Home Publisher's Point of View Green Lodging Trends Report Revisited: Part Two

Green Lodging Trends Report Revisited: Part Two

Glenn Hasek

As reported on Green Lodging News last week, Greenview and Green Lodging News just released the Green Lodging Trends Report 2017. Many of you may have taken a look at the report already. If you have not already done so, you can access it here. Not included for the most part in the Trends Report were replies to open-ended questions and other comments. I would like to share some of them with you here.

Q: How do you celebrate your successes for moving your property toward greater efficiency? Please describe.

A: Every year celebration for rewarding the most efficient employees.
A: Inform staff in quarterly sustainability newsletter.
A: Team meeting, cupcake party or other treat, extra time off for the whole team.
A. The team is recognized annually at an awards ceremony and we recognize reaching monthly goals at employee rallies.
A. We have put incentives in place for the highest weekly recycles by weight per team member in housekeeping.

Q. What are your property’s greatest challenges around sustainability and staff involvement? Please describe.

A. Staff are not committed at the beginning of their working period, they need environmental education process in order to become aware of the problems and understand the actions taken.
A. Space on the housekeeping carts to sort recyclables from garbage.
A. In the guestrooms the biggest challenge is the time needed to separate recyclables from guest garbage, though we have recently made progress on this by installing additional recycling stations on the guest floors reducing overall sorting time.
A. Getting guests to participate.

Q. If you have “allergy-friendly” rooms for guests, how are they different than other rooms in your property? Please be specific.

A. All our guestrooms are cleaned with ozone which is a natural non chemical and non-perfumed product which makes all rooms allergy-friendly.
A. Our property offers feather-free rooms meaning only foam pillows are used. Guests may also request that their linen be cleaned using hot water only; no chemicals.
A. They do not contain wool carpeting and contain hypo-allergenic amenities.
A. Instead of carpet we have linoleum on the floor.

Q. Describe the most innovative philanthropic or community initiative carried out in the past year.

A. Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation funded two workshops to teach Positive Reinforcement Target Training to Myanmar and Thai mahouts and camp managers in Myanmar & Surin, Thailand. We also now fund two full time English teachers and one vet in the Thai elephant village of Ban Ta Klang, Surin, Thailand.
A. Every year the hotel hosts children from “Smile of the Child” for about one week.
A. The administrator has started a local youth eco-club and a sustainable community-based Ecological Tourism Assn.
A. Trees of Hope is a Christmas tree decorating party where trees are sponsored and decorated by local businesses and will be on display throughout the holiday season. Funds raised will be donated to the Petite-Nation Food Bank (local food bank).

Q. What value have you found in certification?

A. Exclusivity.
A. Used in marketing, has brought some results, hard to measure.
A. The certifications help us understand and apply good environmental practices and optimize operations to be sustainable.
A. Very valuable and looked at highly by guests staying at the hotel.
A. Provides the structure and framework in which our environmental processes are set up.  Allows the hotel to provide evidence of our compliance to an international standard.

Q. Provide an example of a program you launched in the last year to promote employee and/or guest wellness?

A. We started a wellness challenge for our associates that will run from May 1 to June 30. Team of four. The team with the most weight loss will win $100 each.
A. We have moved our staff from a six day working week as is standard in Indonesia to a five day working week.
A. We removed soda from our employee break room.
A. Employee wellness fair.
A. We have a 100 percent company paid extended medical program which promotes regular massage, acupuncture and wellness. We also offer free gym memberships to staff.

Q. What innovative or interesting practices, not covered in the Green Lodging Trends Report Survey, does your property engage in around sustainability or social responsibility? Please describe.

A. We have kitchen/kitchenettes stocked with china, silver and glassware to help cut down on paper and plastic. We have filtered water pitchers in the room fridges for our guests’ arrival.
A. Guests who drive a hybrid or electric car get the third night free.
A. We have established a Sustainability Fund to contribute 0.5 percent of total revenues to social and environmental efforts in varying levels.
A. We had a dilapidated building on site, and were able to salvage 97 percent of the materials to build our current hostel.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Green Lodging Trends Report. I will be referring to its results throughout the year.

Sustainability Seminar Finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience

The sustainability seminar, “2020 Vision—Lodging’s Leaders Set the Sustainability Bar Higher,” has been finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience. The event will take place on Monday, November 13 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Hotel stage at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Don’t miss this seminar including Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity, Marriott International, Inc., Gardner Jackson, Assistant Vice President, the Nalco Water division of Ecolab USA Inc., and Lindsay Wilkinson, part of InterContinental Hotels Group’s Corporate Responsibility team focused on Environmental Sustainability. I will be moderating the session. Attendee registration for HX: The Hotel Experience, November 12 to 13, 2017, is now open at the newly redesigned website, www.thehotelexperience.com.

How to Search on Our Website

Similar to other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2017 or 2018?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2017 and 2018. Many excellent spots are available on our new website, in the weekly e-mail newsletter, and Green Lodging Survey. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2017 or 2018 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 9,089. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,762 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 869 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.