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Survey Says: Many Still Fail to Communicate Their Green Stories

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Next month will see the release of the second annual Green Lodging Trends Report. I wrote 13 articles for this year’s report—survey results in categories ranging from Air Quality to Water Conservation. Be sure to watch for this year’s free report. Being a communicator myself, I am always interested in how hoteliers communicate their sustainability initiatives to their guests and employees. While there are many who do a great job at it, there are many—for whatever reason—who keep their green story a secret.

For this year’s report we asked, “Does the property have space on its website dedicated to sharing its green practices?” Only about half (51 percent) said they do. Last year 48 percent indicated they allocate space. What about the guestroom? Are green initiatives communicated in the Guest Services Directory or elsewhere? This year 73 percent said yes. Last year: 76 percent.

Reaching out to the media can help create a lot of buzz about an on-property or community initiative. We asked, “Has your property ever issued a press release highlighting a green investment or initiative?” Forty-seven percent said yes. Last year: 54 percent.

Oftentimes, especially at larger properties with more active sustainability programs, tours are offered to guests and the public that highlight environmental improvement projects. This year, 38 percent of respondents said they offer such tours. Last year: 37 percent.

Documentation of a property or company’s sustainability plan of action can help keep everyone “on the same page” when it comes to proper procedures. Documentation is also a critical part of training new hires and existing staff. In our survey we asked, “Does your property have a written sustainability policy/set of policies in place?” Seventy-four percent said yes. Last year: 72 percent.

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