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UICN If in the previous post we talked about customers who participate in hotel sustainability programs being more satisfied with their stays; it is now, with respect to the high level of customer satisfaction, when hotel companies consider that sustainability must become the norm: more than 75% of U.S. hotels have linen and towel reuse programs, 59% have both guest and internal recycling programs, and 46% have a water-saving program, according to the American Hotel Association.

This is supported by Pat Maher, ‘green guru’ for this association, who says that, in addition to the ecological benefits brought by these changes, this measures also save a lot of money. Sustainability makes business sense for the hotels.

A saving of 745 million dollars

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the hotel industry could save 745 million by reducing energy use by 10%, which translates to hotels earning 2 more dollars per room night.

In view of this, many hotels are trying to encourage their guests’ participation. It is the case of the Sheraton Chain that gives customers a five-dollar food and drink voucher for every day they decline housekeeping’s services; or Hampton Inn, which offers 100% biodegradable cutlery, plates and cups made from potato starch, and asks their customers to reuse towels.

Luxury also goes ‘green’

Although we could think that sustainability programs would hit a roadblock with luxury guests, it is not so. “These practices do not diminish the luxury experience, we still have the best towels, linens and amenities”, Sue Stephenson, vice-president of Ritz-Carlton, says.

Since 2011, the Ritz chain uses the same sheets for its customers two nights in a row and they still have not had guest complaint but have positive comments because “guests know that we are doing the right thing”,” Stephenson said. It is also noticeable the case of Hilton, which has implemented 200 ‘green’ practices and has saved more than 147 million dollars.

It is a fact that more and more consumers choose environmentally responsible hotels. And this is reflected by the last TripAdvisor survey. 71% of travellers reported that they planned to choose hotels based on sustainability for their stays during this year, in contrast with 65% (for 2012).

At home or outside, environmental practices is not just a passing fad but a trend that translates into big savings for hotel chains, increases their guest satisfaction, and promotes sustainability and awareness of their customers. These are the reasons why hard work is needed for raising customers and staff’s awareness. Sustainability has become a safe asset… available to all?


 El blog de Responsible Hotels sobre la gestión ética y responsables de establecimientos hoteleros. Nos preocupa el medio ambiente y la biodiversidad. Nos encantan los viajes, investigar sobre sostenibilidad y los fines de semana largos. Leer más de este autor

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One Response to “Sustainability, as a business?”

  1. Muy concreto su aporte. Gracias. Seguiré de cerca cada uno de sus artículos.

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