Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Popely

Deborah Popely

Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Management , Kendall College

Deborah Popely has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality field and more than 12 years' experience as a sustainability consultant and educator. She is currently Associate Professor at Kendall College's School of Hospitality Management, where she leads the curriculum for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and conducts research on global MICE industry issues. She recently traveled to China to participate in an international MICE conference and has written about the experience for academic and popular journals. Ms. Popely has significant experience in hospitality education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University. Ms. Popely is also the founding executive director of Green Events Source, a non-profit dedicated to increasing sustainability in the events and hospitality industries. A long-time leader in sustainable hospitality, Popely participated in the development and launch of the APEX-ASTM Sustainable Meetings Standard and founded the Green Meeting Industry Council Chicago Chapter. She published the Green Events Sourcebook, a multi-media guide to green meetings and events, from 2008- 2011, and in 2013 launched The Green Event App, an online sustainable supplier-selection tool for the meetings and events market. Ms. Popely has written extensively on green hospitality and related topics and has served as a presenter and keynote speaker for local, regional and national industry organizations. These include the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality and Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Destination Marketing Association (DMAI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). Ms. Popely has significant experience in sustainability education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University.

Ms. Popely can be contacted at 312-752-2216 or Deborah.popely@kendall.edu

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.