Hotel sustainability experts share key takeaways
Hotel sustainability experts share key takeaways
17 JULY 2017 9:31 AM

Here’s a look at some of the key points a panel of experts believe hoteliers should know about sustainability efforts.

Justin Bakule, executive director, the Shared Value Initiative:
“Research shows it’s better to take on fewer issues and pour your resources into those areas. Those who end up trying to do it all reduce their ability to create returns.”

Austin Flajser, president, Carr Hospitality:
“You’re still making a business decision when making sustainability improvements. So if it’s something with a one- or two-year payback, you should do it, but if goes much beyond that you’re getting to the point in a hotel where it’d need to be replaced anyway based on hotel wear and tear.”


Zeke Hart, director of sustainability services, PwC:
“Many wonder how to use sustainability to make more money, and the answer typically isn’t there. This often leads to them dismissing it altogether, and because it’s not seen as a purchasing decision driver, it doesn’t show up in brand communications. But it can be a tiebreaker in decisions and an opportunity to create trust with customers.”

Hervé Houdré, GM, InterContinental New York Barclay:
“From our point of view, companies are very interested in sustainability. We’re seeing it show up in our RFPs. Some ask to calculate the carbon footprint of our meetings space. Corporations are really pushing us to be able to answer those questions.”

Marcus Munse, GM, Courtesy Management:
“What’s important is to first have a sustainability champion for each property.”

A.J. Singh, a Hilton Hotels fellow and professor of international lodging, finance and real estate, Michigan State University:
“Management companies are aligning their interests with owners. So if you have an owner who has an interest in sustainability, obviously management companies are going to make it a priority.”

Paul Snyder, VP of corporate responsibility, IHG:
“From the Greatest Generation through Generation X, we’re not really seeing any people who aren’t interested in sustainability. The spectrum goes from light green to really green.”

Bennett Thomas, SVP of finance and sustainability, Hersha Hospitality Trust:
“Sustainability is something that makes a difference for us. Blackrock owns Hersha stock, and their head of global real estate securities was at our NAREIT session saying this is something important to her. That’s encouraging to see.”

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