How Hotel Management Companies Identify & Implement Eco-Friendly Practices

By Tim Foley Vice President of Operations, Spire Hospitality | May 20, 2018

With green practices such as towel and linen reuse and recycling vestibules available in guestrooms considered point-of-entry for the environmentally-conscious traveler of today, Spire Hospitality often explores and encourages ways our properties can go well beyond the expected to decrease our environmental footprint while controlling costs through sustainable practices.

According to a March 2015 Cornell Hospitality Report, Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry, "…certain sustainability practices could be considered nearly universal in the lodging industry, based on a study of 100 resorts in the United States. Among the common green practices are water conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs… The study finds an increased willingness (of guests) to participate when hotels offer incentives, such as loyalty program points, for participating in environmental programs."

In today's travel environment, hotels and brands are expected to obligate ourselves to be socially responsible, and a management company overseeing a multitude of different brands has the opportunity to operate in such a manner. Managing a number of different branded properties challenges the Spire Hospitality leadership team to identify fitting programs which can be embraced across all brand flags, while showcasing a natural cost-savings benefit in addition to allowing each of our properties to be good stewards of our earth and their respective communities.

Annual management conferences and awards programs allow us to bring leadership teams together to share best green practices and recognize those properties going above-and-beyond in the environmental impact sector. Many years ago, Spire Hospitality adopted a number of corporate pillars to speak to our stewardship for both the earth and the communities in which our hotels call home. The impact of a few, focused initiatives has been significant and measurable, allowing us to showcase quantifiably significant results of implementing simple programs at multiple properties.

Three simple ways for management companies to 'Manage Green' include:

1. Think Beyond Renovating Green

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.