Advice: Five Ways to Use Your PMS to Accelerate Sustainability

Towel sustainability

How can I advance my property’s sustainability efforts right now? 

“Sustainability is still a big priority for my hotel’s leadership team and our guests, but the current environment has made it nearly impossible to make additional investments in this area. What are some ways that I can use the technology we already have to make our operations more sustainable?”


Sustainability has become a key goal for numerous hospitality brands and independent properties as companies become more invested in corporate social responsibility. Implementing an effective sustainability strategy gives hotels a competitive advantage in attracting guests as well as attracting and retaining top talent, as travelers and employees look for green, ethical, moral, and inclusive businesses that align with their personal values and goals.

While physical methods for increasing sustainability might be more obvious—from installing low-flow showerheads and motion sensor LED lights to furnishing rooms with eco-friendly materials—there are many ways for hotels to take advantage of technology to support sustainability goals. Here are some low-cost, quick-to-implement solutions using a property management system (PMS) that can help hotels accelerate incremental change towards sustainability.

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  1. Go paperless — Eliminate the need for paper in day-to-day operations by implementing digital registration, billing, and communications with guests.
  2. Green housekeeping — Offer a green rate to guests that is tied to housekeeping. If guests choose this option for their stay, housekeeping is notified to conserve resources such as not changing sheets and towels every day, not putting out small plastic toiletries and not stocking plastic water bottles in the room.
  3. Give back — Set up an optional carbon-neutral fee that guests can choose to add to their reservation, and donate all money collected to environmental causes.
  4. Reduce plastic use — Many property management systems integrate with keyless entry software that lets guests use a mobile device to access their room and other hotel facilities in place of plastic key cards.
  5. Choose sustainable partners — Ensure supply chain and tech stack partners are committed to sustainability. Check to see if your cloud-based PMS is hosted in an energy-efficient environment and if your PMS can interface with an energy management system (EMS).

Answered by Matthew Galbraith, director of operations, RMS North America