May FOCUS: Eco-Friendly Practices

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.

This month's feature articles...

Federico Pilurzu

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas strives to protect the environment and educate guests about its importance, all while providing world-class service in a paradisiacal setting. Travelers are getting savvier and are taking into consideration their carbon footprint while booking their vacation and even business trips. They are also thinking about the impact they have on the local community with over tourism becoming an important global issue. Cala Luna is proud to hold the highest Sustainable Tourism certification (level five) from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Their sustainability efforts include solar energy, sustainably-farmed produce, bamboo straws, beach cleanups, and more. READ MORE

Dan Bornholdt

Sustainability is more than a buzz word; it is one of the most important issues currently facing our world. For hotels, it's doubly important because of its significant impact on the business' reputation and bottom line. This is why savvy hoteliers have turned their focus on making improvements to conserve energy and water. Sadly, towel & linen reuse programs have become so ubiquitous in hospitality that it has lost its meaning –or worse, it has gained a bad rap among clients don't understand them, see them as a marketing ploy or aren't informed enough about its underlying environmental cause. Do these programs really make a difference? Can they be done better? READ MORE

Ranjit Gunewardane

The most effective decisions regarding sustainability in a building facility are made in the early design and pre-construction stages. Traditional Computer Aided Design (CAD) planning environments, do not support the possibility of such early decisions. Energy and performance analysis are typically conducted, if at all, after the architectural design and construction documents have been produced. This lack of integration into the design process leads to an inefficient process of retroactively modifying the design to achieve a set of performance criteria. In order to assess building performance in the early design and pre-construction phases realistically, access to a comprehensive set of information regarding a building's form, materials, context, and technical systems is required. READ MORE

Taryn Tuss

Hotels that set ambitious sustainability goals must address unique infrastructure, operations, and purchasing challenges, often without a road map. Those that succeed find the effort is worthwhile, enjoying water, energy and cost savings, increases in corporate bookings, and higher staff morale. But to get there, staff report the need for technical training, access to local networks, and support systems for solving problems. Where to begin? In an interview with eco-certifier Green Seal, the Fairmont Chicago's Colleen Sweitzer offers a firsthand account from a property that has reaped significant business benefits from its sustainability achievements. READ MORE

Vicente Ferreyra Acosta

Thinking about the direct link between travel and environmental awareness can sometimes be a complex issue, given that there is little understanding of the impact of travel and the opportunities for tourists to leave a positive impact on destinations, although these opportunities are on the rise, they are minimal. This article explains a concrete and applicable example from the perspective of hospitality and how to travel sustainably, while generating environmental and social benefits. READ MORE

Nancy Loman Scanlon, Ph.D.

When I began this article on climate change resiliency practices it was not with the expectation of finishing it under a "stay in place" order with hotels and restaurants closed, parks and beaches cordoned off and overnight curfews. Today as I look out over a view of Miami Beach, all hotels are closed. In the downtown and airport areas of Miami some hotels are open, classed as essential. Tourism attractions are closed and six very large cruise ships are tied up to the docks in the Port of Miami. Whether land bound or floating, Miami's hotel and cruise industry has come to a halt with a huge question mark about when they may again open their doors and set sail. READ MORE

Jan Peter Bergkvist

We all know and feel deep down that living in harmony with nature is a better option than today's linear way of take – make – dispose in combination with our over consumption of yesterday's energy. Let's face it, the main barriers stopping us from going 100% sustainable are in our minds rather than in society as such. Steve Howard, former chief sustainability officer at IKEA said once that "100 percent sustainable is an easier goal than 80 percent or 50 percent, because once you set your mind to an ambitious goal, everyone gets on board and does what needs to be done." READ MORE

Matthew Lobach

According to a joint report published by the UN Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency, buildings and construction account for 39% of global energy-related emissions. Operationally, due to their setup of one day leases, hotels invite millions of people through their doors on an annual basis, and therefore have the opportunity to not only cater to guest needs in a sustainable way, but also align themselves with global strategies to engage and educate guests on how collective actions can pave the way for a sustainable, connected, and inclusive future. READ MORE

Steve Bowie

Technology affects every component of our daily lives, even as the executive of a hotel. From the front of house to the depths of the basement, there are opportunities to use technology to make improvements to your business, including one of the most overlooked areas: your hotel's laundry room and operations. There are three main ways the laundry game has changed: the invention of spray rinsing technology, optimum dryness level monitoring and cloud-based machine oversight. These features are changing the way hoteliers spend their time, manage their staff and generate increased revenue, both directly and indirectly. READ MORE

Marci Zaroff

Our responsibility in retail and hospitality is to extend the wellness lifestyle experience to guests in their home away from home. Offering a comfortable sanctuary to a variety of individuals with different expectations is no easy feat. There is, however, one key ingredient that is universal: a GOOD sleep. As hospitality providers, we have evaluated the appearance of everything that might impact a deep night's rest: blackout curtains, soundproof doors and plush bedding. Now, it's time to go beyond the surface to offer a truly healthy, holistic and restorative sleep experience-that's GOOD on every level. READ MORE

Amanda Hurley

Fortunately for the planet, the argument on whether or not hotels should "go green" is over. Now more than ever are hotels embracing environment conservation strategies. Aside from the typical linen reuse programs and energy efficient building features, hotels should look to embrace consumer trends in terms of food and beverage offerings that have a lower environmental impact. In this article, Amanda Hurley CHDM, Corporate Director of Marketing for broughtonHOTELS, explores the idea of hotel restaurants and F&B outlets offering plant-based menus and menu options in order to reduce their environmental impact, increase revenue, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. READ MORE

Theresa van Greunen

The importance of sustainability is an ongoing global conversation, and increasingly, consumers want to do business with companies focused on how to limit their environmental impact. This is especially true for the tourism industry. According to's Sustainability Travel Report, travelers have a growing interest in experiencing authentic local experiences and 56 percent of travelers are seeking environmentally-friendly hotels with amenities that can offset their vacation carbon footprints. Now more than ever, it's time for industry experts to make sustainability a focal point and act on this growing consumer need for eco-friendly options by engaging with the community and creating opportunities for guests to make responsible travel decisions. READ MORE

Federico Pilurzu

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas strives to protect the environment and educate guests about its importance, all while providing world-class service in a paradisiacal setting. Travelers are getting savvier and are taking into consideration their carbon footprint while booking their vacation and even business trips. They are also thinking about the impact they have on the local community with over tourism becoming an important global issue. Cala Luna is proud to hold the highest Sustainable Tourism certification (level five) from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Their sustainability efforts include solar energy, sustainably-farmed produce, bamboo straws, beach cleanups, and more. READ MORE

Glenn Hasek

As national and state governments propose and pass legislation eliminating single-use plastics from the waste stream, the global lodging industry, at the property, company or organization level, is taking its own action. Earlier this year, The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was formed and within the past year companies as large as Marriott, IHG, Accor and others have established policies around plastics ranging from straws to amenity bottles. What is clear is that consumers, as well as hoteliers, are growing tired of the problems associated with plastic-everything from tarnished reputations to ill health to tinier bottom lines. READ MORE

Sandy Murphy

At The Beverly Hilton, 2020 brings many reasons to celebrate. This year, the ionic hotel marks its 65th anniversary and remembers its storied past while remaining a sought-after destination that combines the glamour of Hollywood with prestige of Beverly Hills. Continuously re-imagining itself, The Beverly Hilton will also unveil a top-to-bottom $35 million renovation, which includes updates to our guestrooms, common spaces, CIRCA 55 restaurant and our legendary suites. As we embark on this new chapter, we continue to look at creative ways to reduce our environmental footprint, increase our social impact and create a better world to travel for generations to come, in alignment with Hilton's Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals. READ MORE

Joe Ogdie

Ideally situated minutes from Park City, The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, opened June 2019, is a 3,500-acre ranch in the Wasatch Mountain Range that invites travelers to leave the cares of the modern world behind and reconnect with nature through unmatched outdoor experiences offered on property year-round, from fly fishing on miles of private waters and mountain biking to shooting an 18-stand sporting clay course and horseback riding. Embodying a relaxed Western lifestyle – guests won't need to leave the resort to find adventure and learn to connect with the land. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the hospitality industry. Designers and Architects will be challenged to find ways to make guests feel comfortable, safe and free from exposure to pathogens, while at the same time creating an invigorating and meaningful hospitality experience. The new normal in hotel design will need to use touchless technology to overcome the inherent danger of virus spreading from potentially infected surfaces to guests and hotel staff. Advancements in smart phone applications, facial recognition, voice commands, motion detection, heat sensors and virtual reality will be employed to create an enduring sense of safety in the hospitality environment. READ MORE

Heidi Strommen

Hoteliers tasked with addressing risk management for both day-to-day operations of the hotel and for on-site restaurants have plenty to consider. Risk management for restaurants and bars is complex in its own right. For these businesses located on a hotel's premises, the risks are only amplified. Heidi Strommen, President of ProHost USA, a division of Distinguished Programs, examines the typical risks found in bars and restaurants, steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks and who is responsible for claims when an on-site restaurant and bar is a tenant of a hotel, rather than part of the hotel entity. READ MORE

David Kasprak

The hotel lobby has served the same basic purposes for hundreds of years: sustenance, socializing, and doing business. What has changed over time is the way we do all three. With recent technology strides, today's hotel lobby is transforming, and perhaps not in the way you might think. Travelers are forgoing the grand formality of the former heart of the hotel in exchange for something that feels like home. As we look back through time, we can see how innovation has shaped the evolution of the hotel lobby. Better yet, we can start to think about how it will continue to morph into the future. READ MORE

Cristian Rebolledo

Chef Cristian Rebolledo of The Harbor Club has worked alongside some of the world's most renowned chefs and at leading luxury properties in many destinations. With his thumb on the pulse of the hotel food & beverage industry, Chef Rebolledo shares an overview of some trends to watch for as the industry continues to play a leading role in the culinary world. From cross cultural fusions to purpose driven dining, he provides insights on how the hospitality industry continues to evolve its culinary offerings to attract visitors by catering to their lifestyles. READ MORE

Michael Raine

Guestroom unavailability is the dirge of owner/operators during hotel renovation. How quickly can rooms be put back online is the defining issue of renovation success. As the industry becomes more complex it is imperative, to ensure such success, that all project stakeholders (Client, Designer, Architect and the GC) take an active role in design. Design Assist framed within the world of Virtual Construction as opposed to competitive "Hard Bid" pricing allows for better teamwork, and opportunities for enhanced project management. In this article we explore how Design Assist works as an effective solution for all involved. READ MORE

David Ashen

Airports are being updated, particularly in the United States, but where does that leave airport hotels? David Ashen, President & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores the transformation of airport hotels from a pedestrian place to simply sleep into a luxury, five-star destination that travelers yearn to visit. In this piece, he looks at the trends that led to next-level airport hotels, the influence of chic airport lounges and more. Mr. Ashen shares some of his favorite examples of trendsetting airport hotels and ponders where we'll land in the years to come. READ MORE

David Harroch

The 4th Industrial Revolution is already here, but is coming with even greater force. There's a big need to get prepared so as not to get kicked out of the race. The only way forward is proactive adaption. It's real flexibility. This article helps you understand what the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about and how you can better position your business to get the good sides of the innovations. It primarily focuses on hotel groups, dealing with guest expectations and business model adaptation for better sustainability. Issues regarding the features of the innovations are also covered in the article. READ MORE

Bill Wilhelm

As the U.S. economy and travel and tourism industries continue to grow, builders across the nation are witnessing an uptick in hotel construction, renovation and development. From new sports venues and arena districts to an increased focus on secondary and tertiary markets and the growing demand for live-work-play destinations, hotel construction is on the rise and anticipated to reach the nation's highest count of development by 2021. Here's a look at how these trends are shaping the construction of hotel properties today and key strategies builders are applying to imagine vibrant destinations that foster economic growth for years to come. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives today are under a tremendous amount of pressure in today's global economy. This article is set in place to inspire hotel executives to authentically lead their hotels to meet and exceed the challenges of not only today but also what we see as an onset of new technological advances in the future. This article shows that the seven elements of authentic leadership can represent how hotel executives working in today's knowledge-based economy develop and manage intellectual capital in hotels throughout North American and the rest of the developed countries. READ MORE

Hicham Jaddoud

Hospitality has become a major industry and one of the most important social phenomena in the United States. The greatest perceived socio-economic impacts of the hospitality sector are increased employment, greater tax revenues to state and local governments, and growth in local retail sales. In this article, Hicham Jaddoud of North Star Mohican Casino uses a critical approach to demonstrate the positive contributions of the hospitality industry on local and regional communities. The article discusses the fiscal and induced contributions of the hospitality industry to local and regional communities, giving concrete examples of initiatives taken by hospitality firms to contribute to the local communities where they do business. READ MORE

Amber Natale

In today's noisy world, brands are on a constant quest for more attention. To accomplish this, we often hear people discuss trends and how to best utilize them. One reason to follow a trend may be because you're trying to fit in. However, do you have to necessarily follow suit? In this piece, Amber Natale of the integrated brand development agency Smarthinking Inc. takes a closer look at four questions you should ask yourself to build brands that will stand the test of time and minimize the inherent risk that following trends brings with them. READ MORE

Felicia Hyde

Research shows that the most successful companies worldwide have one thing in a common – a uniquely recognizable and memorable brand. So, as more and more travelers today seek unconventional travel experiences, hoteliers should consider how to uncover and successfully weave through a brand narrative that visitors and travelers alike can relate to and support. This includes an immersive experience that takes visitors through a hotel's brand narrative and nods to the region's history, locale and culture from space to space. Here's a look at key research and design practices hoteliers can apply to generate memorable and on-brand destinations. READ MORE

Ron  Mitchell

With a high turnover rate, the hospitality industry as a whole is struggling with how to recruit the right employees and increase worker retention. Ron Mitchell is an HR tech founder who is using data insights to help hospitality workers define career paths and goals. Recognizing two key industry trends - that hospitality provides more opportunities for career growth than most other industries, and that strong customer service skills make hospitality workers prime recruitment targets for other industries like healthcare and property management - Ron's answer for employers is to invest in their employees' personal career growth, so that when they're ready to grow, they'll grow with you. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

The hospitality industry is going through an extremely difficult time right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic – employees across the country are being laid off and furloughed daily. Whenever the country does make a return to normalcy, hospitality will need to have structures in place to gradually restore the industry. It's certainly not going to happen overnight. So, companies need to use this extended period of downtime to formulate a rebound strategy that will set them up for success, which includes cross utilization and managing several financial aspects that hotels will need to develop a firm understanding of during this downtime. READ MORE

Phil Cordell

In January, Hilton launched a new elevated yet approachable lifestyle brand, Tempo by Hilton. Developed upon the discovery of a whitespace in the market, Tempo by Hilton was thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of a burgeoning class of modern achievers. This rising demographic of ambitious and discerning travelers, increasingly uninspired with current offerings at their price point, is looking for a hotel experience that reflects their ambitious lifestyles and will help them continue being their best selves even on the road. With surprising artistic touches and offerings developed in partnership with leading lifestyle brands, Tempo by Hilton was created for the rhythm of life. READ MORE

Andrada Paraschiv

Your employees are your hotel's most valuable asset, and it's important to protect both them and your guests in times of crisis. Without a solid communication plan that accounts for frontline employees' needs, you run the risk of a chaotic internal environment, which ultimately leads to a negative guest experience. And in crisis situations - like a natural disaster, a live shooter situation, or public health threat - inconsistency or errors in communication can have far more serious and tragic repercussions. Use these three strategies to facilitate communication with frontline employees during a crisis. READ MORE

Coming up in December 2021...

Hotel Law: The Consequences of Covid-19

As might be expected, the Hotel Law profession is contending with all types of legal issues stemming from the effects of Covid-19. Nearly all hotel employers are being impacted, dealing with issues such as leaves of absence, workers' classification, discrimination disputes, arbitration agreements, and union relations. In addition, some hotels are being obligated to comply with new Covid-19 health and safety laws, pertaining to workplaces that pose a risk of "imminent hazard."  There are also legal issues surrounding workplace Covid testing, and quarantining and isolation requirements. Worker compensation issues are also a concern when employees may have contracted Covid at work. New laws are classifying these illnesses as "occupational injuries" and therefore eligible for benefits. Other non-Covid legal issues that are coming to the forefront  involve an uptick of lawsuits pertaining to the American Disabilities Act and, in some states, there has been an expansion of the Family Leave Act. These are just a few of the subjects that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will address in the area of Hotel Law.