Eco-Friendly Practices
Heather  Kolakowski
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Food Service Composting Programs
  • Environmental sustainability and the desire to reduce the amount of food wasted are top trends in today’s society. It has been reported that approximately one-third of hotel users consider the “green-ness” of potential service providers when making their purchasing decisions. Composting is one example of the types of “green” practices that customers such as these resonate with and when implemented into its operations can help to enhance the customers’ perceptions of the organization. The following will detail the benefits and challenges of composting and composting programs as well as provide guidance on how to implement one into your operation. Read on...

Zia Siddiqi
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Taking a Step Toward a Greener Hotel
  • How important is sustainability in the hospitality industry? Two-thirds of travelers choose green hotels when booking, according to a recent TripAdvisor study. As the hospitality industry continues to experience healthy growth this year, now is the time for you to re-evaluate if your hotel is as green as it could be. Many hotels will begin to implement green initiatives by starting a linen reuse program or by switching to LED lighting to save energy. But many may not know that creating an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program can also make for a greener hotel. Read on...

Bob Cerrone
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Hotels Make Room for Water Savings
  • Water was once considered an endless resource in the U.S. As a commodity, it appeared to be both plentiful and inexpensive. But due to the lasting effects of climate change, parts of the country are experiencing higher temperatures and less rainfall, preventing fresh water reservoirs and basins from keeping up with the demand of personal and agricultural use.The state of California is in its fifth year of a devastating drought, it won’t be the only state to experience strained supply in the near future. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including hotel owners, to help combat the dwindling water supply before every state reaches critically low resources. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Preparing Your Hotel Landscaping for Spring
  • As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier’s worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entranceways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it’s time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

Joseph Ricci
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Lessons in Water Conservation: A West Coast Perspective
  • The four-year drought in the western United States has caused businesses and the public to find new and innovate ways to conserve and reuse water. And despite the promise of eased drought conditions this winter, recent reports from California have the state’s snowpack at below-average levels, prompting state officials to call for additional and more restrictive water conservation efforts – a trend likely to be mirrored elsewhere. As a major consumer of water within the American business landscape, the hotel industry is both a large water user and a leading voice in the water conservation movement. In this article we’ll explore major steps taken by industry leaders as well as trends shaping the future of hotel water usage and conservation. Read on...

Ronald Harrison
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Bed Bugs Have Not and Will Not Win the War
  • After reemerging unexpectedly in the early 2000s, and despite enormous research and development efforts to defeat them, bed bugs continue to plague homes and businesses all over the country. And they do it almost effortlessly. As a hotel professional, you know that no industry has been more affected by these resilient and pernicious pests than yours. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Exploring the Lifecycle of Your Landscape
  • To keep up with brand standards, hoteliers know they need to invest in renovating their hotel’s interior every two years. Just as a hotel’s interior features begin to age, the landscape also begins to show signs of aging and looks tired overtime. One of the biggest mistakes hotel property owners and managers make, however, is investing an immense amount of time and money into a lifeless landscape. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Landscaping During a Drought
  • To help decrease the drought in California, the state has required that all agricultural suppliers be in compliance with the 2015 agricultural water management plan (AWMP) guidebook. But even with the new regulations and management practices in place, drought continues to harm those living on the West Coast. According to a 2014 study from the University of California-Davis, last year’s drought was likely to inflict $2.2 billion in losses on the agricultural industry. Harsh drought seasons have led to habitat destruction, wildfires, and have also caused entire landscapes to change. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Preparing for Winter
  • The 2014-2015 winter season impacted thousands of people nation-wide. While those in the Northeast were hit with snowstorm after snowstorm (or blizzard after blizzard if you lived in Boston) and below average temperatures, folks in the South (i.e. Atlanta) found themselves in a state of emergency. If The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2015-2016 prediction mirrors last year’s forecasts, hoteliers must be ready for anything that winter throws at them. Whether it’s winterizing your hotel’s irrigation systems, fertilizing your landscape for spring, creating a snow and ice management plan, or getting your hotel ready for the holidays, there’s much work to be done before the end of the year. Read on...

Ronald Harrison
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • An Increase in Occupancy Rates Can Also Increase Pest Pressures
  • The U.S. hotel industry has seen an increase in occupancy rates over the past few months. According to the latest report from STR, April 2015 saw the highest occupancy (66.8 percent) and the highest room demand (99.4 million rooms) ever. While the industry is ecstatic that these numbers have grown from past years, there may be obstacles hotels will need to overcome due to the busy activity – one of those obstacles being unwanted pests. Read on...

Carl Kish
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Avoiding Greenwashing While Making Authentic Advances in Sustainability
  • At the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego in June, Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability for Target took the stage and said “When the CEO of Target is talking about the importance of sustainability in everything Target does, sustainability has officially become mainstream”. She’s right. Not only is sustainability now a mainstream business imperative, the hospitality industry is being told it needs to make sustainability changes to survive. Deloitte’s 2015 Hospitality report Game Changers or Spectators was anything but ambiguous in its assessment that “Sustainability will become a defining issue for the industry in 2015 and beyond … sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry, rather than regarded as a stand alone issue”. Read on...

Zia Siddiqi
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Embrace Pest Management with Sustainable Practices
  • Dr. Zia Siddiqi, director of quality systems for Orkin, discusses sustainable pest management practices in the hotel industry. Prospective guests now consider a hotel’s green initiatives prior to booking travel. Additionally, guests have a zero tolerance for pest sightings, therefore, it’s important to take an environmentally responsible approach when it comes to pest management. Learn how you can incorporate pest management into your sustainable practices with Dr. Siddiqui’s six steps to prevent and help manage pests in your hotel. Read on...

Larry  Gillanders
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Conserve Water at the Source: Repair and Protect Pipes from Leaks
  • We have seen it all over the Internet and the news stations: California is facing its fourth year in a drought, and it is affecting every resident and every business in the state. The economic and financial consequences could be disastrous if water conservation strategies are not implemented immediately, and the state has promptly mandated that everyone do so. The hotel industry is one of the country’s biggest users of clean water, out of all types of commercial and institutional facilities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Unsurprisingly, most water is used for bathrooms, laundry, landscaping and kitchens. This is the perfect opportunity to take heed of the moment and reduce your property’s water usage. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Trends in Green Hotels:
  • Sustainable design and practice are no longer optional, as economic and cultural trends suggest their increasing importance. The developer and designer represent a powerful team for communicating the myriad benefits of green building and environmentally responsible practice to both operators and guests. They can demonstrate to operators the reduced costs associated with energy and maintenance as well as the potential for tax incentives, influencing the choice to become a franchisee. They can also demonstrate to guests a corporate commitment to sustainability, engendering brand loyalty and repeat stays. Read on...

Rob  Howell
  • Eco-Friendly Practices
  • Responsibly Incorporating Sustainability Across All Departments
  • When developing new systems, purchasing new equipment, and devising new programs, how can we ensure that we keep an eye to sustainability? Sustainability is here to stay. It is no longer a fad or trend; it has become an integral part of the hospitality industry and an expectation of guests around the world. As operators of hospitality businesses it is important that we acknowledge this new standard. Therefore, integrating sustainable practices into our operation across all departments is vital. 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.