Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Alton

Sharon Alton

Founder & Principal, GAIA Consulting Group, LLC

Sharon Alton, founder and principal of GAIA Consulting Group, LLC, an integrated consulting firm that helps hotels and hospitality management companies gain maximum value for their sustainable efforts. Ms. Alton offices with the U.S. Green Building Council in downtown Denver and has an esteemed client base including Destination Hotels & Resorts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 8 and the Downtown Denver Partnership. She prides herself on demonstrating to clients how they can integrate economic, environmental and social responsibility into their company's corporate strategy. Her firm specializes in assessment, design, implementation, reporting and optimization of sustainable business opportunities. A business-minded professional with a background in investment banking and hospitality management, Ms. Alton gained a deep appreciation for the intersection of business and the environment while completing Graduate course work in Economics. Fascinated by the perception that economic reality is mutually exclusive to environmental and social responsibility, Ms. Alton chose to focus her attention on resolving this common misperception. GAIA Consulting Group is the product of her focus. A consulting platform which helps companies to bridge this dynamic perceptual gap, Ms. Alton assists her clients in achieving concurrent positive results for both the environment and their balance sheet. Ms. Alton graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She employs sustainable practices in her personal life and frequently provides pro-bono counseling to individuals seeking to lessen their environment footprint while achieving economic savings. Demonstrating that economic and environmental success go hand in hand, GAIA Consulting Group donates a percentage of annual profit to environmental organizations.

Ms. Alton can be contacted at 720-934-6045 or sharon@thegaiagroup.net

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.