Green Trends: Considerations for Leading Hospitality Companies
By Bob Chasnow Attorney, Holland & Knight | February 13, 2010
No doubt about it - from major corporations like DuPont, Caterpillar, and BP are lobbying President Bush to develop mandatory carbon emission caps to Walmart CEO Lee Scott's bold pledge to use 100 percent renewable energy and produce zero waste - companies are taking significant green steps. As Thomas Friedman, a New York Times editorialist states, "Green is ... the [growth] industry of the 21st century."
However, hotel and resort companies have many questions about how best to invest time and resources toward joining the growing green movement. Namely, what exactly is the green/sustainability movement, and how does it relate to the hotel and resort development business?
Sustainability Makes Business Sense
With environmental compliance now a global issue, many companies possess environmental management systems, some developed around international compliance standards (e.g., the International Standards Organization's (ISO) 14001 standards). These formal environmental management systems can yield significant benefits, including environmental compliance, which can reduce legal costs and liabilities.
Environmental management programs that move beyond compliance efforts can yield significant benefit to a company's bottom-line by increasing focus on cutting current costs through reducing inputs and waste. For example, Walmart saved $3.5 million in transportation costs in 2005 simply by eliminating excess packaging on the company's Kid Connection toy line.
Buildings Are the Hotel Industry's Greatest Source of Impact