What are the key marketing benefits of improving a hotel’s green credentials?

Enhancing environmental performance is a method of differentiating a hotel, and forward thinking hoteliers can successfully use this differentiation to deliver a competitive advantage and increased revenues. It enables them to generate additional positive publicity and engage with existing and new target customers.

Having an effective environmental management system in place is becoming crucial for any business seeking to win business from the corporate business and public sector markets – many of whom will screen suppliers for proof of environmental policies and performance.

Our recent research showed that many hoteliers are slow in seeing the benefits of attaining a GTBS award. Why do you think this is?

We have had contacted the broader hospitality industry and found that many were fully engaged with responding to the challenges of the recession and keeping overheads down. Unfortunately this often meant that environmental issues were given a low priority – ignoring the fact that there are often cost savings associated with such things as improved energy and waste management. There were of course some who bucked this trend, typically the larger hotel groups, and are making great strides through GTBS or their own approach to environmental management.

We cause it interesting that in many of the hotels that we reviewed, the employees and the hotel managers were very keen to make real environmental progress. However, when it came to private owners being prepared to consider making an investment in green improvement, this was considerably more challenging; and we were surprised to find how many of these owners lived overseas.

Is their solid evidence to suggest that guest preferences are “going green”?

There are a number of surveys that demonstrate such a trend for the hotel marketplace and these support wider global research of an increasing environmental aware