This is sponsored content for Pro-invest Group.
From entering the room with a bamboo key to the glass water bottles and bamboo door hangers it doesn't take long to notice something is different at Holiday Inn Express Newcastle.
The hotel is almost completely plastic free with pens next to be replaced with a more sustainable option. Even the plants within the hotel are alive adding to the aesthetic and improving air quality.
The focus on the environment is nothing new for the hotel which opened in March 2019 after being designed and constructed with a focus on sustainability.
General manager Rob Fahey has been with the hotel from the start and has seen it transform from a concrete shell to the first hotel building to achieve carbon-neutral certification in 2021.
"An environmental focus is an expectation now from most guests," he said.
"We're focused on maintaining our responsibility and keeping up with expectations. Beyond that it's just the right thing to do."
Pro-invest Group ESG manager Cindy van der Wal has also noticed the shift in consumer expectations especially following the pandemic.
"Corporate accounts request extensive information around sustainability including the hotel's carbon footprint," she said.
"This is a positive change for us. We can share what we're doing and explore market expectations."
It's not just corporate clients who care about the environmental impact of their stay with many accommodation booking sites now incorporating sustainability as a search criteria.
This enables the team at Holiday Inn Express Newcastle to showcase their commitment and dedication to their sustainability efforts.
"Being sustainable is in the hotel team's DNA," Rob said.
"We've had that focus from the start and the team is incredibly proud to work for the hotel.
"They can see the impact and live it so they can advocate for what we do 100 per cent."
Holiday Inn Express Newcastle sustainability achievements and initiatives include:
The dedication to sustainably also continues outside the four walls of the hotel with more and more used and brought into the hotel aligning with this commitment.
"We want to know the suitability story of suppliers we deal with," Rob said.
All these initiatives are strongly supported and driven by Holiday Inn Express Newcastle's parent company, Pro-invest Group, who is focused on sustainability across all the hotels, offices and residential properties it designs, builds and operates.
"It makes good business sense and it's such a great opportunity to make a positive impact," Cindy said.
"Our investors, suppliers and employees are all on the same page and working towards having a greater environmental and social impact."
The hotel's commitment to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 aligns with the City of Newcastle's goal to achieve a net zero emissions future.
"It's a one-in-all-in approach and it holds weight if everyone is on the same page," Rob said.
"This commitment puts Newcastle on the map. We are proud to play our part and will continue to do so."