The 411 on Top Green Hotel Certifications
The race continues as hotels strive to one-up their competition. In January we had published an investigative article on green hotel certifications exploring various anglesof “why certify” and details of major certification programs. As the number of green certification programs continues to grow, we want to revisit some of the prominent certifications that continue to lead the hospitality lodging industry on the green trend.
Compared to the beginning of the year, hoteliers have more options than ever when it comes to selecting which green lodging certification program to participate and obtain. From established worldwide green certification programs to the recent state versions, analyzing the options could be overwhelming. The key factor in selecting the appropriate program is to ensure it provides absolute value through quantifiable results (ie. energy usage, cost reduction, guest satisfaction, etc). We recommend our clients to start with a hotel energy benchmarking and tracking system.
Are you in? Standing on the sidelines can cost you money in the long run. While obtaining a green certification is not mandatory, it could mean you are missing out on some great benefits, which include:
- Reduced operating costs
- Improve the bottom line
- Demonstrate leadership in sustainability
- Enhanced reputation, brand and market value
- Federal and state tax benefits
- Reduction of green house emissions
- Attract eco-conscious travelers
- Healthier environment for employees and guests
- Attraction and retraction of talent
There are a variety of green certifications that can denote that a hotel is implementing specific green practices, however each program has a different focus, different priorities and different standards — no two are alike. In a recent article published by Hotel & Leisure Advisors, four aspects have been identified to distinguish the focus of green certification programs: “These broad categories consist of certifications for overall building structures, the building fixtures themselves, building operations, and overall management practices.”
Keeping these categories in mind, the following are top green lodging certification programs (in alphabetical order):
- Audubon Green Leaf™ Eco-Rating Program: (www.greenleaf.auduboninternational.org) This program works with hotels to ensure that they are using green practices in their upkeep and everyday running of the establishment.A tiered certification program where environmental measures are evaluated according to: water quality, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.
- EcoRooms® & EcoSuites™: (www.ecorooms.com) Certified properties must meet eight strict eco-criteria for membership and certification. The criteria includes: use of Green Seal certified cleaning and paper products, towel and linen reuse program, recyclable waste program, energy efficient lighting, high efficiency plumbing, and 100% smoke-free properties.
- EPA’s Energy Star label: (www.energystar.gov) The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program enables buildings to qualify through meeting strict energy performance standards. Energy Star labeled properties use less energy, have reduced operating expenses, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. To be certified, the property mustattain a minimum score of 75, the top 25%, based on EPA’s National Energy Performance Rating System. As of November 2010, there are 426Energy Star labeled U.S. hotels.
- Green Globe Certification: (www.greenglobecertification.com) This is a certification label for sustainability in both management and operations. Certification criteria cover several areas, including sustainable management and social economic, cultural heritage, and environmental aspects of sustainability.The program’s criteria are also updated annually to ensure international compliance.
- Green Key®: (www.green-key.org) The is an international eco-label for leisure organizations including hotels, conference centers, youth hostels, and campsites. As a graduated rating system, hotels are given guidance on how to “unlock” opportunities to the next level. The program assesses the five main operational areas of a property and covers nine sustainable practices.
- Green Seal certification: (www.greenseal.org) This tiered certification is presented to those lodging properties that achieve various levels of compliance with GS-33, Green Seal Environmental Leadership Standard for Lodging Properties. Properties must demonstrate science-based evaluation of sustainable practices in following areas: waste minimization, energy efficiency, conservation and management, management of fresh water resources, wastewater management, hazardous substances, and environmentally conscious purchasing.
- USGBC LEED® certification: (www.usbgc.org/leed) The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. Promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Rating: One to Five ‘Green Leafs’
Recognized/Chosen by: The State of New York as statewide hospitality ‘greening’ goal.
Rating: Must meet all eight program requirements
Recognized/Chosen by: American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Rating: Must obtain a score of 75 or higher
Rating: Must achieve threshold of at least 35% of the total 1,000 points
Rating: One to Five Green Keys
Recognized/Chosen by: Carlson Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Motel 6, and Accor North America. The state of Indiana as statewide green initiatives program.
Rating: Bronze, Silver or Gold Levels
Recognized/Chosen by: The city of Los Angeles through its Green Business Initiative, as well as Chicago through its Green Hotels Initiative.
Rating: Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Levels
Susan Patel, VP of Technologies & Communications. Leads business development and operations and is the Site Director and Managing Editor of EcoGreenHotel online publications.
Many hotels have taken the plunge into green standards and certification as thousands of buildings and manufacturing plants have earned the EPA’s Energy Star through the recent “green” trend years. Getting started is simple as there are a variety of everyday appliances and electronics that almost all hotel offices operate daily, such as: photocopiers, computers, printers, fax machines, and refrigerators. Whether you are just starting out or are an energy efficient hotel but overlooked these basic steps, there are money-saving and environmentally responsible solutions to reducing energy use with all of these equipments.
- PHOTOCOPIERS that are switched off at night and on weekends—either manually, or with an automatic time switch can yield a savings of 40% to 60% per year [that] can be achieved for each photocopier in the workplace according to research by the Government of South Australia.
- DESKTOP COMPUTERS can yield an even higher return profit since a modern desktop computer costs about $110 a year to run 24-hours a day, but just by turning them off each night a single computer can reduce its energy use by 70%. If your green hotel is purchasing a new desktop, be sure to look for the energy efficiency logo by Energy Star. Hotels can also refer to the EPEAT ratings to compare manufacturers and models of environmentally friendly computers.
- PRINTING SMARTER is also a great money and energy saver when documents are printed double- sided and by having toner cartridges refilled or remanufactured. Paper costs can be almost halved simply by printing double-sided, and you can save $100 on toner and $30 on ink by refilling your printer and toner cartridges.
The environmental reflections are also positive as Office Depot states that “each remanufactured toner cartridge keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills…and conserves about a half gallon of oil.”
- PURCHASING A FAX MACHINE can also yield long-term savings when an inkjet machine is chosen over a thermal machine. Although a thermal fax machine costs less to buy, the thermal paper costs a lot more than the plain paper used by inkjet fax machines, isn’t recyclable, and needs to be photocopied for long term storage.
- ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED REFRIGERATOR can save at least 30% when upgraded from an older, noncertified refrigerator.
Energy efficient hotels is the future. Therefore, become and energy efficient hotel not only to compete but for your bottom line savings.
The advancement in lighting technologies now means that there are a spectrum of energy-efficient light bulbs including LED bulbs available to purchase. LED retrofits can offer your green hotel two key benefits: (1) some fixtures can deliver up to 85 percent energy savings and (2) the life span of LEDs average about 50,000 to 100,000 hours, reports Retrofit Magazine. Before making a decision on a retrofit however, green hotels first have to evaluate their current lighting layout and future requirements.
With seven percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. being for lighting (stated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)), even the Obama Administration has been setting energy conservation standards for certain types of fluorescent lamps and incadescent reflector lamps, and is investing $346 million in energy-efficient building technologies.
LED, lighting emitting diode, lights are the most efficient type of lighting and can last up to 100,000 hours. LED bulbs are new and more expensive technology that is not as commonly used as either incadescent or CFL bulbs, but they are steadily decreasing in price. Due to the initial cost, hotels first need to consider several factors including the condition and voltage of the hotel’s existing wiring and circuitry before making the investment. Certain LED fixtures may not be compatible with the voltage rating and control preferences such as for dimming and/or motion control.Therefore, having a professional energy auditor can save you time and money from potential expensive mistakes.
Other aspects include downtime for the installation, how much energy savings the hotel expects from the retrofit, manufacturers’ warranties, who will install the new lighting systems and whether it’s necessary to take before and after light-level and energy readings.
Operators implementing hotel energy-efficiency measuresshould also call local utilitiy companies to check on rebates for energy-efficient lighting and/or tax deductions or credits. This can significantly save on the initial investment cost.
The followiing are five tips for selecting LED systems suggested by Retrofit Magazine:
- Understand the fixture manufacturer’s claims including the performance of the products, up-front equipment costs, ongoing energy and maintenance costs and after-sale support
- Evaluate the quality of the LEDs by comparing the light output and efficiency to the green hotel’s benchmarking tests [Benchmarking is critical to evaluating any energy conservation measure]
- Evaluate the performance of the LED lighting fixture with your Energy Star benchmarking data and the manufacturer’s metric reports
- Verify the claims by the manufacturer for light and energy performance
- Review the installation requirements for LED lighting fixtures and ensure that your new fixtures are compliant to the National Electric Code requirements for installation of light fixtures
Whatever the driving force, energy efficiency will be an integral part of staying successful in this competitive business environment. The phrase, “going ‘green’ to make ‘green’” holds true. Global Business Network (GBN) in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and with the help of twenty major U.S. company senior executives have identified a set of strategies that will help businesses act now to prepare for future energy-related risks.
Plan for the Future
Scenario planning is a strategic planning tool that has been in existence for a while. Industry leaders have implemented this strategy to identify and develop plans for coping with some of the major risks the future might hold. The aim is to highlight the risks and uncertainties of the future that one should be starting to deal with now.
For example, Shell used scenario development as a basis for formulating strategies to cope with the possibility of OPEC reducing oil supply and raising prices, an eventuality no other oil company foresaw. When this happened in 1973, within two years Shell went from the world’s eight largest oil company to the second largest.
The executive group participating in GBN’s workshops created the following four plausible “roads” ahead, each posing a specific challenge:
- The Same Road – where the world continues much in the same direction it appears to be going now in regard to energy and environmental concerns around climate change
- The Long Road – where the world undergoes a significant shift in the economic, geopolitical and energy centers of gravity
- The Broken Road – where the world continues much in the same way as today, but is then hit by a severe event that overturns established systems and rules
- The Fast Road – where reasoned decisions and investments about energy efficiency and climate risk are made early enough to make a difference
Take Action Now
All twenty-business leaders were asked to explore the impacts of these four “road” scenarios in regards to energy strategy and management in their companies. “Our group of business executives looked to the scenarios and considered the strategies that would enable a company to successfully travel along whichever future actually emerges,” write Erik Smith and Peter Schwartz, authors of GBN’s ‘Energy Strategy for the Road Ahead’ article.
The group concluded all businesses should take the following five robust steps to prepare and ensure energy success regardless of the future:
- Master the fundamentals of energy efficiency.
Build the culture through leadership and with the help of experts. Set goals, measure and track energy performance, establish accountability and other systems across the business.
- Take both a longer and broader view of investments and strategic decisions about energy.
Make major strategic decisions (e.g. technology choices, facility location for new builds) with energy cost, use and supply in mind. See the entire Energy Value Chain, including upstream inputs from suppliers (into internal operations) and downstream outputs to customers (from internal operations).
- Search out business transformation opportunities in the way the business manages, procures and uses energy.
Frame energy as a lever for positive growth and change within the business, not simply a cost. Be innovative and aggressive in pursuing and publicizing new product and service offerings based on new energy technologies and supplies.
- Prepare contingent strategies for emergent future scenarios.
Rehearse specific aspects of the “road ahead”, including substantial and sustained swings in energy price and supply, severe weather events and penalties or incentives around energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Actively manage exposure to risks and ready plans. Monitor for signs of which “road ahead” is emerging.
- Take personal action.
Both corporate leaders and employees can take numerous green actions today whether at work our outside.
Content and information retrieved from the following source (credited to):
Smith, Erik & Schwartz, Peter. (2007). Energy Strategy for the Road Ahead (Global Business Network, a member of the Monitor Group). Retrieved from http://gbn.com/articles/pdfs/GBN_EPA_Energy%20Strategy%20Scenarios.pdf.
Daylighting is defined as the practice of placing windows or other openings and reflective surfaces so that during the day natural light provides energy efficient lighting inside. So why would a hotel owner want to take on the challenge of using daylight to light their hotel?
The short answer: to create beautiful spaces, save energy and operating costs and reduce our impact on our planet In one word: money
Good daylighting design could save from 15 to 75 percent of the energy used forelectric lighting in a hotel building. Of course, energy savings depend on various factors such as occupancy patterns, control strategy, design, energy usage, and the amount of daylight.
It’s natural. Using natural light from the sun costs nothing to the environment and pays big dividends to hotel guests and employees. As a great energy efficient lighting solution for hotels, daylighting consumes less energy and thereby reduces fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions associated with global warming and climate change.
It works. Research has discovered that people thrive in naturally lit environments. Studies have shown that daylighting has a direct impact on well-being, productivity and overall sense of satisfaction – shoppers linger longer and buy more; students do better on tests; workers are more productive and absent less often.
It’s smart.Aside from making a green hotel statement about the owners, operators and staff (socially and sustainably responsible) daylighting can also:
- Reduce lighting and operating costs
- Reduce cooling costs (in almost all climates all year round)
- Be accomplished without significantincrease in construction costs in new construction
Because seeing is believing,project centers known as “living labs” have been created to examine the actual effectiveness of daylighting. These include the State of Wisconsin Administration Building in Milwaukee and the Hoffman Corp headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin. “We use the term ‘cool-daylighting’ to emphasize that daylighting isn’t just big windows,” says Abby Vogen, project director at Energy Center of Wisconsin. “It is the orientation of the building, glazing, energy-efficient light fixtures, mechanical systems, and how all these components are impacted by natural lighting.”
Results of the experiment conducted by the Energy Center of Wisconsin at the Energy Resource Station in Iowa to see if cooling energy could be saved using daylighting design were considerable. Comparison of two rooms (one standard and the other high-performance) yielded 32 percent savings on annual lighting costs and total overall annual energy savings of 22 percent.
Even retail stores like Wal-mart are beginning to see the environmental and monetary benefits of daylighting for both employees and consumers. In an experiment, stores that included skylights over certain departments found that overall sales per square foot were higher in those departments lit by natural (energy-efficient) light.
For existing green hotels, a high-performance daylighting system may initially require a significant investment. However, if the project team uses an integrated, strategic design approach, the greenhotels overall long-term savings will make up for any initial dollars spent on daylighting.
Rising energy costs, environmental impact, and green design has compelled green hotels across the country to find economical alternatives and adapt new ideas, or in this case, reconsider old ideas made new again.
Integrating sustainability through employee and guest involvement is essential for the success of your hotel’s ongoing green operations and programs. We have covered numerous topics in this GREEN TEAM series including focusing on internal operations, engaging employees to capture ideas, best practices to engaging employees to be part of the solution, using art to raise awareness and creating a toolkit to support and guide green teams. Our final focus ties everything back to corporate sustainability goals to take your green teams to the next level.
Align Green Teams with Corporate Sustainability Goals
To take your green team to the next level your hotel should link them to the corporate sustainability goals. One way to incorporate this is to have a staff person from the corporate sustainability program lead the green team, which will provide synergies between the corporate objectives and the green team programs.
Other strategies to help link green teams to corporate sustainability goals include:
- Create a paid in-house position to oversee the green team or hire a consultant to help
- Integrate sustainability metrics into employee’s performance goals
- Link bonuses/compensation to sustainability goals
- Create a senior-level, cross-functional team that brings department heads from key departments together to link sustainability intitiatives to green team initiatives
- Train employees to understand which sustainability issues are important to the business by setting the context and help employees understand that their small actions can make a difference
Intel is a good example of company-wide support for environmental performance. They have tied a component of every employee’s bonus to the company’s environmental performance. One year, a portion of the bonus, was tied to reducing their carbon footprint.
Intel found that their green teams were active enough that it made sense to have a corporate convening structure to help align their activities with corporate initiatives. “We aren’t trying to dictate everything that they do, because so much of what is important to them is what is important at their locale,” explains Carrie Freeman, Corporate Sustainability Strategist at Intel.
“We didn’t want to hamper the green team efforts, but we also wanted some alignment with our corporate initiatives,” continues Freeman.
The hotel industry should refer to the pioneers of “greening” even if the companies are not in the hospitality industry.They have spend countless hours and funds into research and development of sustainability programs and structures. It is a good place to start and play ideas off of.
The green teams at Intel still have the latitude to focus issues of interest, such as planting on-site organic gardens or reduce shopping bag use, but for 2009 they were also asked to help incorporate awareness, communication and education on reducing office energy use, providing some alignment with their carbon reduction goal.
Sustainable hotel business expert Scott Parisi stresses that getting your employees to green your hotel operations is where the greatest value lies. Along with Andrew Winston author of Green Recovery, Scott also challenges hoteliers to, “Ask your employees to focus team efforts on innovating to reduce energy use or to design new products that satisfy green-minded customers. Green teams, if used right, can morph from mainly engagement tools to something even more fundamentally valuable to the business.”
Green teams can be a great ally and resource for creating excitement around new green ways of doing business.
Engaging employees is not an easy territory with a simple formula for success, but rather an art than science. Harnessing the power of green teams and aligning their efforts with corporate goals is a learning edge for most hotels.
While the best practices outlined through the series provides ideas to get started, challenges do exist. Some key challenges a hotel might face as they dive into green teams include:
- Metrics: It is critical as a business to track what success looks like. However, it is not always easy to gather data on progress. Software tools are becoming available to help green teams track results.
- Engaging business units/departments: This is a key challenge especially when they are not interested in sustainability issues. It is important to articulate the business case in terms that are meaningful to them.
- Strategic versus grassroots: Corporate needs to decide if it makes sense to link employee activities to the corporate strategy or give them the flexibility to address issue at individual hotel locations.
- Volunteer or paid time: Do employees implement ideas on their own time or is it part of the job? In these strained economic times, what is the best way to reassure employees that they will not be penalized for participating in a green team?
- Corporate structure without losing the grassroots passion: Another challenge is how to manage the tensions between providing enough structure to link green team activities to a corporate strategy, without losing their grassroots energy, creativity and passion.
Last month EcoGreenHotel highlighted the hospitality industry’s role in helping to build the infrastructure to make electric vehicles a common site on streets and highways throughout the country. This month we are going to explore the concept at greater length and offer a vision for the very near future.
If you have read the headlines over the last three months, it is clear that momentum is building for 2011 to be the year for full-scale launch of electric vehicles in the US. Here are just a few highlights:
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car will offer 500 Leaf all-electric cars to customers in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix, Knoxville/Nashville, and Seattle beginning January 2011.
- President Obama pledges to bring 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to U.S. Highways by 2015.
- CNN reports Coulomb Technologies said it will build 4,600 electric vehicle-charging stations in nine regions of the U.S., funded by $37 million in grants.
- Chicago gets geared up for electric vehicles.
- Texas State Fair will feature an Electric Vehicle Showcase, sponsored by General Motors, US Green Building Council, North Central Texas Council Of Governments and North Texas Clean Air Coalition.
How can the hospitality industry participate and capitalize on the momentum? It’s easier than you think. Charging stations take up very little space in the parking lot with the typical two parking space arrangement. More importantly in these tough economic times, they are eligible to receive Federal Tax Credits for up to 50% of the installation cost until the end of 2010. In addition there are numerous state and local rebates and incentives to reduce the initial costs. www.pluginamerica.org/incentives.shtm
Hotels make for ideal charging spots in a regional charging infrastructure since typical ‘fill-ups’ can take up to 8 hours using 220-volt and 20 hours using 110-volt. Let’s be honest, travelers aren’t going to spend 4 to 5 hours at a gas station even with the worst case of “range anxiety”. Hotel lobbies, restaurants and pools provide a welcome retreat for long distance travelers and local EV owners looking for a place to recharge their batteries.
As an example of forward thinking in North Texas, the Sheraton in downtown Dallas converted three garage parking spaces into electric vehicle plug-in charging stations using standard electric conduit at the beginning of this summer. “We’ve had 15-20 guests use the charging station for their electric vehicles since we’ve installed them. It’s more than we initially expected. Plus, when guests are not using the stations, we lease the spaces to a local mobile advertising company to charge their EV mobile billboards overnight. The small investment has already paid for itself” Steve White, Sheraton Dallas Hotel Manager.
Looking further into the future, electric vehicle manufacturers are rolling out larger vehicles that can be used as shuttle vans. Electric Mobile Cars’ 7-Passenger mini-van has a maximum 220-mile range at 75mph. It’s ‘Fill-up’ is 75% less expensive than its combustion engine cousins. With inexpensive fuel costs and large space, it is an ideal no-emissions green airport shuttle for a hotel to reduce operational costs. www.emc4u.com
Heading into the next decade of the new millennium, pioneering green hotels will be at the forefront to provide a source of power to create a more sustainable future than their competitors. If you have any questions on charging stations, electric vehicles or green hotels, please contact email@example.com
Organic cotton to bamboo, these are the threads you should know about.
When it comes to purchasing your linens, you have the power to make a difference. It’s up to us,consumers including green hotel purchasers, to buy from companies that will create a shift in the market for our environment and long-term health.
You should know that not only are chemicals in the foods that we eat, but they are also found in our upholsteries, blankets, bed sheets and clothes. More and more, people are experiencing health problems such as rashes, allergies, respiratory and concentration problems due to chemical sensitivities. This adds to the growing demand of “green” hotel guest rooms.
So what makes fabric “eco-friendly”? Wikipedia defines eco-friendly (as well as environmentally friendly, nature friendly and green) to be used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies considered to inflict minimal to no harm to the environment.
“Green” fabrics, for the most part, include any fabric made from sustainable or organic natural materials using fewer chemicals, sustainable operations and environmentally supportive manufacturing methods. Green fabric is also used to describe recycled fabric.
Lets focus on the following four eco-friendly fabrics. Keep in mind, these aren’t the only eco-friendly fabrics available – we’ve chosen these to start with.
1–Organic cotton: is weaved from non-genetically modified plants. It is certified as grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides. It doesn’t damage the quality of the cotton or the land and surrounding ecology.
2– Organic linen with flax fibers: True organic linen is created with flax fibers. It comes in the color of a natural cream or light tan since pure white is only achieved through bleaching. Although it wrinkles easily, it is a great hot-weather fabric because it absorbs moisture without getting damp, thus drying quickly and cooling the skin. If you accept the wrinkle look charm, keep in mind flax fiber is stronger than cotton fiber and is less elastic.
3–Hemp: Ok, so it’s still illegal to grow hemp in the Unities States due to its association with marijuana. However, legislation is in the works to change. Right now it’s grown elsewhere in the world and, unfortunately, this increases it’s carbon footprint. Nonetheless, hemp products are manufactured in the U.S.
As for the hemp itself, it’s grown easily and is environmentally friendly. The fibers are mildew-resistant, antimicrobial, UV protecting and even fire proof. This makes it an ideal candidate for fabrics that get a lot of use, but it isn’t the softest option around.
4–Soy: It’s softer than cotton, much more durable, warm, absorbent, and lightweight. Made out of discarded tofu, it’s considered the ultimate sustainable fiber and sometimes referred to as “vegetarian cashmere” – “cashmere” due to its softness and luxurious appeal.
So how do you make fiber out of tofu, you ask? Well, leftovers from tofu manufacturing are gathered, liquefied, and extruded through spinnerets to create filaments that are spun into fine yarns. (Fun fact: Henry Ford first investigated the use of soy in textiles for his automobile in the 1940’s, but the arrival of synthetics on the scene stole the show – however it’s now being rediscovered).
Side note: There is much controversy around the use of bamboo for fabrics and products. Therefore, keep an eye out for EcoGreenHotel’sbamboo pros and cons article to help hotel operators make a well-informed decision.
Not what you might expect!
A new study of the workplace preferences of Generation Y (people born between 1981 and 2000) reveals some striking information – and provides an important heads up for green hotels that hope to attract this up-and-coming demographic.
Not surprisingly, Gen Y’ers want their workplace to have the latest technology and to be set up to allow for greater teamwork, creativity and multi-tasking. But an overwhelming number also expect their employers to provide an eco-friendly work environment that not just meets but exceeds minimum compliance standards.
For example, 96% of those surveyed said they demand an “environmentally-aware or friendly workplace,” and close to 60% said they expect their employer to go above and beyond the regulatory requirements. They want more than just strategically-placed recycle bins – they want real water conservation efforts and the highest level of energy efficiency to be standard operations at work.
The report recommends that employers bring their green initiatives front and center, and that they make sustainability policies a meaningful part of day-to-day operations, because the eco-savvy Gen Y’ers are clearly on the lookout for environmental-friendliness in all aspects of their daily lives.
“[Gen Y] preferences for an environmentally focused working environment are very strong; not only in the physical aspects of the workplace, but also in their way of working: flexible working, travel patterns, etc.,” said the report.
Are you listening, green hotels?Clearly, if the members of Gen Y are that determined to make eco-friendliness an integral part of their work-lives, they’re probably equally determined to exercise that same level of sensitivity when making travel and lodging decisions.
And there will be no fooling this knowledgeable bunch. They’ve grown up alongside the environmental movement. They know green-washing and lax or phony eco-standards when they see them.
If you’re ready to boost your hotel’s energy efficiency and water conservation efforts to prepare your property to attract a new generation of environmentally-aware consumers – contact EcoGreenHotel today.
From ENERGY STAR benchmarkingof your energy usage to finding rebates and incentives to help pay for energy efficiency upgrades to targeted, industry-specific marketing services, our professional green team has got you covered.