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Jessica Blotter

Sustainability has become a deciding factor for individuals purchasing travel and accommodation and travel companies are adapting their offerings to meet their needs as reflected in the recently released 2019 Amadeus study: Making a Positive Impact on Travel. From reducing plastic in hotels, decarbonizing, and creating strategic partnerships that generate a positive community impact, Jessica Blotter, the founder of California-based KindTraveler explores 10 adoptable strategies today's hotelier can employ right away to not only advance sustainable travel in 2020, but also create marketing opportunities as well as reduce operating costs. READ MORE

Michael Hess

We live in a digital era fueled by connected devices and experiences. The Internet of Things (IoT) has completely transformed the way we live, work and play. This very concept funnels directly into the waste management industry. Enter the "internet of trash," where technology is designed to help you solve your waste and recycling challenges while making your program more efficient and sustainable for the long term. New innovations can help you keep your hotel waste program in tip-top shape and positively impact your bottom line. READ MORE

Willem Niemeijer

Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand is winning plaudits for its ecological best practice efforts. Located adjacent to Thailand's Khao Sok National Park – home to a magnificent rainforest ecosystem older than the Amazon – the lodge takes an innovative yet practical approach to sustainable tourism. Its back-of-house operations are built on simple, but effective, recycle, reduce, reuse policies and procedures. The lodge has also cultivated strong community relations with its neighbors. Its latest initiative is its Rainforest Rising project to return a palm oil plantation on its grounds to native forest cover. READ MORE

Megan Morikawa

Iberostar Group leads with purpose in its pursuit to set the standard for responsible tourism. Its commitment to preserving the environment and protecting the oceans surrounding its properties is consolidated through Wave of Change, Iberostar's pioneering initiative to move beyond plastics, promote the responsible consumption of seafood and improve coastal health. This year, the company opened a land-based coral lab in Dominican Republic to help protect essential ocean life from rising global temperatures in the future-and defend against a new fast-moving coral pandemic. Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company with more than 60 years of history. READ MORE

Michael Jacobson

Illinois hotels and their restaurant, banquet and spa outlets are – more than ever – dedicating resources to establish eco-friendly practices that aim to preserve our environment. There is an abundance of ways hotels are being mindful in their everyday business practices, including initiatives ranging from monitoring for energy and water efficiency to reducing plastics, crafting sustainable wine lists and even placing used furniture with those in need. As one of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association's core platforms, we explore how hotels nationwide can implement thoughtful, sustainable and turnkey practices as exemplified by others leading the way in this critical effort. READ MORE

Dave Llorens

Over the past few decades, the environmental movement in the U.S. has gained quite a bit of momentum and started to impact more facets of everyday life. Spurred on by the interconnectivity of the internet and social media, consumers have become more demanding of their favorite companies - they want those brands to echo their own social and environmental values. To prioritize the energy efficiency that consumers demand, companies will need to make some major changes. While overhauling your organization to be more environmentally friendly sounds daunting, these changes don't need to interrupt daily operations or break the bank. READ MORE

Michael Hess

Today, almost everything we use is driven by technology. This includes your hotel's waste management program: Enter the smart waste compactor. The goal of a compactor is to condense waste to optimize the space for everyday trash disposal. A smart waste compactor takes this the next level and delivers a real-time, cloud-based dashboard to give you the insights about your compactor you need to better understand your hotel's waste usage. We wanted to give you a rundown of the key benefits of a smart waste compactor on your hotel and how it can make your hotel's waste management program smarter. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

In today's political climate, taking strong stands can work for or against a business, just as it can for a Hollywood celebrity. While many consumers embrace brands that hold activist positions, there is an equal and opposite reaction for others. If you are a hotel brand, is corporate activism a good idea? This article will examine the arguments for and against it, including examples of hotel companies choosing to lead the charge – and four ways to consider taking action that could add value to your brand. READ MORE

Bill Duncan

What does it mean to be a sustainable hotel company? Saying you're green is one thing, but implementing developmental and operational strategies that truly work towards achieving a healthier planet is another. For Hilton, being a sustainable hotel company starts with development and continues throughout the entire lifespan of every property within our portfolio. We leverage innovative construction and design concepts to operate in more efficient and eco-friendly ways – from modular building, to utilizing sustainable building materials and focusing on brand standards that have helped us earn triple International Standards Organization (ISO) certification for our entire portfolio of 5,600+ hotels globally-the largest certified ISO portfolio in the world. Hilton has also developed a global Corporate Responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, with initiatives such as LightStay, Soap Recycling and much more in order to ensure our properties remain sustainable well past their opening date. Hilton hotels are cutting down their environmental footprints from the ground-up, from the inside-out, with every team member from the top-down involved in the effort. Here's how we are doing it. READ MORE

Michael Hess

When handling waste and recycling management, many hotel executives have likely come to realize that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about how to handle trash and recycling in the hospitality industry. The truth is, it can be difficult to determine what's fact and what's fiction. So, we wanted to set the record straight by addressing some of the common waste myths and misconceptions taking up precious, unwanted space between hotel owner and operators' ears – and provide hotel executives with the real truths that lie behind them. 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

Michael Hess

While some hotel executives may manage only one hotel operation, most owners and operators oversee hotel chains big and small. Executives have a large order of tasks, employees, guests and more to keep straight-all while keeping the bigger picture in mind to ensure steady revenue and growth. Having a cohesive data system is of utmost importance whether managing hotel chains or singular locations-from a revenue, profits, employee and guest standpoint. One area that often gets overlooked but can greatly impact your bottom line is waste management. READ MORE

Pete Pearson

Food waste wastes money. In the US alone, we waste more than $160 billion worth of food each year. Reducing waste is a perfect example of how more sustainable business practices can sustain people, planet, and prosperity all at the same time. The food waste debate often focuses on how to keep waste out of landfills by diverting it to people, animals or compost (in that order). That's a worthwhile goal, but it's not the best way to save money-or the planet. Rather, preventing food waste is the most effective way to save money and the environment. READ MORE

Michael Hess

A haven for road warriors, a temporary home for traveling families, a site for trade shows and conferences-hotels are all of these things and so much more. For most people, waste is waste no matter the shape or size and, in the end, it all winds up in the dumpster. But for the smart hotel owner and operator, that's not always the case. Working with a proper waste broker, knowing where your hotel waste comes from and identifying key areas to focus on can greatly increase your operational cleaning efficiencies while simultaneously reducing time and stress, and helping you save costs. While there is a myriad of facets to hotel waste management, here are four key areas of waste management that are worthy of immediate attention. READ MORE

Pete Pearson

The business case for reducing food waste is simple: Saving food saves money. WWF and other organizations have conducted research across dozens of different hotels that found curbing food waste delivers material returns on investment. In one three-year study, the average hotel reaped $7 for every dollar it invested in food waste reduction. WWF found that hotels could save money within weeks of implementing new food waste policies and practices. Hotels that addressed food waste also enjoyed improved staff morale and customer service. READ MORE

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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.