Going Green or Being Cheap – Customers favour businesses with sustainable development programs, make sure they understand yours.
Being green is more significant today than ever before. Unfortunately, most attempts to deliver the message have been confused. Guests often perceive that a company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint is just a thinly veiled attempt of reducing its operational costs – more bottom line than saving the planet.
A classic example of this is giving guests a choice to have linens and towels left unchanged. Creativeness and clear messaging here are often lacking. Brands have an opportunity to highlight the potential carbon emissions reduction when guests make energy efficiency part of their experience. They can be incentivised with room rate discounts or by donations to valued causes. Consumers have demonstrated their desire to contribute to adjustments that assist a sustainable, low-carbon path, but only when they can understand the value of the opportunity.
The hotel industry already accounts for around 1% (source: UNWTO) of global emissions, and this is set to increase as demand grows. International Tourism Partnership research indicates that the hotel industry must reduce its carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 to meet the 2-degree Celsius cap set out in the Paris Climate Agreement and play their part in mitigating global warming.
Just this month, we’ve heard about some of the industry’s best sustainable business practices. From Brookfield Property Partners US$250 million commitment to develop and refurbish green property projects to Wilde by Staycity’s eco-friendly installations at its newest property. The industry can continue to find meaningful ways of measuring the economic, environmental, and social impact of both property and operating companies.
Innovation is required here. We need to think smart and present our case concisely to the market. This subject will continue to grow in importance.