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Return it, it's worth it!

Return It!

An ingenious recycling initiative by the housekeeping team highlights the power of creative thinking and working together.

Sustainability is a guiding principle which underpins everything we do at Sofitel Brisbane Central, with the hotel committed to eliminating single-use plastics by the end of the year.

At Sofitel Brisbane Central, all Ambassadors and departments are encouraged to continuously think how they can act in a more sustainable manner and thus help reduce the environmental footprint of the property overall. As the sheer size of the hotel means even one seemingly insignificant change or initiative can have an incredibly meaningful impact.

A prime example of is the housekeeping team’s innovative approach to recycling that is proving to be a win-win, for the hotel, the environment and the team itself.

With the vast majority of the hotel’s 416 guest rooms and suites featuring at least two complimentary plastic water bottles, it is safe to say the hotel’s housekeeping team comes across hundreds of bottles a day.

Understanding the far-reaching benefits of recycling – reduced landfill waste, energy usage, and greenhouse gases generated – the team saw this as an opportunity to do a little good.

As a result, each day part of the room servicing process Ambassadors now collect and compile all bottles and recycle what these in exchange for a few cents per bottle.

Since beginning the initiative two months ago, the team has collected a staggering 8,500 bottles, resulting in 828kg of greenhouse gases saved, 2,840kWh of energy saved and 436kg spared from landfill – all from collecting water bottles! Plus, as a side benefit has resulted in a sizeable sum of cash.

Every cent earned from collecting is then accumulated and used to reward the housekeeping department, put towards employee of the month awards, team appreciation parties, and an end-of-year Christmas party.

Looking to continue to this initiative, the housekeeping team estimate that over a year they will have collected and recycled over 50,000 containers, resulting in approximately 17,000kWh of energy saved and 2,700kg spared from landfill… and over $5,000 earned as a result.

Undoubtedly such an initiative represents a valuable lesson in the power of creative thinking and working together as well as the win-win outcomes that can result from acting more sustainably.

This initiative is just one example of how the hotel is striving to operate in an increasingly environmentally-conscious manner. Other notable initiatives include the hotel’s recent transition to Balmain’s reusable pump collection and biodegradable cardboard packaging for all in-room dry amenities in an effort to significantly reduce waste.

The next exciting initiative? Replace all plastic water bottles with a more environmentally-friendlier alternative, set to come into effect by the end of this year.