Consumers are using services like Travelocity’s Green Hotel Directory to search for hotels that offer a cleaner and healthier overnight experience. Corporate clients like Marsh & McLennan Companies with 50,000 worldwide associates are looking for hotels that align with their company’s focus upon reducing the environmental footprint of business travel.
This shift in consumer expectations is a challenge for an industry that currently only scores a 19 out of 100 on the Climate Count scorecard. Climate Count did rank Marriott highest among hospitality companies on their 2010-11 Climate Count Scorecard with a 78 score. Another industry leader, Hilton Worldwide, has achieved ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management) certification representing the largest-ever volume certification of commercial buildings across any industry.
Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium
What is promising for the hospitality industry and its ability to connect with its customers is the commitment by key industry leaders to the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium. Their website’s homepage graphic is one of the best I have seen for addressing customer concerns regarding indoor air quality and health. It does so by visually highlighting sheets that ward off bedbugs, formaldehyde-free wood fiber panels used in bedside tables and non-toxic carpeting that minimizes allergens to improve indoor air quality.
The consortium’s focus is to build, furnish and supply hotels in ways that are better for the guest, the community and the planet. The consortium’s mission aligns with an Expedia survey finding that 60% of consumers will give better ratings to hotels with high indoor air quality, LEED certification, and programs in place to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and recycle.
Exclusive Interview: JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick
MindClick is developing a sustainability performance index that enables sustainable purchasing solutions for the hospitality industry. Click on the video below to view an exclusive interview with JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick. This is a must watch video if your company is looking to win bids to green the hospitality industry’s supply chain. The following are some of the best practices she outlines for competitively positioning your company as a green supplier:
This is the starting point. Start asking questions and find quantitative answers.
What are your company’s performance goals? These should tie to what you measure. They should reflect your customers’ expectations.
Develop a written action plan. Ideally the drafting of this plan incorporates input from management, associates, suppliers and customers.
This is a key transparency step. Publish your plan for all to see.
Authenticity requires a second set of eyes auditing how what you are doing aligns with what you have published as your goals and action plans.
This is the defining act of authenticity. Tell everyone, most especially your board of directors, investors, work-associates and customers. This report should be very candid on your performance status compared to your plan and your competitors.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. He is author of The Secret Green Sauce that profiles case studies of business best practices that make money. Through the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Green Builds Business program he has coached hundreds of business owners across the United States on their design of green projects that have grown sales, landed new customers and increased profitability by reducing emissions.