|Downtown San Diego’s Only LEED Certified Boutique Hotel|
Going “Green” in Style
By Dr. Gerry Goeden
One of our favorite arguments against doing the “right thing” is that it costs more. Recycling costs more, picking up rubbish costs more, and operating a sustainable business costs more.
Well, as far as hotels and resorts go this belief is all wrong. The latest research from the prominent Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration shows that hotels certified in the sustainable building program not only help the environment but boost revenue.
The program they looked at is Leadership in Energy and Environmental design, LEED. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is intended to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently. Many U.S. federal agencies and state and local governments require or reward LEED certification.
To participate in LEED, a building must comply with environmental laws and regulations, occupancy scenarios, building permanence and pre-rating completion, site boundaries and area-to-site ratios. Its owner must share data on the building’s energy and water use for five years after occupancy (for new construction) or date of certification (for existing buildings). They use between 11 and 39% less site energy than non-LEED buildings on average.
|Crosby Street Hotel, New York|
By comparing 93 LEED certified U.S. hotels with a competitive set of non-certified hotels, the study found substantial increases in average daily rates and revenue per available room for the LEED hotels.
“The hotel industry has embraced environmental sustainability and several hotels have registered for or earned ‘green’ certification under the LEED program,” said Rohit Verma, professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. “The question was whether there is also a revenue benefit from LEED. We found that the answer is, absolutely yes.”
|ITC Grand Chola, Chennai|
Traveling in the USA or Canada? See if your destination participates in the LEED scheme. If they don’t then ask them, “Why not?”
For those travelling in Asia there is another route to take. Contact your destination hotel and ask them to tell you what “green” or environmental certificates or awards they have won in recent years. Let them know this matters to you and many other guests.
Travellers have the power to change the world.
|Bio Hotel, Bogata, Colombia|