How The Hospitality Industry is Driving a Sustainable Revolution
Ten years ago, eco-conscious hotels were on the fringe of the hospitality world. Sustainability wasn’t in the vocabulary of most hoteliers, or, if it was, it took the form of an interesting add-on or what could be interpreted as a cost-saving initiative — say, LED lighting or a towel-recycling program. But the imperative of making hospitality greener has gone mainstream, a worldwide response to dire warnings of climate change and the incontrovertible role travel plays in soaring carbon emissions.
Today, travelers are becoming more eco-conscious, seeking out transportation that has a lesser toll on the environment (busses and trains over planes, UberPool, private jet shares); traveling to destinations that are less tourist-clogged and more off-the-beaten-track; and choosing accommodations— especially “pop-up” concepts, like tented hotels, similar to the ones Luxury Frontiers has pioneered—that showcase a commitment to the environment in an impactful, wholehearted way. In this rapidly evolving hotel landscape, eco-conscious brands like 1 Hotels, Six Senses, Potato Head, and Banyan Tree are rising to the top, marrying elevated design, green innovation, and community-minded programming.
Simply put, the changing behaviors of travelers, especially millennials, corroborates the argument that “A green hotel doesn’t have to feel like a cheap hostel and luxury doesn’t have to contribute to the nearest landfill.”
The professionals that work in the hospitality industry—like Luxury Frontiers’ own Anomien Smith, director of architectural and interior design—are cognizant of this shift and are doing their part to mitigate the effects of travel on the environment. In doing so, they’re changing the conversation around sustainability, proving that it’s possible to do good for the planet while enhancing guests’ experience and driving overall revenue.
Last month, some of the UK’s top architectural firms and starchitects — think David Chipperfield Architects, Zaha Hadid Architects, and Foster + Partners — came together to pledge “immediate action” for the climate crisis. Not only will the activist mission, called Architects Declare, encourage a movement toward more sustainable construction, it will also drive awareness of regenerative design practices like green roofs, rainwater capture, and thermal efficient construction.
“Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities, and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system,” reads the manifesto on the Architects Declare website.
Luxury Frontiers has always had strong environmental convictions. It’s at the root of our mission to design light-touch, high-design accommodations that empower local communities and preserve fragile natural environments. Each of our projects exude these qualities, including one of our latest concepts, Botswana’s King’s Pool, a Wilderness Safaris Camp. Luxury Frontiers, which was responsible for the architectural design, partnered with designer Caline Williams-Wynn of Artichoke, to design a camp that blends stylish, locally inspired interiors (think: details that nod to the ancient Batswana craft of weaving) and envelope-pushing green architecture.
As an article in Luxury Travel Advisor reports, the new camp will be 100 percent solar-powered, and “as much existing material from walkways and flooring from the previous camp will also be reused to create screens and wall detail, such as the substructure, thatch roof, carved front doors and salvaged timber doors.”
Et voila: luxury hospitality that embraces sustainability and regeneration.