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Bright Journey Observatory: the 8 things to look out for on a green tech trip

Smart Rooms, water and air regulation systems, composting and biodigestion, TV service, neuroscience and AI. When technology supports sustainability.

Pordenone, Italy, 21 June 2024. Technology and sustainability, two sides of the same coin. It is a concept as simple as it is important that underlies Bright Journey, the initiative created by a group of female professionals with the aim of promoting sustainability in hospitality by mapping the use of technology in hotels to limit the waste of resources. Promoted by VDA Telkonet, a leading company in hotel automation solutions aimed at saving energy for the hotel room, and in partnership with Terra Institute, a consultancy company that assists companies in the process of ecological transition, the Bright Journey project gives life to an Observatory with the aim of monitoring and incentivising the best practices that the hospitality sector uses in the green economy.

Given that a zero-emission journey is extremely difficult to achieve, as every activity inevitably generates an environmental impact, there are journeys that come very close to this ideal, minimising the ecological footprint through virtuous practices. The Bright Journey Observatory identifies green and tech points of accommodation facilities and suggests 8 things the responsible tourist should note during their stay:

1. Even the environment demands ‘the right to disconnect’. Always switching off lights and disconnecting devices when not in use can make a real difference. Electronic devices such as laptops, TVs and other appliances when plugged in still consume energy, even if it doesn’t look like it. For example, a smartphone charger, if left plugged in when not charging a mobile phone, consumes about 2 Wh and 17.5 kWh per year. Remembering to ‘unplug’ contributes to the reduction of about 10 kg of CO2 per room per year.

2. Towel change? No, thank you. Asking not to change towels or sheets every day can have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of our stay. On average, a hotel consumes more than 240 kWh of electricity per week for drying and ironing room linen, emitting up to 62.5 kg of CO2 in the same period. It is often possible to ask for laundry to be washed only on request.

3. Separate waste collection goes on holiday! Separating waste correctly and using the appropriate bins, even when you are away from home, helps to reduce the environmental impact of waste. Some facilities use intelligent recycling, biodigestion and composting systems and act according to the rules of up-cycling.

4. Showering is good if it is short. Limit the use of running water. Many hotels install state-of-the-art water-saving technologies such as rainwater recovery systems and taps and showers with flow reducers. It is estimated that with these systems, going from an average shower of 8 minutes to one of 5 minutes can save up to 120 litres of water per shower.

5. Regulate yourself. Lowering the temperature of the heating or raising the temperature of the air conditioning by just 2 degrees can make a big difference. Hotels equipped with IOT technology and intelligent automation systems based on room occupancy (so-called GRMS and EMS) can do this automatically without compromising guest comfort, improving staff operating efficiency and thus reducing total energy consumption by 35 per cent each year.

6. This is not a TV. Or rather: not only. Managing one’s stay via smart TV wherever possible can bring numerous sustainability benefits. In fact, if an establishment has a TV service system for express check-out, room service, information on local events or other, it can even save 2 kg of paper every year for invoices, brochures, flyers and avoid an average of 10 phone calls per day for room service.

7. Indoor pollution, you don’t stand a chance. Checking whether your hotel uses advanced air purification technology, such as HEPA filters or ionisation systems, can not only improve air quality but reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, resulting in an average energy saving of 20 per cent each year.

8. LED it be. Ticking off the presence of LED lights in the hotel’s check list gives a sign of environmental awareness: these consume significantly less energy than conventional lights, allowing the hotel to reduce energy needs for lighting by up to 80%. In addition to LED lighting, the most eco-friendly hotels use solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable energy sources to cover a significant part of their energy needs.

So technology plays its part for the environment and for the well-being of people on the road. The pro level? There are ‘understanding’ algorithms: through neuroscience and AI, and thanks to special sensors installed in hotels, air and sleep quality and other indicators can be assessed, giving the hotelier an objective performance index of the guest experience. Through room automation, the host can dynamically adjust room conditions and maintain comfort at the highest possible level.

Bright Journey is a women’s empowerment project born from the passion of a group of female professionals to raise awareness among travellers and tourism operators of the importance of conscious choices for responsible tourism. The Bright Journey Women Ambassadors, constantly on the lookout for best cases in the hospitality sector, map the structures that implement eco-sustainable practices and use innovation technology systems, thus limiting the waste of resources. More information at:

The VDA Telkonet Group presents itself as the largest global player active in the development of EMS and GRMS solutions for the Hospitality market. The Group defines the future of the industry by putting the Person at the centre of smart technology development and ensuring the right balance between maximising comfort and saving energy. With around 1 million smart rooms installed in more than 50 countries, over 60 years of experience, two in-house R&D teams and 40 engineers with both hardware and software expertise, the Group demonstrates a deep understanding of the areas in which it operates and is the ideal strategic partner for the global hospitality market.

Media contact: Barbara Alvino