Hotels Take Sustainability Path to Satisfy Consumers

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – TripAdvisor found in a 2013 study conducted that 79 percent of travelers were inclined towards hotel properties that use eco-friendly practices. According to Steve Jennings, lead consultant for hotels and resorts at Deloitte, hotels are paying attention to conservation due to three reasons: corporate sustainability, better expense management, and consumer interest.

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration released a report this March, which revealed that more guests participate in hotel sustainability practices when hotels offer charitable or financial incentives. According to the report, those who participate in green programs run by the hotel are generally more satisfied with their stay.

The fallout of these trends is that hotels are increasingly taking steps to lower their environmental footprint. These may include introduction of farm-to-table cuisine, using kitchen scraps for compost, providing charging stations for electric vehicles, and even recycling cooking oil for experimental biodiesel fuel. Behind the scenes, hotels are installing energy-efficient lighting and using recycled water for landscaping.

Now, Starwood Hotels and Resorts has introduced a “Make a Green Choice” program that encourages all guests, not just frequent travelers, to opt out of housekeeping. Participating guests are rewarded with loyalty points or cash vouchers for food. According to the company, approximately 6.4 million guests have participated in the program since 2009. 

Denise Naguib, vice president for sustainability and supplier diversity at Marriott International, said that guests typically do what they do in their home environment. While the hotels draw their attention to conservation, but they stop short of dictating them how to conserve. For the most part, hotels’ sustainability programs are similar across brands.

At Kimpton hotels, which recently became a part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, guests can help raise money for the Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land. For each night of their stay, guests receive a discount of 15 percent and $10 of the room rate is donated to one of the two organizations chosen by the guest. If guests choose the Nature Conservancy option, a tree is planted on their behalf.

Source: NYT

Image Credit: Flickr via BenBenW