Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ten Sustainability Initiatives in the Hotel Industry

There are a number of sustainability initiatives taking hold in the hotel industry. As explained by the Chairwoman of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Kelly Bricker, "The impact of 1 billion travelers roaming the earth has forced governments, NGOs, communities, and the tourism industry to recognize the importance of sustaining the environment upon which all tourism depends."

Hotels are being driven to be more ecologically sensitive by consumer demand. In a 2012 study of 5,000 Expedia customers, MindClick SGM found that 90 percent of respondents would choose a hotel with furnishings and supplies that are better for the guest, the community and the planet over comparable hotels.

Many hotels are providing a host of more sustainable services to guests. They are tracking their sustainability initiatives with reports, and embedding sustainability efforts into the core practices including greener supply chains.

Greener hotels are not just an American phenomenon. Earlier this year Members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreed to make joint efforts towards a sustainable future with support and participation from both the public and private tourism sectors.

Sustainability efforts are far more than superficial marketing gimmicks, they are deeply embedded into core practices. Here is a summary of 10 green initiatives in the hotel industry:

1. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Green Partnership program is all about sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

2. Rezidor Hotel Group has launched an energy-saving Think Planet initiative.

3. Accor’s Planet 21 Program offers a comprehensive set of 21 related commitments.

4. Marriott International has adopted Green Hotels Global as its tool for monitoring and communicating sustainability-related practices and performance at each property.

5. InterContinental Hotels Group launched a Corporate Responsibility Innovation Fund as an ongoing program based on collaborative initiatives.

6. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corporation's have adopted new Sustainability Tracking and Reporting programs.

7. Peninsula Hotels owner, the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels has its own Sustainability Reporting program.

8. HEI Hotels & Resorts added corporate social responsibility to their Managers-In-Training program.

9. Marriott Courtyard in Rancho Bernardo, California have launched the Rest Better™ program which tells the story of the hotel’s initiatives in choosing furnishings, fixtures and equipment that is is both socially and environmentally more responsible.

10. The Cove at Yarmouth Resort in Cape Cod, Massachusetts has done a number of things to be more environmentally friendly including reducing their energy and water consumption through its Retrofits program.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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