Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Popely

Deborah Popely

Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Management , Kendall College

Deborah Popely has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality field and more than 12 years' experience as a sustainability consultant and educator. She is currently Associate Professor at Kendall College's School of Hospitality Management, where she leads the curriculum for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and conducts research on global MICE industry issues. She recently traveled to China to participate in an international MICE conference and has written about the experience for academic and popular journals. Ms. Popely has significant experience in hospitality education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University. Ms. Popely is also the founding executive director of Green Events Source, a non-profit dedicated to increasing sustainability in the events and hospitality industries. A long-time leader in sustainable hospitality, Popely participated in the development and launch of the APEX-ASTM Sustainable Meetings Standard and founded the Green Meeting Industry Council Chicago Chapter. She published the Green Events Sourcebook, a multi-media guide to green meetings and events, from 2008- 2011, and in 2013 launched The Green Event App, an online sustainable supplier-selection tool for the meetings and events market. Ms. Popely has written extensively on green hospitality and related topics and has served as a presenter and keynote speaker for local, regional and national industry organizations. These include the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality and Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Destination Marketing Association (DMAI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). Ms. Popely has significant experience in sustainability education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University.

Ms. Popely can be contacted at 312-752-2216 or Deborah.popely@kendall.edu

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.