The Value of Sustainability

    “In the global business environment, value can be a subjective evaluation – however, if the age-old adage says that business is a two-way street, as a modifier, we must remember that responsible business is a two-way value driver.” Paul Snyder, IHG

    We know that operating a business responsibly has rightfully become a table stakes mandate – particularly when it comes to sustainability. Still, the conversation around these initiatives often revolves around ROI.

    Earlier this summer, I joined industry experts for a roundtable hosted by Hotel News Now, to discuss the state and value of sustainability in the hospitality industry. Here are some of my key takeaways from our engaging conversation.

    Flattening price points are opening the way for broader adoption of eco-friendly practices.

    With a continuing reduction in the price difference between ‘green’ and standard products, as well as economies of scale and community-based incentives working to the advantage of hotel owners, it’s becoming easier to participate in sustainable practices.

    The InterContinental New York Barclay is a great example of a property which has really taken advantage – they’ve implemented a range of green solutions including energy-efficient lighting; water and waste management efforts that include a food waste digester; and locally sourced F&B offerings, including a rooftop apiary.

    Organizations are increasingly prioritizing sustainability in their procurement processes

    On the flipside – those that forgo sustainable practices may only realize the true value of such initiatives when faced with the growing specter of missed opportunities. Last year, more than half of IHG’s business accounts asked for our sustainability credentials – such as carbon footprint, water consumption and waste.

    If you want to work with the best, sell to the best and partner with the best, it’s critical to have a strong plan in place. If you don’t, the competition automatically has a leg up on you. Worse, you can miss opportunities to even get a foot in the door.

    There are intangible recruitment and retention benefits presented by sustainability and social issues

    I truly believe hotels that authentically engage in environmental issues and social issues have better successes in recruiting the best talent and have higher retention rates of employees.

    This is especially true when you’re able to align this activity with areas of passion. For example, during our annual IHG Foundation Week, colleagues from hotels and corporate offices worldwide participate in fundraising and volunteer activities to support efforts which create stronger, healthier and more prosperous societies. Last year, we had more than 120,000+ participants – a resounding show of engagement which we hope to top with our 2017 effort next month!

    In the global business environment, value can be a subjective evaluation – however, if the age-old adage says that business is a two-way street, as a modifier, we must remember that responsible business is a two-way value driver.

    Paul Snyder:  Skilled leader with an extensive track record of successfully delivering change into the world’s largest hotel company. Record of innovation includes moving business into new markets and models. Known for re-energizing and teams so results are enhanced. History of designing and deploying new approaches to products, services and strategies. Recognized by peers, outside partners and direct reports as a thought leader with an ability to see connections that can transform an enterprise while influencing key stakeholders to “get onboard”. Acknowledged by senior executives as a creative strategist who marries processes while strengthening collaborative connections in order to maximize success. Sought out by internal and external constituencies as an expert on operations, customer insights, strategic alliances, marketplace trends, project management, innovation, optimizing organizations and creating solutions to legacy challenges. Focused on building mutually respectful and collaborative relationships which form a foundation from which business metrics, trust, leadership, innovation, and growth are enhanced.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/value-sustainability-paul-snyder

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