Suzann Heinemann

Founder and CEO of InfraCert GmbH


Suzann Heinemann has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry as a founder and managing director, in hotel development and in consulting, in particular for strategic marketing and sales projects. She was co-owner of a conference-focused hotel for many years before founding and managing Gronowsky & Co. Hotel Consulting GmbH and GreenLine Hotels. At Gronowsky & Co. Hotel Consulting she is responsible for the planning and implementation of various projects with well-known clients of the hotel industry. In 2001 she founded the hotel cooperation GreenLine Hotels with seven hotels. With over 140 hotels, GreenLine is one of the leading hotel groups for small and medium-sized individual hotels. Her lived-out vision of sustainable hotel and brand management is stringently implemented at GreenLine Hotels: in 2014, she introduced the first and only marketing cooperation to introduce an integrated sustainability system across all stages of the value chain. In 2015 she foundet InfraCert – Institute for Sustainable Development in the hotel industry. InfraCert is an institute dedicated to practical research and development in the area of sustainable businesses, especially of accommodation businesses and tourism destinations. They certify hotels for sustainability and corporate citizenship and additionally support an interdisciplinary exchange with science, hotel stakeholders and partners of the hotel and tourism industry. They have designed an efficient testing system and the sustainability label GreenSign based on a scientific and practical background and according to international framework. GreenSign is an established label with an independent and high-ranking advisory board functions as a controlling and advising instance during the process of certification. Since 2015, Suzann Heinemann is the owner of the Schlosshotel Blankenburg, which is characterized by a sustainable hotel management. She is author and speaker in the field of marketing and sales as well as sustainability in the hotel industry.

Insights by Suzann Heinemann (4)

COVID-19: A stress test for sustainable development in hospitality?

"Covid-19 is climate change on warp speed" (Wagner, Mar.10, 2020). The current pandemic has catastrophic consequences on the hospitality sector. The ways the industry currently deals with the crisis (for example, see: COVID-19 - Survival Guide for the Hospitality Industry) offers a glimpse into the crisis management endeavors in building a business case for disaster and climate resiliency.

How can sustainability be communicated beyond clichés and greenwashing?

Both clichés and greenwashing are amongst the biggest traps to fall into when communicating sustainability. A "let's save the world" claim and tacky towel policy stickers are superficial and unappealing and could be a turn-off to the small group of environmentally and socially-conscious consumers.