A0153 Corporate Social Responsibility Laurea

Founded: 07 Mar, 2011

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  • Hotel cleaning

    Discussion topic: "Ecological and sustainable maintenace and cleaning in hotels".

    Ended: 15 May, 2011

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(12 Oct 2011)
before the company hold the layoff meeting, it would be great if they can offer some criteria for the lay offs. it helps the employees to understand the current situation.

Try to help those lay offs by preparing a packet that outlines the resources available to them as they go back out into the job market. They will need to know about unemployment benefits, insurance issues, how to obtain letters of recommendation, and possibly counseling services. Have your human resources department put together a packet for all laid off employees and also make sure that each employee gets to have an exit interview where they can ask questions, get feedback, and have their say if they need to.
(22 May 2011)
Summary of hotel cleaning


While I am reading those student’s hotel cleaning ideas, the most biggest problem seems to be money. Hotels cleaning is trying to do as cheap as possible. Many hotels are doing so called “unnecessary” cleaning all the time. For example if hotel rooms aren't dirty every time so why to vacuum every day? Hotels should develop better their timetable to clean their rooms and if those rooms are not required to clean it, why they are doing that not needed job.

In hotels cleaning act big role, it is important that rooms are clean and it is one of hotel business value. It is not always best thing to choose that cleaning company which is the cheapest one. As we read on the beginning of the course, cheapest way is not the best or the safety way. There are many kind of cleaning companies, and maybe there should be some law which is oversees cleaning companies and their results. For sure it would be more comfortable for the customers if they could some way to know that
(17 Apr 2011)
I think that the most important way that hotel can be eco-friendly is the laundry factory where the hotel washes its laundry. The hotel needs to be sure that the factory is eco-friendly, safe and reliable. The factory should also have some official information about it ways to act.
(13 Apr 2011)
Hotels should use some kind of helping programmes. Thse programmes help them to see and check the quality and safety of their services.
(17 Apr 2011)
That's true. Of course they have already some kind of supervision programmes but they should check the sustainable and environmentally friendly things too.
(11 Apr 2011)
I think that every hotel should have a plan for sustainable development like Scandic group have. Scandic is doing great job for their sustainable development plan and I like that they have clear goals for every year. Hotels should invest for their workers education to do ecological solutions in their work. It’s good that Scandic has published their results and objectives. So each hotel can get some tips from Scandic pages.
(10 Apr 2011)
In my opinion the hotels should take recycling to the end if they start doing it. It doesn't help if they have different garbage bins, when they are being dumped, the different garbages should be separated!
I think that hotels should educate their staff about enviromental matters. All the employees dont neccesserraly know that how important this matter is!
(10 Apr 2011)
I think Hotels should connect their knowledge concerning to how they can be more environmental-friendly. Sharing your knowledge to the rivals in this issue helps our nature. I know business is business, but we need acts to save our earth.
(10 Apr 2011)
I totally agree with you. If the staff is being indifferent there is no point in recycling.
I agree with this. Hotels should co-operate with their rivals. They could maybe even save money, if they really work together with these things. For example they could educate their employees together, and they could share their waste costs.
(10 Apr 2011)
I think it would be a good idea to have a guideline for hotels and their cleaning companies. That could even be obligatory guideline, supervised by government. For example, hotels would have to make a cleaning plan (like Jenni-Julia suggested) that would follow this guideline strictly.
(10 Apr 2011)
I think that many restaurants already have very spesific cleaning plans that actually work. Maybe if that would be developed things would be a lot different.
(10 Apr 2011)
every hotel and especially hotel chains should review their usual working habits, and then think, what they could change, so they would be more ecological.
Also possible, that someone (could create a new organization and) would start to train hotels and their staff to act more ecological.
(10 Apr 2011)
That kind of organization would be a good idea. Every hotel would learn the same methods and it would be easier to act ecological. I think some small hotels don't necessarily even know what would be the most ecological way to work, so it would be good to have some one to train them.
(10 Apr 2011)
maybe some of us sets up an organization which trains people and corporation to act more environmentally friendly and also the organization could innovate new ways of doing that and find solutions to problems if there is some things that prevent firms of acting ecological.
if there is a organization which does this, i'm not aware of this. if not, be free to steel a business idea. but pay me good, if it is successful. ;)
(09 Apr 2011)
I think that would be a good idea if every hotel would make their own plan how they are going to deal with cleaning. That plan would include detergents and techniques, they are going to use. The gole would of course be to use environmentaly friendly substances and as less water as possible. The government could encourage this by f.ex. granting tax cut for those who manage to act environmentally friendly and more taxes for those who pollute.
(10 Apr 2011)
The tax cutting sounds good to me! If i'm right, if you have an old car witch pollutes much more than a new car, you will need to pay more taxes from it. Why this regulation shouldn't be applied to environment issues?
(10 Apr 2011)
i totally agree with this! this tax idea is innovative. maybe a little coercion, but it could really work. but also, as jj said, if they were rewarded from acting more environmentally friendly it could very much encourage hotels to do so.
there is many reasons why they should, and maybe there should be made a public list among hotels about all the things why acting like this is worthwhile. nowadays many customers also like to choose a hotel which acts environmentally friendly. so hotels should see this as a way of doing business also.
I believe Jenni-Julia has a point. Orderlines and determination are the key issues in sustainable and eco-friendly actions. One should allways plan carefully, think about different aspects of the matter and disscuss various possibilities that occur. It would be best if there were not only plan A but also plan B and C. That way unnecessary misunderstandings would be avoided, and everyone would be on the same page about how things are done.

The tax-solution hasn´t come to my mind yet, and sounds like it could even work in a real life.
(27 Mar 2011)
A year ago I was at Tenerife with my girlfiend and at the hotel there was a idea that you leave a "note" hanging on the door of your room if the room needed cleaning. And if you wanted your towels changed the left them in the bathtub. I think that is a great idea, for the room does need cleaning everyday or does the towels need changed everyday.
(10 Apr 2011)
Last summer I was in Milan where was this same "note" system and I think nowadays this system is becoming general. Which is a good thing.

I found this hotel which have been ranked the best in North America.

http://www.theorchardgardenhotel.com/
I haven´t yet seen in a hotel that you could decide yourself whether you want your room to be cleaned or not. I think that that's a great thing because some people don´t even like their rooms to be cleaned and their stuff to be touched and moved around, atleast not every day. The towel practise nevertheless I feel is in use in almost every hotel.
(09 Apr 2011)
I think this is pretty normal practise today. And I think it's really good because there's no need to clean up the room every day or wash the towels.
(10 Apr 2011)
There is only one huge problem. Most of the hotel guests stays there only one or two nights and then the towels have to wash. In hostels you can bring your own towel and you don't have to pay extra. Maybe it would work with those people who stays in hotel very often, it wouldn't be a problem to have your own towel with you all the time.
(27 Mar 2011)
Why do hotels clean their rooms everyday? I believe that people don´t even want it or need it. When you are home for a week you clean your house max 2 times a week. We customers have to tell this information forward. When we cut down these unnecessary cleanups hotels will save lots and lots of energy and water and by that way hotels get more and more ecological.
When you say no thanks to the pointless cleaning you help to save the world!
(13 Apr 2011)
Some hotels have the kind of solution to this that guest can say if they want that their rooms get cleand. For example if they want their towels to be washed they put them in the bathroom floor so the cleaners know to take them and give new ones.

Of course if you are staying long this would be very good idea but usually in Finland guests stay 1 or 2 nights.
You clean your room sometimes two times a week? Max one time is enough. And same principal should be in hotels as well. And I mean when the quest is staying there longer. Of course they should clean room between every quest but still like you said they really should cut down these unnecessary cleanups.
(10 Apr 2011)
I really agree that, hotels don’t need to be cleaned every day or every second day. That’s why is good that some hotels give decision to the customers. Like people as say already before me that customer can put a sign “no cleaning” or there is a sign about the towels cleaning policy. They should also use practical sense for emptying the trash cans. If there is just few rubbish, then is not necessary to change whole bag. They should stay it in that way or just overthrow trash in big refuse sack.
(27 Mar 2011)
I have never really thought of hotel cleaning methods. Many here have commented that the methods should be eco-friendly. This reminds me of one of the hotel where I stayed. This has nothing to do with cleaning: In hotel rooms, there was a place for room key. When you place the key in it, all the electricity went on. Without the key, therefore, there was no electricity. I think it was an ingenious invention which should be carried out at all hotels. Because I am quite sure that many of us have left the lights on when you left the room.
(28 Mar 2011)
I have also been in a hotel that used that kind of system for electricity. I agree with you that it should be used in other hotels too!
(30 Mar 2011)
I have also been in that kind of hotel. It's very good idea! Often people forget the lights on when they leave the room.
(27 Mar 2011)
The hotel housekeepers and the laundry service are in a very key position when talking about sustainble development, because in their work they have to use many detergents and they collect trashes and do the laundry. It is also about their health which suffers from strong detergents, it would be better to all if every toxic detergents would be changed to environmentally friendly and biodisjunctive detergents.
I also think that hotel housekeepers are very underrated. Their job is necessary, and definately hard. They see and know more about the customer than the other staff in hotels. And they also see the defferences between cultures and cultural habits.
If only through this sustainable development subject we could appreciate their work more.
(27 Mar 2011)
In Finland eg. the Scandic hotel chain follows sustainable development and cooperates with the international association called the Natural Step. Scandic-hotels environmental way to act is based on four structureterms which the association has determined.
Their way to act following the sustainable development is very apparent to the customer, they have eg. wooden keycards to the rooms. Here is a link below if you want to know more. I thought it is interesting, and honorable, and these kind of things might effect when finding a job after school.
http://www.scandic-campaign.com/betterworld/index.asp?languageid=fi
(28 Mar 2011)
That really was interesting, other hotel chains should learn from them! and I've never heard about wooden keycards before. Our society should emphasize more that kind of international associations that determine some "rules" so that the hotel operating could be equalized all over the world. By equalizing I mean that some good ways of acting could be spread to hotels that doesn't use that particular way yet.
(27 Mar 2011)
I just came from Austria. We were living in a chalet and there was some pretty good manners being used in the rooms. For example visitors needed to recycle their garbages. I have to say that I haven't seen anywhere else so much different garbage bins; plastic, glass, metal, bio, paper and "other", what ever that meant. :D I must say it was fun to recycle everything so precisely. They didn't also change our bath towels every day, just once in a week stay, that was a good thing. That's kind of a stupid thing to do in hotels nowadays, you don't change your bath towel every day in your home, don't you?

I think this cleaning problem is more a bigger problem in the big hotels. I think the big hotels only thinks the money, and they want's to save there were you definitely shouldn't. Small hotels must keep their reputation high because bad news travels fast, and it could be fatal to the hotel. When you invest to the customers safety it will give you more profit than you think.
(27 Mar 2011)
I think that this kind of recycling is admirable! It's a good way to act ecologically and at the same time it is a good promotion to the company. There is a lot of people who values this kind of activity. My only concern is those lazy and careless people who doesn't mind to recycle. They think that it is a huge bother to them to put garbages to different bags. I hope that people realizes that our decisions matters and if there is this kind of amazing recycling opportunities we should do it! More these kind of recycling manners to hotels!
I hope they really do recycle the garbage. I've seen those kind of recycling things but while cleaning, all stuff goes in the same garbage. If this really works, it's a huge improvement.
(13 Apr 2011)
sometimes the recycling can go too far. People are starting to recycle things that really can't be recycled like papernapkins.
(27 Mar 2011)
For a surprise they really do recycle the garbages! The chalets will get a ticket if they don't.
(27 Mar 2011)
Yes it is good idea to use different garbage bins and it is very good thing if they realy recyckle all trashes, because in greece some hotels have in the rooms different trash bins but finally all the garbage going into the same bin.
(27 Mar 2011)
That's a great idea to use different garbage bins!
(27 Mar 2011)
What comes to the text in Suomen Kuvalehti Finnish hotels should be extra-careful with the cleaning staff. It's very important that everything will be cleaned the way that they're supposed to be cleaned.
(27 Mar 2011)
In my opinion hotels should have some kind of a plan how to save water and other natural resources. There propably isn't a way how hotels could radically improve their ways of cleaning. Maybe they could use more eco-friendly detergents?
(27 Mar 2011)
I think that this is very good idea. There should be some kind of statutory guidance for all hotels how to clean, use water and so on.
(27 Mar 2011)
I also agree. Using eco-friendly detergents is easy and it is as expensive as not-eco-friendly. I have also noticed that eco-friendly detergents smells good.
(27 Mar 2011)
Also in Finland one of the largest hotel chains has similar way with room cleaning. If customer stay longer than one night and he do not want cleaning while he stay, he just hangs "doesn't need cleaning" card to the door handle. And if customer wants clean towels he left the dirty ones on the bathroom floor. Otherwise cleaner do not replace towels. In this large hotel chain they also use only eco friendly washing liquids and cleaning methods that do not use much water.
Novadays hotels want to be more eco-fiendly, but that means that cleaningfluids have to be more softer. Few years ago, all the cleaning fluids was more effective, but worse for the nature. There is always a conflict between ecology and cheap and effient methods.
(27 Mar 2011)
There's a conflict must to admit. This is a thing that should be supervised. The big consumers should only use the most eco-friendly products, never mind what they cost.
(27 Mar 2011)
I think that when we are talking about big organizations like hotel chains, there is always something worth improving. Of course there are a lot of differences in different hotels' actions, but one of the common goals for them all should be the fact that they act in a nature-friendly way and they care about the environment.
As many of have said, cleaning rooms and washing towels and sheets are central actions in hotels' operation systems. I also think that cleaning the room everyday is unnecessary, so I appreciated the way that for example one hotel in Barcelona acted: if you don't want your room to be cleaned and sheets&towels to be changed, you just put the card "doesn't need cleaning" (found in the room) to the door handle - and the cleaners could pass the room by. The system worked well and in that way the customer could also impact on the ecological side of the hotel's operation.
(27 Mar 2011)
I think that is a profitable way to act. Wonder if they follow this kind of action in Finland? In many hotels, also in Finland, there is a very common habit that cleaners do not change clean towels everyday. If the customer wants a new towel he has to leave the unclean towel on the floor.
(27 Mar 2011)
In many hotels already, ecological cleaning is taken into account, but not enough. For example the hotel that was the subject of our company analyzes, is committed to ISO26000 certificates and is trying to be ecologically responsible. In cleaning it tries to spare water as much as possible, and is focused on dry cleaning. It could be concentrating also in many other things, like recycling the garbage or using more ecologically friendly washing agents.
(27 Mar 2011)
I believe that economical friendly cleaning and maintenance could be easier to implement in big hotel chains than a small bed and breakfast taverns. At least big hotel's economical maintenance would have more influence on nature. I believe that the biggest issue on cleaning is washing towels and sheets. That should be improved more and the number of towels and sheets should be decreased. As people have said here, the towels shouldn't be washed until the customer wants them to be washed.
I agree with you that the big hotel chains should be showing the way for smaller ones and come up with new ideas according to ecofrienldy cleaning, but any hotel could do something, even it's smaller thing, like changing the detergent to more ecofriendly products.
I agree with jasmik that when you stay longer in hotelroom (in Finland or in uproad) They shouldn't clean the room everyday. I think they should only clean the room when the customer wants it to be cleaned. Not more than two times in customer's week long visit.
This is good idea, nut it has to remember that when you clean often, you don't have to use so much water/detergents than if you clean more rarely. Of course cleaning every day is not needed.
(27 Mar 2011)
At least abroad, where people are staying in hotels for a week at a time, the cleaning ladys are clening the room almost every day. I think it is not neccesary because people don't clean up their home every day either. Maybe it would be a bit more ecological. Also the recycling is important and it is important to tell customers do it also.
(27 Mar 2011)
Every day cleaning is the most unnecessary thing in hotel cleaning and should be updated to more ecological solution!
(27 Mar 2011)
That’s true; the cleaning should be done more rarely. But because hotels want to keep the state of customer service high, they need to somehow show that they take care of their customers. And that’s why they could just make the beds, like Liisa says. But when the cleaner cleans the room, they could use more dry cleaning methods. That way they wouldn’t have to use so much cleaning agents that are often not ecologically friendly. Like washing the floor, should be done as rarely as possible, because it takes a lot of water and cleaning agents. I also think that the towels shouldn’t be washed every day. When people are using a towel in their normal life at home, they are not washing them that often.
(27 Mar 2011)
In many hotels abroad and in finland too, cleaning is done daily, but they have made it bit more eco-friendly with some solutions. For example they just make your bed instead of taking all the sheets to wash. I have also noticed that many hotels asks their customers to leave their towels at the floor if they want them to be washed, If towels aren't on the floor, they won't wash them. Cleaning this way isn't necessarily eco-friendly, but it's getting there.
(27 Mar 2011)
Luckily nowadays hotels don't use disposable sheets anymore!
(27 Mar 2011)
Jasmi, you have been abroad a lot. Does the customer have the option to recycle his or her garbage? Is there in hotels for example bio waste basket for customer?
(25 Mar 2011)
I agree with quite many people here. It is important to use nature- friendly cleaning products. Also the recycling is big issue. If people would find it easy to recycle their garbages even in biowaste and energy waste. It would be quite nice improvement.
(27 Mar 2011)
It does take some time, but I think the environment-friendly days will be possible some day.
(24 Mar 2011)
Yes, hotels should use more eco-friendly products. The use of cleaning products is quite huge in hotels so it is a huge improvement when those are ecological. You can find a lot of points that can be improved in area. I think many hotels already use separate trash cans for different garbage. In the rooms I mean, so that customers can recycle also.
(24 Mar 2011)
Maybe hotels could also let the customers do some recycling, for example there could be two garbage bins, one for papers etc and one for general waste. It is really good in some hotels they don't wash the towels before customer thinks they are dirty and leaves them on the floor.
In the same category with washing towels is the sheets in my opinion. You don't have to wash neither them every day. Also the material of sheets need to be thought. Hotels should use more cotton etc in sheets.
(25 Mar 2011)
In the other hand other customers might find rather clean towels too dirty for them, but as long as this works it's all good
(24 Mar 2011)
I have no experience about cleaning in hotels so I don't know what kind of methods they use in cleaning. However, there are many ways a hotel can improve their practices into eco-friendly direction. For example they can change normal detergents into eco-friendly ones. Cleaners could try to minimize the consumption of water and detergents while cleaning.
I agree with that minimizing of water consumption. They can use better detergents instead of wasting clean water. And they could use only eco-friendly detergents. Hotels and cleaning companies could invest in education of cleaners. They could educate them for ecology.
You seem to know lots of hotel cleaning even though you claim you don't. I agree that those are very effective ways to make hotel-cleaning eco-frienldy. The water use are nowadays very huge and I think humans could easily survive with half of the mount they are using right now.
(27 Mar 2011)
Soon there is no more water and it is importnant to save it. Good that you noticed it! Maybe one good way to save water is to remove all bathtubs and use showers instead..
(24 Mar 2011)
I think that using ecological products in hotel cleaning and maintenance is very important in these days. It should be globally mandatory, at least in big hotel chains. This cos the amount of used products is so large that environment can really suffer from use of them. I am glad that many of hotels are taking our globe in notice and have or are applying for eco-sertificates, like EU-Flower and joutsenmerkki.
(23 Mar 2011)
I have worked as a cleaner, and there is a lot of things to improve: for example, cleaning tools could be recyclable. But if they were, there would be needed more eco-friendly cleaners (fluids etc) because they are toxic and maybe not suitable for recycling? The change should be so massive, I do not believe it is going to happen. But I have worked only in one company, maybe elsewhere the things are already more eco-friendly?
(27 Mar 2011)
It's a bit strange that companies don't already use recyclable cleaning products. The world is nowadays much more aware of recyclings benefits.
(27 Mar 2011)
Problem is that, almost everything recyclable and eco-friendly products like cleaning fluids will pay more than unecologigal products.
(27 Mar 2011)
That is so true. I think if they would produce them more, the prices would go down. As a student I simply do not have the money to use everything eco-friendly stuff. Firstly I check the prices.
(27 Mar 2011)
I disagree. My diswashfluid (which is ecological) costs almost as much as Fairy. It won't smell as bad as Fairy but cleans as well.