A Look at Green Legislation, Nearly One Year into the New Administration

By Jim Poad Director of Client Solutions, Advantage IQ | November 18, 2009

Obama’s election to the presidency came with the promise of sweeping policy change. A point of focus for the new administration was the climate; protecting it from the dangerous emissions that are released into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.

Now nearly one year into the President’s first term, the new administration has taken action that is considered long overdue by many. They have introduced legislation that will regulate the release of greenhouse gases (GHG). The US is the last industrialized, developed country to address regulating these gases and was only recently overtaken by China as the largest GHG emitter in the world.

These new environmental protection policies come in the form of the Climate Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on June 29, 2009. The legislation is designed to reduce the US carbon emissions by 17% (from 2005 levels) by 2020. It is believed that this bill will become law in the fall of 2009.

As the bill currently sits, there are three primary ways this legislation will impact businesses.

Power Prices/CO2e Emissions

Facilities that emit greater than 25,000 tonnes of carbon per year will be regulated. Primarily, these include electrical generators, refineries, chemical, metal, and cement plants. Those businesses below that mark will see the trickle down effect; higher energy costs resulting from the money those larger emitters must spend to clean up their production process.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.