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Special Report excerpt from Hotel Management April 7th, 2014.

All Around
Sustainability efforts, of various kinds, are taking place throughout the hospitality industry.

“Every property today has some level of focus on sustainability,” said C.J. Burgher, sales director at RoomService Amenities, a Morganville, N.J.-based company that creates soaps and other consumer products for hotels.

Burgher said that hotels have a number of motivations to try to be sustainable. These, she said, include consumer demand, corporate social responsibility and an interest in reducing operating costs. Her company, Burgher said, offers amenity products “with natural additives that accelerate the biodegradation of plastic in landfills.” Such products, she said, “can be economical while adding to the green aspects of a property.”

Cathy Mansour, VP of marketing at Global Sustainability Solutions, said that sustainability efforts among hotels are widespread. “Many of the brands have sustainable programs in place and are gradually expanding those programs,” she said. “[They include] everything from energy and water conservation efforts to waste stream landfill diversion.”

Mansour added that energy and water conservation is where hotels typically start their sustainability efforts, but that sustainable sourcing and recycling are growing. She said that, in recycling, for example, bulky items are gradually being diverted from landfills, in some cases in response to state bans against mattresses and box springs being placed in landfills.

Financial Lens
Whatever the business activities being targeted for sustainability efforts, whether design, procurement, cleaning or others, HVS’ Goldstein said that they can be viewed through a financial lens. “What we, at HVS, call green boils down to the amount of utilities being consumed or waste being produced by a hospitality property each year, and how that can be reduced,” Goldstein said.Utility savings, Goldstein said, lead to reductions in property O&M costs, and that, in turn, leads to operating profitability, which can lead to increases in property valuations.