It seems that hotel sustainability is going to top all hospitality trends in 2020.

The industry is adopting a dual approach to become more sustainable, featuring a blend of behavioral change and implementation of relevant technologies. The former involves managing resources with moderation and exercising restraint to tackle societal and environmental challenges. The latter will be geared towards creating innovations to contain the current wasteful way of living. The development and deployment of green technology will help proactive businesses drive change.

Preventing waste will be a predominant theme across all sub-sectors. Along with containing food waste, the industry is also looking at managing energy usage to relieve dependence on fossil fuels.

Solar PV systems will become more popular than ever, as will occupancy sensors in automated rooms. Heat exchangers that use the exhaust heat to preheat water — an innovative way to achieve waste heat recovery — will grow in number.

According to research, hotels must reduce their carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 to ensure that growth in the sector is sustainable. Many are using the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) to measure and report on their carbon footprint in a consistent way.

As more hotels look to transition to sustainable properties, technologies that can help them achieve this goal are going to take center stage. Smart building resources to help reduce emissions will lead the pack.

New hotel buildings are considering sustainable design with low energy requirements. They are looking at the “three-zero-concept” approach, which entails prioritizing energy management and lower emissions; using local construction materials and skills; and introducing life-cycle management into the building process.

These designs include water efficiency through rainwater harvesting systems and natural energy via innovative technologies that intelligently and efficiently reduce waste. To achieve the goal of reducing resource use, pollution, and waste hotels are installing high-resolution resource monitoring. They are also coming up with more apps that can engage staff and guests in sustainability and food waste reduction.

Managing guests’ carbon footprint is as important as managing the property. Hotels that are practicing eco-friendly initiatives have reported a significant improvement.

Water-efficient bathrooms have led to a 15% reduction in usage. In-room recycling program for guests has led to efficient disposal of plastic and paper waste. Others have switched their single-use plastics to greener alternatives, reusing towels and sheets instead of opting for daily laundry. All these steps meet the millennial demand for sustainable accommodations.

Along with these trends, ecotourism, where profitability meets responsibility, is set to grow more than ever. Eco-friendliness is no longer a nice-to-have concept. It has now evolved into a must-have priority for the industry and its consumers.

According to the U.N. World Tourism Organization, the number of eco-inspired trips taken by the end of this year will be close to 1.6 billion worldwide. By integrating sustainability into architecture, hotels aiming to conserve natural resources, create green jobs, and safeguard local cultures will help the industry attain sustainable development.

Green hotels practicing ecotourism and sustainability will attract this new generation of environmentally and socially conscious travelers.