May FOCUS: Eco-Friendly Practices

May, 2019

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50% over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. 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.

This month's feature articles...

David Quintana

To attract modern holidaymakers, hotel operators must offer not only a top-notch complex, amenities and services, but a unique and sustainable experience that cares for the local culture, environment and people. David Quintana, vice president of strategy and development at Grupo Xcaret, explores these new challenges facing the hospitality and tourism industry. As the Mexican company's lead architect, he faced this very question when designing and building the first hotel in one of the company's popular ecotourism parks in the Mexican Caribbean. The hotel had to be both eco-friendly and luxurious if it was to be successful, and that's no easy feat for any architect. READ MORE

Jeff Clark

The hotel industry is taking great steps to improve the sustainability of their businesses, but onsite dining might be inadvertently overlooked. Restaurants are complex businesses and improving the environmental performance of foodservice can be challenging, oftentimes because of this complexity. Should you start with sustainable food sourcing or plant-based burgers? What about replacing old equipment with their Energy Star qualified equivalents? What about cage-free eggs, or LED lighting, or demand-controlled ventilation? You can quickly get bogged down in decision paralysis. Learn about four ideas to get started on your restaurant sustainability journey from the National Restaurant Association's Jeffrey Clark. READ MORE

Anna Zora

Six Senses Zil Pasyon is nestled in the lush vegetation of Felicite. Staying true to its core value of sustainability the resort is committed to have responsible operations and with a Sustainability team on site, it strives to preserve the surrounding natural habitat and nature. This includes marine projects as well as island rehabilitation, while efforts are made in collaboration with the local community and NGOs. Raising awareness among hosts and the local communities has also played a key role in the success of these projects which are all driven by the goal of eventually reaching zero waste. READ MORE

Apurv Johari

Heating and cooling represent almost 40 percent of the electricity and more than half of the natural gas used by hotels and motels. Utility fees are a variable expense that have a direct impact on property profitability. This makes minimizing utility costs a goal for most hotel operators. An equally important goal for operators is providing a comfortable environment for guests. Optimizing guestroom energy efficiency while creating a comfortable environment can reduce energy expenses and increase property revenue. This article examines effective strategies, practices and systems that hotel operators can use to lower utility costs and deliver a more comfortable guest experience. READ MORE

Rick Skinker

This article details how hotels can reduce and control the costs of water, sewer and energy and improve and maintain guest satisfaction. It describes the importance of Balanced Flows and why most hotels don't have them and don't know they don't have them. The elements that drive actual flow rates in showers and sinks are discussed in a way that clarifies their importance to understand why most hotels have unbalanced flows. Because water, sewer and energy rates are rising all over the globe, it is becoming more important for owners and managers to understand what can be done so that they do not continue to waste more water and costs. READ MORE

Jan Peter Bergkvist

What if… the transformation to sustainability is happening right now? In a recent global survey, a majority (69%) of the 1500+ participating top executives stated that their organizations are integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their business strategy. Young people are taking to the streets inspired by the Swedish 15 year old activist Greta Thunberg, and in March this year students at 2052 places in 123 countries participate in this grassroots protest against the lack of powerful initiative to fight climate change, by us grownups. Great things are happening in all corners of the world, - What if, this is the start of the change of a paradigm that we see right now; and could it be a good idea to be prepared and part of the solution? READ MORE

Bill Meade

Bali's international reputation as a leading tourism destination has come under a growing threat – plastic waste on beaches and in popular dive sites. Bali Province, consisting of the main island of Bali and several small neighboring islands, accounts for approximately 40% of all of Indonesia's international visitors. The growing numbers of foreign and domestic visitors as well as the prevalence of single use plastics is challenging Bali's the waste management infrastructure. Well publicized videos, visitor photos and media coverage have drawn international, national and local authorities' attention and call to action. The hotel industry, local entrepreneurs and community-based and charitable organizations have initiated beach and ocean clean-up, plastic recycling, education and awareness campaigns while looking for longer term solutions. READ MORE

Gaynor Reid

The tourism industry relies on the beauty of nature and its creatures to attract visitors, but at the same time the industry is creating negative impacts through the over-use of single-use plastics. With some predicting that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight in the next 30 years, the time for action is now. With 4700 hotels globally and more than 1000 in Asia Pacific, Accor is doing its bit to act sustainably by committing to reducing its use of plastics and signing on to the WWF PACT: Plastic ACTion. READ MORE

James Gieselman

Resilience can mean a lot of things to different people. In the real estate world, resilience is becoming a much talked-about topic relating to the ability of a building to withstand environmental threats. Understanding what those threats are, their magnitude, and their likelihood of occurrence are all part of the assessment of building resilience. While the topic itself can be depressing, resilience should be viewed as something to be embraced. Knowing the worst threats your building faces and its chances for surviving those threats will have a big impact on your long-term planning. READ MORE

Jackie Collins

What makes a hotel eco-friendly? While there are numerous green certifications a hotel can earn, a hotel that works to minimize its impact on the natural environment through any number of green efforts can proclaim itself eco-friendly. Everything from installing water efficient toilets to starting composting programs falls under the eco-friendly category. So, if a hotel is considering exploring some environmentally friendly actions, who should they call? An insurance broker might not seem like the first person a hotel should contact when considering green efforts, but having the right insurance coverage in place ahead of time will not only help the hotel with its plans to go green, but might even help save some green in the process. READ MORE

Katarina Tesarova

The unintentional outcomes of meeting and exceeding guest expectations can come in different shapes and forms. However, there are not many that involve economic, environmental and social impacts all nicely bundled together as the issue of food waste. Many tried to find a solution, but there is no silver bullet for now. However, that should not take away from the number of initiatives, technologies and projects that have been successfully carried out in many hotels and restaurants. Exploring the clever ways people and organizations looked to tackle this challenge only underscores the complex nature of food waste in hospitality. READ MORE

Suzanne  Owens

Welcoming the new generation of cooktops into hospitality follows the technological progression over the past twenty years to move from coil cooktops, to ceramic cooktops, to the new induction cooktops being introduced into the marketplace. Each iteration has improved the sustainability profile of the cooking equipment, while also improving the safety for both the user and the facility, but has been met with challenges based on costs per key. This article will provide detailed calculations of the savings attributable to sustainably selected cooktops used in the extended stay segment as an example of the fiscal benefits to socially responsible green product selection. READ MORE

Douglas  Gatlin

With the link between health and sustainability going mainstream, travelers increasingly expect hotels to include health and wellness features along with their environmental commitments. Forward-looking hotels are capturing this market with initiatives that reach both to the front and the back of the house, enlisting employees in a mission that contributes to a better guest experience and a positive workplace culture. From air-quality improvements to the use of greener cleaning chemicals to sourcing local food, Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin shares how industry-leading hotels are prioritizing health and wellness for both guests and associates -- and reaping business rewards. READ MORE

Eric Ricaurte

The boundless ocean provides a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fish. But this is untrue, and statistics are showing - an overwhelming 85 percent of fisheries have been fully exploited or overfished. If the trajectory continues, seafood stocks may collapse altogether by 2048. An increasing number of hotels and chains have committed to sourcing their seafood sustainably. In fact, seven in ten claim to have sustainable seafood purchasing policies according to a survey by Green Lodging Trends Report 2018. Here, we explain what sustainable seafood is all about and provide the steps for hotels to implement their own sustainable seafood programs. READ MORE

Ewald Biemans

There are more than one million hotels in the world. As hoteliers, we can help prevent further global warming and therefore climate change, which is the biggest global issue among us. The enormity of the problem can make individual efforts seem miniscule. However, with one million hotels having the opportunity to make an impact, the change can be monumental, and it will need to be especially since everyone has contributed to it. Discover easy-to-implement, practical solutions while preparing your property for more complex sustainability initiatives in the shared responsibility to prevent further global warming. READ MORE

Marci Zaroff

In recent years, humanity has entered a stage of awakening-what I have labeled an ECOrenaissance. This rebirth in thinking is elevating our awareness of what stimulates, fulfills and resonates within. We can't ignore this shift in society; it drives enormous change in all aspects of living-travel included. The ECOrenaissance movement is marked by five pillars: Creativity, Connection, Collaboration, Community and Consciousness. These elements weave themselves through every shift we can observe in the hospitality sector. As humanity wakes up, so must all aspects of our businesses. We are no longer solitary providers of accommodation, dining and entertainment: we are holistic partners with our ever-evolving guests. READ MORE

Taryn Holowka

With the practice of green building having been around for several decades, the business and environmental benefits that green hotels can offer are becoming more widely understood within the hospitality industry. A lesser known advantage of green hotels is the host of benefits for employees and the people within the hotels. In fact, "people" are one of the three pillars in the triple bottom line of green building: people, planet and profit. Known as one of the most resource-intensive building types and conventionally believed to be one of the more reluctant to join the green movement, the hospitality industry is making strides in the green building world. READ MORE

Ann Brown

With a focus on holistic wellness that extends from their clients to their company to the overall environmental, spas often keep sustainability at the center of their mission, and that intentional focus on how products, services and practices affect the world around us can serve as a great jumping-off point for hotels and resorts looking to implement eco-friendly practices on a larger scale. Learn how to tap into your spa's sustainable practices, and be inspired by amazing properties that are helping to shape the way we define our corporate responsibility to the planet. READ MORE

Glenn Hasek

Thanks to entrepreneurs whose focus is on waste reduction and energy and water conservation, hoteliers are finding it much easier to cut costs while maintaining a five-star guest experience. Because of advancements in solar technology by a well-known maker of electric automobiles, the day of the net zero hotel is here. Yet another innovator has developed recyclable linens. Others have found ways to more easily recover "waste" heat. Still others have married guestroom energy management technology with voice command systems to make temperature change or lighting adjustments as easy as a "hello". READ MORE

Jeff Johnson

Sustainable practices are something nearly every venue strives to implement as responsible community partners. They can also be a selling point for planners and guests who want their event to have a positive impact. A truly effective program takes planning, measurable results, and above all, employee buy-in. It generally falls on employees to implement a comprehensive sustainability program, and the question becomes, how do you motivate employees to take on additional work? At the Minneapolis Convention Center, we found the way to create a culture of sustainability was to put our employees first. READ MORE

Apurva Chamaria

It is challenging task to manage rate parity. A lot of effort is required to track cracks in rate parity, especially for enterprise hotel. Current market subtleties require that hoteliers move much beyond detecting breaches and focus on implementing manners to not only report breaches, but take measures to put a stop to rate disparities and also avert them in the future. In this article learn how to avoid revenue damages caused by breach of rate parity. Know what kind of rate parity tools are modern and learned hotel revenue managers investing in to stay up in the game. READ MORE

Paul Bennie

Hospitality professionals have come to recognize the tremendous value of quickly identifying performance trends in order to maximize efficiency, resources, profitability and guest satisfaction. Yet despite its many advantages, data management has long been associated with the time-consuming and error-prone use of manual spreadsheets. However, advances in technology are now providing hoteliers with the ability to seamlessly integrate data from an array of disparate systems, with real time and accurate information always instantly available. This article discusses how new cloud-based platforms are providing hoteliers with the ability to anticipate their business environment while providing the means to implement sound business strategies. READ MORE

Michael Driedger

Modern travelers are looking for more than just a hotel room and a place to lay their head. Accommodation is becoming a larger factor in the overall travel experience and guests are looking for elements that offer outstanding experiences worth sharing with their networks. As the expectations of travelers and the offerings accompanying modern accommodation is changing rapidly, establishments must start looking to the future and preparing for rising guest assumptions and requirements. Brands are using technology and intuitive design to streamline operations, conserve costs and impress guests, earning themselves top reviews for overall experience. READ MORE

Lisa Ross

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a part of everyday life and is still growing at an astonishingly rapid rate. Consumers live in smart homes and work in smart offices, so it should come as no surprise that this revolutionary technology has made its way into the hospitality realm. Hotel marketers are rapidly identifying ways to put AI into widespread use. In this article, you will learn how AI impacts hotel marketing and what hoteliers can do to transform how they operate, maximize processes and interact with guests for increased satisfaction and loyalty. READ MORE

Brian Morris

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa brings luxury to the Texas Hill Country by offering guests outdoor adventure, golfing paradise, spa rejuvenation and a true escape. Conveniently located a short drive from San Antonio International Airport and downtown, the resort boasts 1,002 recently refreshed guest rooms, two 18-hole PGA TOUR TPC golf courses, a 9-acre water park, over 280,000 square feet of meeting and event space, five on-site restaurants and a full-service spa and wellness center. Whether guests are visiting to connect, meet, stay, play or refresh, the JW Marriott San Antonio has on-site amenities to meet every need. READ MORE

Michael Hess

As a hotel owner and operator, you must consistently stay on top of new trends and regulations for your properties-and how those factors can impact every part of your business. One area of new territory many U.S. hotel executives are dealing with is handling organics. Dealing with organics in an effective way is quickly becoming not only a requirement across most of the country, but a new fresh idea that can produce economic and environmental savings across all your hotel operations. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Guest satisfaction data, while critical, will do little to increase intent to return and recommend if an operator lacks the ability to view it in the context of other key aspects of the hotel's business. Today's hotelier must break down the departmental silos that have traditionally assigned guest satisfaction to marketing, employee engagement to human resources and productivity to operations, to gain a holistic view of the factors impacting the guest experience and, ultimately, drive business. READ MORE

Jerry Merriman

The Statler opened in 1956 as a 1001-room hotel, convention center, and gathering place for the "Who's Who" to lodge when visiting Dallas. Notable guests include Conrad Hilton, Coco Chanel, Liberace, Tony Bennett, The Jackson 5, and Tina Turner. The hotel had its last occupancy in 2001 and was listed on the National Park Service "Top Ten Most Endangered Building" list. After many failed redevelopment attempts, Centurion American acquired The Statler and historically renovated and reimagined the building as a true mixed-use project. The building now features a 159-room Curio Collection hotel and 219 luxury rental apartments and was recently inducted into Historic Hotels of America. READ MORE

Heidi Dennis

Over the past 33 years, I have been privileged to work in just about every hotel department imaginable – in desirable locations all over the world. Each experience helped grow my knowledge of the industry and most importantly, fueled my passion. As many in this industry can relate, with this passion comes great respect for what individualizes a hotel and its experience. As General Manager of the beautiful Pelican Grand Beach Resort – one of the only true beachfront, boutique resorts on Fort Lauderdale beach – there is so much about this property that drives me as a hospitality leader and inspires our guests daily. READ MORE

Derrick Garrett

Just as the days of endless, tasteless buffets are gone from the all-inclusive resort experience, so are the endless, thoughtless playlists that come from the on-property sound systems. The à la carte restaurant approach that has become common place at all-inclusive hotels needs to be applied to music in the hotel industry. We'll take a look at how much music has evolved in the hospitality world and what needs to happen for it to come full circle as part of the branding and upfront story. Music is an important driver when it comes to the guest experience and the bottom line. READ MORE

Andrew Simmons

Hotels, much like any other consumer product, can differ drastically from one another. While hotels used to attempt to cater to the traveler simply seeking a place to sleep at night, they must now cater to a wide range of demographics with varying needs and wanted elements in a hotel. Leisure travel is becoming increasingly multigenerational, which can be attributed to the changing dynamic of the American household. The hospitality industry is being pushed towards a more inclusive and experiential design, allowing those of all ages and backgrounds to experience and enjoy all that the local environment has to offer. READ MORE

Shelley Maher

What impact does revenue management really have on sales? Are the two departments separate pieces or can they work together to optimize every revenue stream? How can these two departments, with similar but unidentical goals, collaborate to maximize a hotel's success? With specific examples, top tips and expert advice, Marcela Trujillo and Shelley Maher of Total Customized Revenue Management (TCRM) present a thorough analysis of revenue management and sales and explore both the benefits and the challenges that arise from a strategic partnership. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

The expectation for a travel experience to mimic at-home smart capabilities is coming fast, and it's only a matter of time before all hotel guests expect to be able to simply speak a directive to order room service, request valet bring their car, or adjust the temperature. Now is the time for brands to embrace building a strategy for voice search and utilizing smart speakers in-room. Discover the key challenges and opportunities that voice technology presents and what its popularity could mean for the travel and hospitality industry. READ MORE

Nancy Brown

Disaster resilience is a multifaceted concept that requires an understanding of specific qualities and characteristics of a sector in order to develop measures and predictors of resilience. A review of literature across related disciplines was the foundation for the development of the Disaster Resilience Framework for Hotels (DRFH) which provides the hotel sector with a starting point to assessing and better understanding what disaster resilience is for hotels by identifying predictors of disaster resilience. The DRFH breaks down disaster resilience by capital resources to provide a comprehensive look at predictors of resilience and multiple ways to approach building resilience for hotels. READ MORE

Katharine Le Quesne

If they aren't already the no.1 market for foreign travellers in your country, Chinese tourists soon will be. Generating 162 million outbound trips in 2018, China is not only the largest source market in the world, it is also the fastest growing. Hoteliers, owners, asset managers are you "China ready"? Do you have a strategy for what could be your most significant source market, in terms of guest volume and value? This article covers current trends, forecasts and thinking around the future of Chinese outbound travel. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

Love it or despise it, technological change is constant in our modern existence and professional lives-and the rate of change is exponential. Consider that by the year 2000 around two billion gigabytes of data had been amassed worldwide. Now, less than two decades later, that same amount of data is generated on a daily basis. Keeping up with the pace of change is hard. Adopting and implementing the latest technology requires an agile business culture. And culture is the key word. The greatest obstacle to your successful change isn't the technology you use-it is, first and foremost, a people challenge. READ MORE

Miranda  Kitterlin-Lynch, Ph.D.

In the United States, women represent the majority in both hospitality and tourism operations and academic programs, yet are sorely underrepresented in high level positions. The prevalence of sexual harassment in the industry adds an even greater challenge to the female professional in terms of navigating the workplace and road to advancement. While not a new phenomenon, the Me Too movement has brought the issue to the forefront and forced us to ask a question that may not have otherwise received such substantial and international attention: How do our female leaders make it to the top in a #MeToo world? READ MORE

Gino  Engels

It is no secret that hoteliers are looking to increase direct bookings to mitigate against rising distribution costs. As cost inflation has pushed direct booking to the top of most hotels' priority lists, hotels are pursuing more business through the lower-cost direct channel, in an all-out effort to preserve the profitability of each booking. In this article, Gino Engels, CCO and co-founder at OTA Insight, discusses 10 essential tactics-such as enhancing your booking experience, segmenting your guest lists, properly forecasting demand, and more-that you can employ to produce more direct business and increase your hotel's revenue per available room. READ MORE

Coming up in July 2023...

Hotel Spa: Reconnecting With Nature

Hotel spas have never been so popular. The global wellness market is estimated to be in excess of $1.5 trillion with an annual growth rate of 5 to 10 percent. Consequently, spas are continually developing new programs, products, tools, and environments to meet the needs of guests who are seeking total body health and wellness. One trend that spas are embracing is a multiplicity of ways to reconnect with nature. Spas are moving beyond the “garden” model and going deeper into the countryside and forest, providing immersion in a wilder natural setting. Wild swimming, forest bathing, foraging, outdoor massage, and hiking trails are concepts that are being designed into the spa journey. Some hotels have built individual cabins deep in the forest for sauna, bathing and massage treatments, and others are offering bedroom suites which are located in cabins or tree houses away from the main hotel. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these and other developments, and how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.