Chain Hotels Take Green Lead
A recent study by Stefani Svaren, who a student at the School of Hospitality Business Management in Pullman, WA, found that major chain hotels are far ahead of independent hotels in the area of sustainable and Green practices.
As reported in a recent issue of the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Svaren’s study found that chains are more likely to implement such practices as: utilizing energy-efficient lightbulbs and water-saving bathroom fixtures, as well as using environmentally preferable cleaning products.
According to Svaren’s research, some independent hotels lag so far behind their chain competition that they risk losing customers. “This is because on both a corporate level and a personal level, if costs and features are competitive, more travelers prefer to stay in a Green hotel,” comments Mike Sawchuk, vice president of Enviro-Solutions, manufacturer of Green cleaning chemicals and products, which markets to hotels throughout North America.
Dating back to the 1990s, which is when hotels first began adapting green policies, larger chains quickly realized going green could be both a money-saving as well as powerful marketing strategy.
“Some independent hotels, for instance, are reluctant to switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs because it can take years for them to see a return on their investment,” explains Sawchuk. “However, a large chain may discover cost savings almost immediately.”
What about the use of green cleaning? According to Sawchuk. “Many of the [chains] we work with are quick to add this fact to their marketing material. [They find] consumers believe a Green hotel is a better operated hotel.”