Clean the World and Green Key Partnership: Driving Sustainability and Social Impact in the Hospitality Industry

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How Hotels Embracing Sustainable Initiatives Are Making a Difference

The hospitality industry has recognised the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, with customers and investors seeking businesses that prioritise sustainability. In response to this demand, a new partnership has emerged between Clean the World and Green Key in England. This partnership offers hotels a comprehensive framework of sustainable practices and practical steps they can take to reduce their environmental footprint while demonstrating social responsibility.

The hospitality industry in the UK is responsible for a staggering 2.87 million tons of waste annually. To achieve the Net Zero goals set by the UK Government, waste reduction must be a significant focus for businesses. Following the waste hierarchy principles, the primary emphasis should be on reducing avoidable waste from both direct operations and the supply chain.

Moreover, hotels can view waste as a valuable resource and adopt a proactive approach to reuse items and materials, reducing not only their overheads but also their carbon footprint. Implementing waste action plans and undertaking waste reduction initiatives are crucial requirements for establishments working with Green Key, aiming to attain the prestigious international sustainability award.

One such solution is provided by Clean the World, a social enterprise that has revolutionised hotel waste management. Rather than viewing discarded bathroom amenities as waste destined for incineration or landfill, Clean the World repurposes and recycles these items through its hospitality recycling program. Since 2009, Clean the World has partnered with over 8,100 hotels globally, distributing over 80 million bars of soap to communities around the world. 

The partnership between Clean the World and hotels enables businesses to reduce waste and add social value to their operations. The collected soap is sanitized, crushed, and processed into new bars, which are then packaged and shipped to communities in need, both domestically and internationally. This initiative has already supported over 15 million people worldwide, providing essential sanitation and hygiene supplies.

In addition to soap recycling, Clean the World also focuses on plastic recycling. They collect plastic bottled amenity waste from hotels, separate the liquid from the bottles, and process the plastic into flakes. These flakes can then be transformed into a variety of recycled products. Clean the World is actively exploring innovative uses for the recycled plastic, such as creating disaster relief buckets made from recycled materials to provide aid efficiently.

Clean the World’s comprehensive impact reporting system further supports its partners in accurately tracking, measuring, and sharing the impact they have made. This reporting system aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides valuable metrics such as waste diverted, water conserved, carbon reduction, and more, all available with a simple click on Clean the World’s customer portal.

By participating in Clean the World’s recycling programs, hospitality businesses can fulfil several criteria within Green Key’s certification, including staff involvement, water management, waste management, energy management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The impact of Clean the World’s operations extends to several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including Good Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Partnership for the Goals. This partnership showcases the ability of the hospitality industry to address these global challenges effectively.

Hotels interested in learning more about Clean the World’s hospitality recycling program can contact Europe@cleantheworld.org.

For further information on Green Key and its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable operations, visit visit their website here or contact greenkey@keepbritaintidy.org.

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