once again at the ICC Sydney on Friday 6 September, with winners to be crowned in nearly 50 categories covering property and individual excellence. Make sure you’re there.