Environmental protection pays off financially for hotels! Hotels in Spain that have environmental management systems in place are more profitable than those that do not, according to a recent study from Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR).
Of more than 2,000 Spanish hotels surveyed those that had sustainability certification recorded stronger sales and earnings. “Our findings challenge the often-heard contention that adopting sustainability programmes will diminish hotels’ performance. Instead, these data show the reverse to be the case”, said co-author Rohit Verma, professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and CHR’s executive director.
Tourism is a resource-intensive industry that leaves a big footprint on the environment.More and more European hotels are thus adopting environmental management schemes. While the eco-friendly hotels that were surveyed in Spain had adopted ISO 14001 as their eco-management scheme, EMAS includes and goes beyond ISO 14001’s requirements, making it an even more credible and robust environmental management instrument. Dozens of hotels all over Europe have already chosen to upgrade to EMAS. EMAS is particularly strong when it comes to boosting resource efficiency and, in contrast to ISO 14001, EMAS adds value regarding:
- Stricter requirements on the measurement and evaluation of environmental performance against objectives and targets, and the continuous improvement of that environmental performance;
- Legal compliance with environmental legislation ensured by government supervision;
- Strong employee involvement;
- Environmental core indicators creating multi-annual comparability within and between organisations;
- Transparent communication: Provision of information to the general public through the validated environmental statement; and
- Reliability: Registration by a public authority after verification by an accredited/licensed environmental verifier.