Cornell Study Issues Call for Sustainability in China's Hotels

Jun 06, 2016

Contact: Carol Zhe, 607.254.4504,

Cornell Study Issues Call for Sustainability in China's Hotels

Ithaca, NY, June 6, 2016 - Even though growth in China has eased, the nation's hotel industry continues to expand at a rate far exceeding other parts of the world. However, many of the new hotels in China do not meet international sustainability standards, according to a new analysis published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The report, "Environmental Implications of Hotel Growth in China: Integrating Sustainability with Hotel Development," by Gert Noordzy, Eric Ricaurte, Georgette James, and Meng Wu is available at no charge from CHR.

"The Chinese government is on board with sustainability, and we believe hotel developers will eventually focus more specifically on green practices in building their hotels," said Noordzy. "But we see a number of issues that interfere with sustainability in China's hotels."

Noordzy is a hotel development consultant based in Asia, Ricaurte operates a hotel sustainability and research firm, James is a travel and tourism industry consultant, and Wu is an international hotelier.

The paper outlines the potential for and the importance of the industry improving the sustainability of its operations, particularly regarding carbon emissions, energy, and water consumption.

"Part of the issue is that sustainability just hasn't been an issue for China's hotels in the past," Ricaurte explained. "Many of the hotels are relatively small and capital for environmental upgrades can be limited. Additionally, builders are generally rewarded for efficiency rather than their investments in sustainability."

The report suggests four strategies to improve China's hotel sustainability: offer specific case studies of cost savings from sustainability, demonstrate the value of sustainability in a hotel's product life cycle, anticipate legislative changes, and be responsive to consumer demand for sustainable practices.

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, Duetto, 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,, PwC, The Rainmaker Group, RateGain, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro EcoEnergy, and Wyndham Hotel Group