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.

Library Archives

Rick Skinker

This article details how hotels can reduce and control the costs of water, sewer and energy and improve and maintain guest satisfaction. It describes the importance of Balanced Flows and why most hotels don't have them and don't know they don't have them. The elements that drive actual flow rates in showers and sinks are discussed in a way that clarifies their importance to understand why most hotels have unbalanced flows. Because water, sewer and energy rates are rising all over the globe, it is becoming more important for owners and managers to understand what can be done so that they do not continue to waste more water and costs. READ MORE

Jan Peter Bergkvist

What if… the transformation to sustainability is happening right now? In a recent global survey, a majority (69%) of the 1500+ participating top executives stated that their organizations are integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their business strategy. Young people are taking to the streets inspired by the Swedish 15 year old activist Greta Thunberg, and in March this year students at 2052 places in 123 countries participate in this grassroots protest against the lack of powerful initiative to fight climate change, by us grownups. Great things are happening in all corners of the world, - What if, this is the start of the change of a paradigm that we see right now; and could it be a good idea to be prepared and part of the solution? READ MORE

Bill Meade

Bali's international reputation as a leading tourism destination has come under a growing threat – plastic waste on beaches and in popular dive sites. Bali Province, consisting of the main island of Bali and several small neighboring islands, accounts for approximately 40% of all of Indonesia's international visitors. The growing numbers of foreign and domestic visitors as well as the prevalence of single use plastics is challenging Bali's the waste management infrastructure. Well publicized videos, visitor photos and media coverage have drawn international, national and local authorities' attention and call to action. The hotel industry, local entrepreneurs and community-based and charitable organizations have initiated beach and ocean clean-up, plastic recycling, education and awareness campaigns while looking for longer term solutions. READ MORE

Scott Hale

If you're like most hoteliers, you're always on the lookout for ways to differentiate your venue and enhance your Team and Guest experience. You've got things that you'd like to start doing, things that you'd like to stop doing, and things that you'd like to do better. Is spending on yes in your plans? If it's not, it should be. If you spend on yes, you'll transform your venue. You'll demonstrate to your Team and your Guests that you value and trust them. Assessing your yes will get you off to a good start. Next, empowering your Team to seamlessly spend on yes will better serve your guests and ensure that they enjoy a truly memorable experience worth sharing and repeating. READ MORE

Shayne Paddock

If every answer to a complicated guest request is that it requires the approval of management then the opportunity to have a personalized guest experience is lost! Empowered employees who are trusted to say yes in the moment become engaged employees and take ownership of the guest's overall satisfaction. When you empower your staff and give them the tools and processes they need to succeed they will feel like leaders in your organization and that they are contributing to the overall success of the hotel. Engaged hotel staff results in higher guest satisfaction and ultimately higher profits. READ MORE

Gaynor Reid

The tourism industry relies on the beauty of nature and its creatures to attract visitors, but at the same time the industry is creating negative impacts through the over-use of single-use plastics. With some predicting that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight in the next 30 years, the time for action is now. With 4700 hotels globally and more than 1000 in Asia Pacific, Accor is doing its bit to act sustainably by committing to reducing its use of plastics and signing on to the WWF PACT: Plastic ACTion. READ MORE

James Gieselman

Resilience can mean a lot of things to different people. In the real estate world, resilience is becoming a much talked-about topic relating to the ability of a building to withstand environmental threats. Understanding what those threats are, their magnitude, and their likelihood of occurrence are all part of the assessment of building resilience. While the topic itself can be depressing, resilience should be viewed as something to be embraced. Knowing the worst threats your building faces and its chances for surviving those threats will have a big impact on your long-term planning. READ MORE

Jackie Collins

What makes a hotel eco-friendly? While there are numerous green certifications a hotel can earn, a hotel that works to minimize its impact on the natural environment through any number of green efforts can proclaim itself eco-friendly. Everything from installing water efficient toilets to starting composting programs falls under the eco-friendly category. So, if a hotel is considering exploring some environmentally friendly actions, who should they call? An insurance broker might not seem like the first person a hotel should contact when considering green efforts, but having the right insurance coverage in place ahead of time will not only help the hotel with its plans to go green, but might even help save some green in the process. READ MORE

Katarina Tesarova

The unintentional outcomes of meeting and exceeding guest expectations can come in different shapes and forms. However, there are not many that involve economic, environmental and social impacts all nicely bundled together as the issue of food waste. Many tried to find a solution, but there is no silver bullet for now. However, that should not take away from the number of initiatives, technologies and projects that have been successfully carried out in many hotels and restaurants. Exploring the clever ways people and organizations looked to tackle this challenge only underscores the complex nature of food waste in hospitality. READ MORE

Suzanne Owens

Welcoming the new generation of cooktops into hospitality follows the technological progression over the past twenty years to move from coil cooktops, to ceramic cooktops, to the new induction cooktops being introduced into the marketplace. Each iteration has improved the sustainability profile of the cooking equipment, while also improving the safety for both the user and the facility, but has been met with challenges based on costs per key. This article will provide detailed calculations of the savings attributable to sustainably selected cooktops used in the extended stay segment as an example of the fiscal benefits to socially responsible green product selection. READ MORE

Douglas Gatlin

With the link between health and sustainability going mainstream, travelers increasingly expect hotels to include health and wellness features along with their environmental commitments. Forward-looking hotels are capturing this market with initiatives that reach both to the front and the back of the house, enlisting employees in a mission that contributes to a better guest experience and a positive workplace culture. From air-quality improvements to the use of greener cleaning chemicals to sourcing local food, Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin shares how industry-leading hotels are prioritizing health and wellness for both guests and associates -- and reaping business rewards. READ MORE

Chris Green

Culture might feel like an overused term: one of those buzzword business concepts that has taken on a life of its own. The reality however, is that a strong professional culture isn't optional it's essential. Culture doesn't just make your hotel a more enjoyable place to work, it also makes it a more enjoyable place to stay. It doesn't just boost employee satisfaction, it enhances guest satisfaction-and leads directly to a stronger bottom line. Understanding the nuts and bolts of how to build and maintain that culture is critical, and includes everything from training and tactics to setting priorities and building personal connections. READ MORE

Dianna Vaughan

Excellent customer service in the hospitality industry is about so much more than providing a pleasant stay for guests. Organizations that wish to be known for their stellar customer service must go above and beyond, not with fulfilling outlandish guest requests, but with prioritizing the guest experience in all aspects from the development of a property's design and food and beverage offerings to the training each team member must complete. The Hilton All Suites brands have found success by not only following this strategy, but by partnering with owners and developers who share the same vision. READ MORE

Eric Ricaurte

The boundless ocean provides a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fish. But this is untrue, and statistics are showing - an overwhelming 85 percent of fisheries have been fully exploited or overfished. If the trajectory continues, seafood stocks may collapse altogether by 2048. An increasing number of hotels and chains have committed to sourcing their seafood sustainably. In fact, seven in ten claim to have sustainable seafood purchasing policies according to a survey by Green Lodging Trends Report 2018. Here, we explain what sustainable seafood is all about and provide the steps for hotels to implement their own sustainable seafood programs. READ MORE

Ewald Biemans

There are more than one million hotels in the world. As hoteliers, we can help prevent further global warming and therefore climate change, which is the biggest global issue among us. The enormity of the problem can make individual efforts seem miniscule. However, with one million hotels having the opportunity to make an impact, the change can be monumental, and it will need to be especially since everyone has contributed to it. Discover easy-to-implement, practical solutions while preparing your property for more complex sustainability initiatives in the shared responsibility to prevent further global warming. READ MORE

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.