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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.