Industry Update
Press Release23 March 2015

Cornell Study Finds Hotel Guests Participate in and Support Environmental Sustainability Efforts

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The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University

Certain sustainability practices are nearly universal in the lodging industry, says a Cornell University study published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Water-conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs, for instance, are widespread, based on the study of 100 U.S. resorts. The study, "Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction," by Alexandra Bruns-Smith, Vanessa Choy, Howard Chong, and Rohit Verma, is available at no charge from the CHR.

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"We found that a majority of resorts were using at least two dozen of the nearly four dozen sustainability practices that we examined," said Verma, who is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA). "Of course, many of these practices were implemented to save money, as well as to be green."

"In addition to our study of the 100 resorts, we also analyzed data collected by J.D. Power from 120,000 hotel customers over a five-year period," said Chong, who is a professor at the SHA. "We found that guests are generally willing to participate in sustainability programs, but green operations still don't have a big weight in the hotel booking decision. The big factors are still price and convenience."

"Guests essentially expect to find sustainable practices in a hotel, and a reasonably large percentage of guests are willing to participate in those programs," added Chong. "However, our study also found that even more guests will join in when hotels offer incentives, such as loyalty program points, for participating in environmental programs."

Verma pointed out, however: "Since the guest satisfaction link to sustainability is not strong, we concluded that management's decision regarding which green programs to implement should rest on cost-benefit analysis and other operating considerations."

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Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction | By

23 March 2015 — Executive Summary: Certain sustainability practices could be considered nearly universal in the lodging industry, based on a study of 100 resorts in the United States. Among the common green practices are water conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs.
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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

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Carol Zhe
Phone: 607.254.4504
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