Global hoteliers like being green but not talking about it

Green Hotelier Boutiquehotel Stadthaller's environmental actions

Green Hotelier Boutiquehotel Stadthaller's environmental actions

Green Lodging News and Greenview have published the results of their first Green Lodging Trends Report.

One of the most comprehensive surveys into the responsible and environmentally sustainable behaviour of hotels around the world, the report reveals the results of over 2000 hotels’ responses to more than 100 questions in 11 categories.

Comparing responses from hotels around the world to questions on waste, energy, water, community and climate change among others, revealed some interesting regional priorities and differences, as well as some surprising gaps in best practice. For example, whilst a high percentage of hotels had a green champion or green team, less than 50% of hotels have a budget for green initiatives. Similarly, whilst a very high percentage of hotels are actively reducing their energy consumption, relatively few consider climate change to be a factor when making decisions, and less than half are measuring their carbon footprint to aid benchmarking on performance against other properties.

The report also threw up some surprising results with high numbers of hotels using some sort of greywater recycling and the majority actively encouraging guests to recycle their waste.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 70% of hotels said they have moved at least 75% of their lighting to LEDs.
  • 71% said they practice recycling in all common areas of the property.
  • One-half of respondents indicate they sub-meter water consumption.
  • 69% said they reuse greywater.
  • 62% said at least 50 % of the green cleaning products used are certified by a third party.
  • 52% grow food ingredients, such as herbs or vegetables, on-site.
  • Among respondents in the Americas, 82% said they have someone in charge of green initiatives.
  • 73% said they give employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and services toward various environmental events and campaigns during regular working hours.
  • 44% said they have specific sustainability requirements in their procurement of goods and services from suppliers.
  • 16% said climate change has no impact at all in their decisions to make operational improvements and investments.

Launching the report Green Lodging News editor Glenn Hasek said, “I am excited to announce the release of this ground-breaking report. Since hatching the idea for the report more than a year ago, Greenview and Green Lodging News have worked hard to develop a survey that would uncover the most common, best and most innovative practices, determine what is trending, and create a mechanism for tracking continuous improvement. This report does just that. We owe a huge thank you to the survey’s sponsors and supporters for their assistance with this project.”

Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO, Greenview said, “If you ask most hoteliers if their hotel is green, they’ll say yes and list some basic practices or for a small portion, their certification. But how do they really know if they are keeping up with their competitors on the green front? The Green Lodging Survey gives us all insight into what hotels are doing, should be doing, and where to improve. And collectively, we can accelerate best practices together.”

One way hoteliers can improve their performance is to use tools like the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) a free metric and tool for measuring carbon footprint, and then compare their numbers to other hotels in the region using the Hotel Footprinting Tool. The report shows only 31% of the surveyed hotels are using HCMI currently, despite this being the agreed methodology produced by 23 global hotel groups to standardise measurement across the sector.

Another surprising finding was that whilst 75% or more of hotels have written policies on sustainability, less than half said they allocate space on their websites for the sharing of green practices with colleagues or guests.

It’s clear that whilst responsible and sustainable business practices in hotels have progressed quickly over a relatively short space of time, many still some way to go to exhibit best practice across all areas of activity.

To help with this a comparative report was prepared for each survey participant, serving as a yardstick to understand the status of each specific practice within the general participant universe. Participating hotel companies also received a portfolio report and snapshot across properties. The Green Lodging Survey is the first of an annual exercise for industry trends and benchmarking. The 2017 survey will open in the second quarter of 2017, with the results published in the fourth quarter of 2017. The survey will be enhanced next year to add new, innovative best practices to the questions. It will be further improved based on participant feedback, particularly in segmenting or adjusting the questions by property type, so that properties can be benchmarked according to property type.

Supporters of this year’s survey include The Arbor Day Foundation, TravelifeGreen Key GlobalMekong Tourism OfficeHorwath HTL Asia Pacific and Clean the World. The Green Lodging Survey is sponsored by Pineapple HospitalityAquawing Ozone Laundry SystemsPragmaTech Ltd. and reCollect2 Co.

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