When we opened our doors in August of 2009, one of our objectives was to make the The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport as earth-friendly as possible. More and more travelers and meeting planners are choosing hotels that engage in sustainable practices in everyday operations. And when you are a luxury hotel in one of America’s “Green-ist” cities such as Portland, it is very important to pay attention to this fact. It also makes us feel good as a company to try and reduce wasteful operations and toxic products.
Our sister hotel, The Grand Hotel Salem/Phoenix Grand Hotel in Salem Oregon has been on the forefront on implementing even better Eco practices by developing a “Green Team” led by Sales Director Kristi Reed.
In fact- we are moving in a direction where operating a “green business” is becoming an industry standard. This expectation is demonstrated in an article from Travel Portland
…. the sustainable meeting industry is alive, growing and shows no signs of stopping. In fact, the move from fringe to mainstream is well underway. According to the December 2008 Ernst & Young Report, Global Hospitality Insights: Hospitality Going Green, “Those companies with business models that revolve around green practices will have the strongest opportunity of achieving a ‘sustainable’ competitive advantage.”
“It’s a buyer’s market, and the buyers appear to want green,” reports Tyler Davidson, editorial director, Meetings Media. “There was a size able jump in the number of meeting planners who are planning or expect to plan a green meeting, led by 51 percent of independents [a 16 percent jump over the last survey] and followed by 46.8 percent of corporates [a 10.5 percent jump over the last survey], and 44.4 percent both of association planners and government planners.”
The MPI Business Barometer, November 2008, reports similar findings. “Many meeting professionals continue to expect a trend toward ‘green’ meetings. Technology providers and regional destinations may specifically prosper from current trends.” The same report identifies “green meetings” as a “Top Ten” trend planners anticipate influencing meetings and events business over the next six months.
A recent survey of corporate travel managers by the National Business Travel Association indicates nearly 30 percent of managers incorporate green considerations into their travel policies and that nearly 25 percent prefer green meeting suppliers. Another 30 percent will use hotels in the future that feature environmentally friendly amenities and practices.
Consumers are driving the demand. A 2008 survey on consumer choice and the environment found that customers “feel empowered when it comes to the environment and are taking some action in their daily lives to reduce consumption and waste.” More than a third of American respondents in a TripAdvisor survey said they will visit an environmentally friendly hotel or resort in 2009. Additionally, 32 percent of respondents said they will be more environmentally conscious in their travel decisions than they were the year before.
What are your thoughts? We would love to hear your comments on our blog or on our Facebook Page and hear your ideas on how you think we can make our hotel even “greener”.