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Ken Hutcheson

As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier's worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entranceways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it's time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

To keep up with brand standards, hoteliers know they need to invest in renovating their hotel's interior every two years. Just as a hotel's interior features begin to age, the landscape also begins to show signs of aging and looks tired overtime. One of the biggest mistakes hotel property owners and managers make, however, is investing an immense amount of time and money into a lifeless landscape. In order to collaborate effectively, hoteliers should think about their long-term and short-term goals so they can invest wisely. This will also help determine which contractors they will need to involve at various points in their plan. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

To help decrease the drought in California, the state has required that all agricultural suppliers be in compliance with the 2015 agricultural water management plan (AWMP) guidebook. But even with the new regulations and management practices in place, drought continues to harm those living on the West Coast. According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year's drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

The 2014-2015 winter season impacted thousands of people nation-wide. While those in the Northeast were hit with snowstorm after snowstorm (or blizzard after blizzard if you lived in Boston) and below average temperatures, folks in the South (i.e. Atlanta) found themselves in a state of emergency. If The Old Farmer's Almanac 2015-2016 prediction mirrors last year's forecasts, hoteliers must be ready for anything that winter throws at them. Whether it's winterizing your hotel's irrigation systems, fertilizing your landscape for spring, creating a snow and ice management plan, or getting your hotel ready for the holidays, there's much work to be done before the end of the year. Read on...

Carl Kish

At the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego in June, Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability for Target took the stage and said "When the CEO of Target is talking about the importance of sustainability in everything Target does, sustainability has officially become mainstream". She's right. Not only is sustainability now a mainstream business imperative, the hospitality industry is being told it needs to make sustainability changes to survive. Deloitte's 2015 Hospitality report Game Changers or Spectators was anything but ambiguous in its assessment that "Sustainability will become a defining issue for the industry in 2015 and beyond … sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry, rather than regarded as a stand alone issue". Read on...

Larry Gillanders

We have seen it all over the Internet and the news stations: California is facing its fourth year in a drought, and it is affecting every resident and every business in the state. The economic and financial consequences could be disastrous if water conservation strategies are not implemented immediately, and the state has promptly mandated that everyone do so. The hotel industry is one of the country's biggest users of clean water, out of all types of commercial and institutional facilities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Unsurprisingly, most water is used for bathrooms, laundry, landscaping and kitchens. This is the perfect opportunity to take heed of the moment and reduce your property's water usage. Read on...

Carl Kish

As the only hotel on Oahu's Fabled North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort takes its role in preserving and enhancing the North Shore's rich Hawaiian culture, surfing heritage, and fragile ecosystems very seriously. Since 2010, the resort has been transformed under the leadership of Replay Resorts and has significantly raised the bar in terms of sustainability best practices by introducing two conservation easements totalling 1,134 acres, green roof installations, rooftop solar panels, and integrating authentic Hawaiian culture into every facet of the operation. Read on...

Rebecca Hawkins

For many hotel businesses, measurement of energy, waste and water is a hit and miss affair. Those businesses that have developed effective procedures to 'hit' the resource measurement button have found that they can use their knowledge of resource consumption patterns to drive impressive cost and environmental savings. Those that have 'missed' have found their organizations mired in targets that cannot be met, staff who are not motivated and customers who are unconvinced by claims of sustainable practice. Read on...

Deborah Popely

As sustainable hospitality matures as a business discipline, hotel executives are increasingly called upon to evaluate, document and justify investments in sustainability and assess whether they add value to bottomline. This requires mastering the "3Ms" of sustainability: Measurement, Management and Monetization. This article explores some of the challenges hotel executives face in these three domains, and makes recommendations about the talents, tools and training needed to address them. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Water conservation has long been a key sustainability mandate for businesses. It is clear all businesses must do their part to reduce water consumption, not only for sustainability and the greater good but also for the good of their local communities and the longevity of their businesses. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

If you don't measure it, you don't manage it. If you don't manage it, you can't change it. No one is more aware of the wisdom of these adages than hotel operators, who measure many expenses on a cost per occupied room night basis. Yet this is generally not the case for their hotel owned or on-premise (OPL) laundry costs. Shouldn't it be? Improved laundry practices can reduce a hotel's carbon footprint and boost the bottom line, important objectives amid intensifying sustainability mandates. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Of all the challenges facing hotel management teams, linen loss may sound minor. Yet wasted linen is a tangible problem that affects a hotel's bottom line. Left unchecked, it can waste hotel resources and create crises that leave guests dissatisfied and staff frustrated. If controlled, it can generate savings, both of money and staff time. When we talk about linen loss in hotels, we're talking about the approximately 15 to 20 percent of linen products that are lost or discarded before the end of their useful life. That adds up. At approximately $250 per room for a four par of basic sheets and towels, linen purchases cost the hospitality industry $1.25 billion per year. If we factor in premium items like duvet covers, pillow shams and bath robes, that estimate goes up to $350 per room or $1.75 billion. That means the cost of replacing lost linen is between $50 and $70 per room, or between $2.5 million and $3.5 million industry-wide. Read on...

Marky Moore

In 2009, facing environmental crises such as pollution and resource scarcity, the City of Los Angeles embarked on a mission to encourage local hotels to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. With the help of several municipal agencies, the city launched the LA Green Lodging Program, which seeks to promote hotels that voluntarily green their operations. By adopting Earth-conscious practices and attaining certification through the LA Green Lodging Program, hotels will be rewarded with cost savings through lower utility expenses, promotional efforts by the program and its partners, increased bookings, and financial assistance that will outweigh the upfront costs associated with going green. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

In today's 24/7 interconnected media world, sustainability (or conservation or greening) and public relations go hand-in-hand. In recent years, environmentalism has move from a being fringe issue to becoming a mainstream issue. Whether driven by the bottom-line, government policy, or consumer sentiment, sustainability is at the forefront of most - if not all -- our collective business decisions. And it has moved from being desirable to being necessary for successful property management too. Is this article, find six tips for optimizing your PR green strategy Read on...

Simon Hudson

To investigate how hotel chains can better align policy and practice, we interviewed a local hotel management team that had recently overseen the construction of a hotel while simultaneously pursuing enfranchisement and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. We found that despite the franchise company itself advocating sustainability, the hotel management faced challenges in terms of brand standards, staff training and technological support, although they ultimately succeeded in their pursuit of third party certification. Read on...

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Coming up in 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.