Green DUI: Developers Under the Influence
By Larry K. Kimball Director of Hotel Development, C. W. Clark, Inc. | February 12, 2010
Being under the influence is serious business but it seemed like a good idea at the time, your Honor! Just ignore the global excitement to protect the planet and simply avoid "green" themes in new hotel projects. It is only the latest trendy hotel fad, right? Wrong, your green future is now. The major brands are going about it differently but all have evolving sustainability and environmental initiatives. Like the lovely Hotel California where you check-in but can never check out, make more room in rehab because hotel developers without green-colored glasses are on the road to making impaired decisions.
Is Kermit Really Green?
Since overused words like "sustainability" and "green" mean different things to different people is their impact diluted and not relevant? Does it matter whether or not that you believe climate change is manmade and the result of excessive use of fossil fuels? The answer to both questions above is no. Personal opinion should be set aside as hotel developers are mistaken if they think green, whatever that is, can be ignored.
Individual emotional resonance to be "green" is growing (no pun intended) into a shared global experience as evidenced by the following recent new items:
- In the U.K., an executive won the right to sue his employer on the basis that he was unfairly dismissed for his green views after a judge ruled that environmentalism had the same weight in law as religious and philosophical beliefs(1).
- The European Union recently issued four warnings against Bulgaria for not protecting its national heritage largely because of the country's lack of environmental awareness evidenced by their "failure to bring Bulgarian nature legislation fully in line with European requirements.(2)" Bonus Travel Fact: The EU believes Bulgaria is home to 40 percent of Europe's protected habitats and almost 70 percent of its protected bird species.
- In the U.S., a consortium is developing Green Meeting and Events Voluntary Standards which will eventually be submitted for approval to standards-setting ASTM International and thereafter influence billions of dollars of meetings business.
- In 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) held its first-ever Sustainable Suite Design Competition which drew 65 contestants. The winning suite concept: "Haptik offers a multi-sensory lifestyle based on luxurious sustainability. The ethos is choreographed around individual moments that stimulate and inspire."
As Kermit said, "When green is all there is to be, it can make you wonder why, but why wonder? (3)"