Eco-Friendly Practices
Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Voluntary Actions, Not Mandatory Caps Needed for Climate Change Issue
  • With the U.S. Senate expected to consider the 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2005' and other bills this summer that address the global climate change issue, every hotel executive should be paying attention. The 'Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act', being offered by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Lieberman (D-CT), would cap the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at year 2000 levels by 2010. To do that, it would impose limits on how much CO2 the economy could produce in activities such as generating electricity, refining and importing transportation fuels, and manufacturing. Putting a mandatory cap on the country's CO2 emissions would lead to higher energy bills for you, and it would also most likely put a cap on the economy as a whole, which would slow down your guest traffic as well. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), here's what could happen if the McCain/Lieberman bill was passed... Read on...

Mike Sawchuk
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Avian Flu: What we have learned from SARS
  • In November 1997, a terrorist attack in the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt, took the lives of sixty-eight people and left scores more injured. However, the deaths and injuries caused by the attack were just the beginning of the problems it caused Egypt. Tourism, the lifeblood of the country, went into a tailspin, resulting in mass numbers of hotel- and restaurant-related workers losing their jobs in a country that already has chronic high unemployment. A few months later, realizing just how much the incident was affecting business and the economy, Egypt started a $4 billion marketing campaign to woo visitors back. In addition, they dramatically stepped up security throughout the most visited sections of the country. In effect, the country is still reeling from the incident and its impact on the tourist industry. Just imagine what would happen if something even more serious were to happen in Egypt or any other country in the world-such as the spread of H5N1 avian flu. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Time for Energy Efficiency to Take Center Stage
  • The country's steadily growing demand for energy will continue to present challenges for legislators, both at the federal and state levels. Two energy-related issues in particular-rising prices and global climate change-will demand innovative and bipartisan solutions. The nation's electric utilities believe that a key component of these solutions will be an expanded commitment to energy efficiency. We are working with the new Congress and with state legislators and regulators to broaden the role that energy efficiency plays in addressing these issues. We are encouraging the hotel industry, and all sectors of the economy, to join in this effort. Read on...

Bruce Fears
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • It's Easy Being Green: Choices Expand for Environmentally Friendly Meetings
  • As "green" options in the meeting and conference industry expand, environmentally conscious event planners, organizers and companies are finding that going "green" not only helps save the planet and resources, but also offers a wealth of other benefits and advantages. If you've ever considered having a "green meeting," or pondered the advantages of holding a conference or training session at an environmentally conscious conference center, there are a few things to consider before going "green." As the following questions and answers demonstrate, green meetings can help save the planet and yield real rewards for your attendees and your budget. Read on...

Mike Sawchuk
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Trends in Carpet Cleaning Chemicals
  • When it comes to most facilities, including hotel properties, hard surface floors and carpets can make a first-and lasting-impression. Glistening floors and clean and spotless carpets tell the visitor and hotel guest that this is a clean, well-maintained property. And when it comes to carpet cleaning, this can be more complicated because there are so many different methods to clean carpets, types of soils and fibers, an entire spectrum of carpet cleaning machines and extractors, as well as cleaning chemicals. A first step in clearing the confusion usually starts with a better understanding of the different types of chemicals now available for cleaning carpets and how to properly use them. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • One New Year's Resolution That Always Makes Sense
  • With the price of natural gas predicted to be lower this winter than last year, you may be tempted to take your eye off the energy bill for a moment. Don't. The smart hotel executive knows that the search for ways to get more value from every dollar spent on energy-both natural gas and electricity-never takes a break. For the New Year, dedicate one of your resolutions to becoming more energy efficient. You'll find the payoff to be greater profitability for your company all year round. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Government Takeovers of Local Power Companies: Better Service for the Hotel Industry?
  • An issue of interest to the nation's hotel industry-chains as well as independents-is appearing on ballots in a number of city elections this year: Who should be the electricity provider-the existing electric utility or a newly created city department? Iowa is one state where a number of local ballot initiatives are asking residents if their city should municipalize, or more accurately, takeover the role of electricity provider. California is another. And in recent years the question has come up in Florida, Nevada, and New York and elsewhere. The bait is typically lower prices and greater reliability. But government takeovers can't guarantee either. To make improvements here, we must look beyond local control issues and address the national issues that are affecting the country's electricity system. And this can only be accomplished through comprehensive national energy legislation. Read on...

Louis D'Amore
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Africa: Window on the Future: Prospects, Alliances, Partners
  • While Africa is the "Cradle of Civilization" it lags behind all other regions of the world as we enter the 3rd Millennium. Half the population lives on less than US$1 per day, school enrollment is declining, and the average life-span is becoming shorter. While Africa accounts for 14 % of the world's population, its exports account for less than 1.6% and investment in Africa is less than 1% of global investment. Further, total net "Official Development Assistance" to Africa has fallen from previous levels of $17 billion to US$12 billion a year. This scenario is changing however. In July 2001, the 37th Summit of the OAU formally adopted a strategic framework for Africa's renewal called NEPAD - "New Partnership for African Development." NEPAD is first and foremost a pledge by African leaders to the people of Africa to consolidate democracy, sound economic management, peace and security, and people-centered sustainable development. Read on...

Jim Motavalli
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Points of Light: The World Wakes Up to Climate Change
  • Welcome to a new world, where the debate over the science of global warming is over, but the hard work of combating it-with only a very limited window of opportunity-is only just beginning. We have to act quickly. According to new studies published last March in the respected journal Science, warming temperatures are likely to cause a catastrophic, long-term meltdown on the roof of the world in Greenland and in Antarctica. Scientists say we have a decade at most to reduce our emissions and avoid a nightmare scenario that would flood not only below-sea-level New Orleans, but also much of south Florida and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as well as the California coast. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Keeping Electricity Affordable and Reliable
  • With the cost of all energy supplies rising, the nation's electric power industry is committed to ensuring that electricity, one of our most versatile energy sources, remains affordable and reliable. We are investing in the nation's electricity system today. And we are advocating public policy positions to ensure that the supply of electricity can meet the country's ever-growing demand tomorrow. These supply-side measures will take time, but they are essential to keeping electricity affordable and reliable. In the meantime, hotels, and indeed all electricity customers, can help by making sure that they are getting the most value they can from each dollar they spend on electricity. Read on...

Arthur Weissman
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • A Complete Overview: What is a Green Hotel?
  • As a hotel executive, the last thing you may want to think about is whether your hotel is considered "green." You are worried about filling your rooms, satisfying your guests, and perhaps getting the big business of government and companies. But being designated as "green" can actually help you do all of these things: it can increase your room-nights, enhance your guests' satisfaction, and boost your business with big customers. This series will show you how. We begin by examining what it means for a hotel to be "green." The word is, of course, shorthand for being environmentally responsible (or sustainable) so as to minimize environmental impacts in purchasing, operations, and plant management. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
  • How does one turn individuals from no matter what culture, country, familial and social background, who follow certain moral codes or not, into the epitome of a British butler and the quintessential service provider? Not a question most people ask, but it is one that has challenged trainers at the International Institute of Modern Butlers and which parallels the task facing trainers around the world trying to bring about some standardized level of high-quality service by employees in their hotels. We look for those with a service heart, with service experience, with some starting point upon which to hang the service culture established by corporate. And the result is generally mixed, ranging from very good to passable, more often the latter. Perhaps nowhere is it more important to think globally and act locally than in the hospitality industry of a global economy. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • The Nation's Electric Power Industry-What's Next?
  • The extraordinary events that have rippled through the nation's electric power industry during the past few years have touched businesses and consumers alike. Electricity competition. Regional reliability concerns. Enron. In the hotel industry, perhaps the most visible impact has been the energy surcharge that many hotels placed on customer bills. Questions about the cost of power, and in some locations, even its availability, were two issues that caused turmoil for hotel guests and managers alike. Understanding where we are now, and what to expect down the road, will help hotel executives prepare an energy strategy to improve their profitability in the future. Read on...

Arthur Weissman
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • The Business Case for Greening Your Property
  • The biggest obstacle to greening the hospitality industry - that is, trying to make its operations (including purchases) more environmentally sustainable - appears to be its presumption that being green has no real business benefit. In previous articles in this series, we have made a number of points to show ways in which greening can increase business revenue and reduce costs, but a more formal business case still needs to be made. In this article, we will discuss why such a business case is needed; what does and does not constitute a business case for greening; efforts to date to make the case; and what still needs to be done. Read on...

Steve Kiesner
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Electric Company Energy Efficiency Programs-Today and Tomorrow
  • Electric company energy efficiency programs are familiar to many hotel executives. These can include incentives to purchase energy-efficient equipment and build energy-efficient facilities. The benefits extend to both your company and the electric utility industry. A closer look at some individual electric company incentive programs, and a glimpse at what the future may hold, will give you a better understanding of how to save energy and money in today's, and tomorrow's, energy markets. Read on...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. 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.