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Green Design

Sustainability Shows Neutral Effect for Industry

Oct 23, 2013

According to a study by the Cornell School of Hospitality Administration, an analysis of sales and rates for 9,000 hotels shows a net neutral effect for the hotel industry's efforts to implement sustainability.

The study, made possible by a massive database maintained by Sabre Holdings, including Travelocity, concluded that the hotel industry's fears of losing business due to implementing green operations are unfounded. However, hotels on average also do not necessarily see a revenue boost from going green.

Sabre has created an Eco-Certified Hotel label for hotels that have earned any of a dozen international sustainability certifications. This green flag appears both on search results and in the Sabre Global Distribution System. The revenue results for each of the 3,000 green-label hotels were compared to 6,000 non-certified hotels.

"The hotel industry has moved ahead with sustainability," says Howard G. Chong, an assistant professor at the School of Hotel Administration. “But there's a nagging question about whether installing green programs interferes with the hotel's quality standards and its ability to provide guest luxury. Some hotels have been reluctant to go green because they might lose business. This study shows that, on average, the hotel industry doesn't lose sales or rate from sustainability."

Rohit Verma, a professor at the School of Hotel Administration, explained that some individual hotels may see a drop in revenue from going green, while others may improve their sales.

"It was not possible to address the situation of any individual hotel, but we can conclude that going green is compatible with existing quality standards of hotel service, and that advertising green status doesn't hurt a hotel's revenues,” adds Chong. “But it may not help either. In other words, green is not a silver bullet strategy."

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



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