A Sustainability Faux Pas: Printing the Night Audit

If your properties are still printing the nightly audit, you might want to consider how tech could help.

During HT-NEXT 2022, attendees had the opportunity to attend a session on sustainability where they heard how a major international brand (IHG Hotels & Resorts) and a small independent boutique hotel (Hotel Marcel) view sustainability, implement sustainable technologies, and are working to create a greener future. One thing that neither company mentioned during their time on stage, however, was their night audit process. This may seem to be a rather unexpected area where sustainability and the hotel industry could cross paths, but there is, in fact, a large amount of crossover when you consider that most hotels still print their night audit.

“This is a massive document that usually contains 300 different reports,” explains Jason Freed, Hospitality Data Evangelist, MyDigital Office. “Then they staple it together, put it in a vanilla envelope, put it in a paper box and store that in a back office, basement, or attic – and never look at it again.”

Not only is printing all of this paper terrible for the environment, but if a hotel employee is ever asked to go find a particular night audit – it’s a messy, complicated and time-consuming process.

“To be honest, I didn’t really believe most hotels were still printing their night audits when I first heard about it. But the more I talked to hotel employees the more I found out this was truly the case,” Freed notes.

While MyDigital Office was originally founded to combat this issue by digitizing these night audits, the company has continued to prioritize sustainability initiatives. Just recently, it launched a sustainability calculator that will ask hoteliers to input some simple data metrics such as: “How many reports are printed each night on how many pieces of paper? How much is spent on paper each month? How much is spent on ink each month?” At the end, the calculator then will provide hoteliers with a sustainability score and help them better understand how they’re helping the environment by going digital.

“It’s more than just thinking about the pieces of paper you’re saving,” Freed says. “Our calculator also considers the actual paper making process and its effect on the environment including the process of physically cutting down trees, the transportation of logs, the manufacturing plants that make the paper itself, and the transportation of paper to stores where it is then bought and shipped to hotels, etc. So it not only helps you understand how many trees you’re saving, but also the reduction of your carbon footprint and even how much landfill waste you’re preventing.”

Hoteliers can then use this information for corporate ESG initiatives, whether that’s marketing these initiatives to potential guests, to corporate event meeting planners, or to other interested parties.


[To read Hotel Marcel's point of view on sustainability, as presented at HT-NEXT 2022, visit: How Tech and Sustainability Go Hand in Hand: An Independent Hotel’s POV. To read IHG Hotels & Resorts point of view on sustainability, as presented at HT-NEXT, visit: How Tech and Sustainability Go Hand in Hand: A Global Brand's POV.]

To watch their presentation as it happened live, click on the video below!

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