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

Mar 23, 2015

Contact: Carol Zhe, 607.254.4504, caz9@cornell.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cornell Study Finds Hotel Guests Participate in and Support Environmental Sustainability Efforts

Ithaca, NY, March 23, 2015 - 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.

"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."
 
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial, and operating practices. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.

Center Partners: Accenture, Access Point Financial, Cvent, Inc., Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, Duetto, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Infosys Limited, Intel Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, Inc., priceline.com, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Rainmaker Group, RateGain, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, SAS, SONIFI Solutions, Inc., STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Talent Plus, Inc., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., TripAdvisor, Wipro EcoEnergy, and Wyndham Hotel Group

Center Friends: DK Shifflet & Associates • EyeforTravel • Hospitality Technology Magazine • Hsyndicate • iPerceptions • J.D. Power and Associates • PKF Hospitality Research • Questex Hospitality Group