Hotels Responding to Climate Change, Report Says

hotels respond to climate change

If you’ve noticed more recycling bins in hotel rooms or temperature controls that automatically switch off when you’re away, it might be your hotel is taking a stand on global climate change. More than eight in ten hotels say the issue of climate change impacts their decisions to make operational improvements and investments, according to Green Lodging Trends Report 2017.

What’s especially notable is that, of the hotels that say climate change figures in their decision-making, “more of them shifted to ‘having significant impact’ [instead of] ‘having some impact’ this year,” to quote the summary of the report’s key findings. Globally, nearly 40 percent of hotels say climate change is a game changer.

We tend to think of high-end hotels and resorts as poster children in the Color Me Green world. Yet make room for the so-called limited-service hotels—the budget players such as Fairfield Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton. Limited-service hotels, the report indicates, are stepping up their green game—”continually improving in the areas of sustainability, going toe to toe with full-service properties and in some cases even beating them,” as the report puts it.

There’s another big reason for real progress on the sustainability front. You, and other frequent travelers like you. Hotel guests are not only giving more feedback on hotel sustainability practices but are keen to make a positive environmental impact during their stays.

In other words, take that comment card seriously. Almost half the hotels surveyed say guest comments triggered a change for the greener.

The survey also asked about guest health and wellness issues. “Guests are paying closer attention to the products that they use,” the report states. It found nearly nine in ten limited-service properties offered eco-friendly amenities. Nearly six in ten full-service hotels did likewise.

Another example cited is environmentally safer paints in guest rooms and common areas. “Toxic substances in paints…can be hazardous to guests’ health and well-being,” the report notes. According to the survey, some nine out of ten hotels—both limited- and full-service—now use low-VOC or VOC-free paints during renovations.

Electric- and hybrid-car owners are increasingly welcome guests. More than a quarter of hotels say they have installed electric-vehicle charging stations. More than a third say they provide preferred parking locations for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Half of all hotels globally say they practice recycling in common areas of their properties. In the Americas, that practice is nearly universal. Twice as many Asia Pacific (47.4 percent) hotels—as compared to hotels in the Americas (22.6 percent)—say they donate excess food to local nonprofits or charities.

Are hotels wearing their green proudly? Alas, only half talk up their green cred on their website. About the same percentage send out press releases about green investments or initiatives.

The Green Lodging Trend Report, which is in its second year, is a joint project of Green Lodging News and Greenview, a hotel sustainability consultant. Respondents to a 110-question survey numbered 2,093 hotels across 46 countries.

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