Sustainable Hotels Earn Higher Guest Ratings, Says Cornell Study
no such certification, according to a study published by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). The study, which surveyed guests at 6,850 hotels in Spain, found that 4-star hotels particularly benefited from higher guest satisfaction scores when they held the ISO environmental management certification.
Thestudy, "Environmental Management Certification (ISO 14001): Effects on Hotel Guest Reviews," is available at no charge from the CHR. It was written by María-del-Val Segarra-Oña, Angel Peiró-Signes, Rohit Verma, José Mondéjar-Jiménez, and Manuel Vargas-Vargas. Segarra-Oña and Peiró-Signes are at Politechnic University of Valencia, Mondéjar-Jiménez is dean of Social Sciences School of Cuenca at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, where Vargas-Vargas is an associate professor. Verma is a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
"This is one of severalstudies that indicate clear benefits from eco-certification, and one of these benefits seems to involve improved operations," said Verma. "In this study, we see that guests do appreciate those operating improvements. This is especially true for upscale hotels, where certification boosted guest ratings significantly." The ISO 14001 standard, which can apply to any business, specifies a path for continuous improvement and control of a firm's environmental performance.
The Spanish study foundthat the guests gave significantly higher satisfaction ratings to 4-star hotels that met the ISO 14001 standard than to their non-certified competitors. On the other hand, guest rating differences relating to certification in 5- and 3-star hotels were muted. Thus, the results imply that acquiring ISO 14001 certification may give upscale hotels a distinctive asset that leads them to a competitive advantage over similar non-certified properties. On the other hand, in 5- and 3-star properties, it appears guests are focused on other factors when they make their satisfaction ratings.
About the Center for Hospitality Research
The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.
Center Members: Accenture • Access Point Financial, Inc. • Barclaycard US • Cvent • Davis & Gilbert LLP • Deloitte & Touche USA LLP • DerbySoft • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • Fox Rothschild LLP • Hilton Worldwide • Host Hotels & Resorts • Hyatt Hotels Corporation • IDeaS Revenue Solutions • InterContinental Hotels Group • Jumeirah Group • Marriott International • NTT DATA • Preferred Hotels & Resorts • priceline.com • PwC • The Rainmaker Group • RateGain • ReviewPro • Revinate • Sabre Hospitality Solutions • STR • Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces • Tata Consultancy Services • Wipro EcoEnergy • Wyndham Hotel Group