Hospitality Topic Hub - Background and Overview


Welcome to the Hospitality Topic Hub managed by WSPPN, a guide to basic sustainability information with links to additional on-line resources. With each passing year, there has been a global increase in environmental awareness within the business community. While attention is often given to heavy polluters from manufacturing, environmental concerns stretch throughout every sector. In recent years, the hospitality industry has seen considerable growth both in the number of hotel properties and in the number of sustainability efforts. With this growth, demand for “green” hospitality practices has increased through a more well-informed public. Hotels now regularly receive inquiries from guests and conference/convention organizers regarding their property’s sustainability measures with regards to recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, etc. Now implementation of green practices has become that much more important.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) recently released its 2012 Lodging Survey, one of the most comprehensive industry-wide surveys of its kind. The survey covered all segments of U.S. hotels and revealed notable trends in a variety of categories, including their environmental initiatives. Funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), the research analyzed feedback from over 12,000 participating U.S. hotel properties. Some of the highlights of that survey include the following:

  • 76% of participants claim to have a linen/towel reuse program. Although this value is down twelve points from the 2010 survey, it is still significantly greater than the previous surveys. (Question 25)
  • Recycling programs at hotels continue to gain popularity, climbing steadily over the last five surveys and reaching 59% in 2012. (Question 27)
  • Evidence that hotels are paying attention to their energy usage can be seen in the 66% that said they use LED energy efficient lighting. (Question 28)
  • Further evidence of properties going increasingly “green” can be seen in the six point gain from 2010 to 75% in 2012 of respondents who said they have implemented water saving programs. This number is significantly up from the 46% who claimed to have in 2008. (Question 29)
  • Interestingly, there was hardly any change in the percentage of hotels that said they use a digital energy system (27%). This feature is highly correlated with hotel price segment and size, where more expensive and larger properties are more likely to use these systems. (Question 30)
  • The percentage of hotels working towards a green certification is up five points to 49% from the first time the question was asked in 2010. (Question 31)
  • Plans to incorporate LEED in structural renovations over the next 12 months increased slightly to 13% from 12% in 2010 for hotels that have renovations planned. Luxury and resort properties have the highest percentage of positive responses. (Question78)
  • There was no change from 2010 in the 10% of properties that incorporated LEED designs in a major structural renovation in the last 12 months. (Question 81)

All references to environmental and best-management-practice documents and processes that have been peer-reviewed for accuracy.


The Topic Hub is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2RX)
The Hospitality Topic Hub was developed by:
Western Sustainability Pollution Prevention Network
Contact email:[email protected]
Hub Last Updated: 04/04/2013