Five Important Benefits of Green Certification

By Michelle Millar Assistant Professor Hospitality Management, University of San Francisco | January 29, 2012

Green Certification?

Green certification helps consumers identify green hotels, and the practices they incorporate. A certification program also provides hoteliers the opportunity to have their hotel rated and labeled based on predetermined environmental practices and policies. Ratings will vary depending on the organization selected to certify the hotel. In some instances, the hotel self-reports which environmental practices they participate in and in other instances the certifying organization inspects the hotel. Standards that most certification programs use incorporate those areas of the hotel that relate to energy management, waste management, water use reduction, and education. Although the number of companies that certify appears to be growing, a few of the more well known organizations are Green Seal, Green Globe, Green Key, and the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program.

When traveling today, consumers are presented with a wide range of hotels from which to choose. There are mega-resorts, bed and breakfasts, economy and mid-scale hotels that offer more and more amenities as those of full service hotels, and the increasingly popular lifestyle and boutique hotels of all sizes. The growing supply of so many different types of hotels makes it all the more important for hoteliers to create a product that will stand out and be different from its competitors. Green certification is a tool that hoteliers may use to distinguish themselves from others, and it can be applied to all of the previously mentioned hotel types. It can also be used to increase profits, enhance image, expand marketing opportunities, and provide clarity.

Why seek any sort of green certification?

There are five primary reasons why a lodging company might consider green certification.

1. Increased Profitability

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.