Domino Effect

Domino Effect

I recently got involved in an exciting project to reduce food waste in Baltimore. I’ve been reading about food waste for a while, but it’s become front and center! (SDG Target 12.3.). During this project, I’ve noticed most studies and articles are about what to do with waste once it is created. Why must there be so much waste in the first place? We need to talk more about PREVENTION!

So, what does food waste prevention entail? Well, it’s actually pretty simple: communication, planning, data. If it’s so simple, why aren’t we doing more?

Brilliant Mediocrity

Brilliant Mediocrity

You may have heard me say this before and you’ll hear me say it again: my philosophy can be summed up in this quote from Fernando Trias de Bes “Better a mediocre idea with brilliant execution than a brilliant idea with mediocre execution.”

There is a risk that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could fall into the category of “brilliant idea” with “mediocre execution.” Some businesses have begun to explicitly address the SDGs but for most of the world’s businesses, which are small to medium enterprises, to embrace and adopt the SDGs, we should perhaps think about how to make them “mediocre ideas” with “brilliant execution.”

Community and hospitality symbiosis: Lessons from Canada

Social enterprises sell products or services to provide assistance and opportunity to disadvantaged populations. As opposed to a traditional non-profit, a social entrepreneur uses market-based mechanisms to fund social and environmental impact. Within the hospitality and tourism context, this ensures higher local benefit, rather than the leakage of resources to multi-national companies, as is often the case in this industry. I recently spoke with...

Try Speaking the Same Language

Try Speaking the Same Language

This is an article originally posted in Hotel News Now on 20-Feb-2018 about a great open source tool that sustainability and finance professionals should use so they are speaking the same language when considering the business case for sustainability initiatives. Original article can also be found here: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/274828/Building-a-business-case-for-sustainability-in-hotels

Lack of demand or lack of awareness?

Lack of demand or lack of awareness?

As noted in my byline, I write about the business case for sustainability. Rather than bury the lede, I’ll come right out with it. As an advocate for sustainability benchmarks, I wish this study showed a clear consumer preference for them, but it does not. I chose to write this anyway, because a critical element of developing a case is to identify weaknesses and obstacles, so we can develop strategies to overcome them.

Calling all Math Geeks: Factoring Sustainability into the Optimal Room Rate

Calling all Math Geeks: Factoring Sustainability into the Optimal Room Rate

The Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management recently published a theoretical model for the relationship between room rate and sustainability.The study, which focuses on top line impact of sustainability, accounts for demand, price sensitivity, sustainability effort and costs, sustainability willingness to pay and demand, variable and fixed hotel costs. The authors determined factors that affect optimal room rate....

Sustainability is a Team Sport Course Eligible for ISSP CEUs

Sustainability is a Team Sport Course Eligible for ISSP CEUs

Astrapto is proud to announce that its inaugural course, Sustainability is a Team Sport, has been approved for CEUs for the ISSP-SA and ISSP-CSP credentials. The International Society of Sustainability Professionals has been a leading organization in advancing the profession of sustainability. In 2016, ISSP launched ...

Incubate a Buy Local Strategy

Incubate a Buy Local Strategy

The "buy local" movement is hot. It's probably not worth spending much time trying to prove that point. For most people, and businesses, it's about food. Everyone gets that local food has environmental and quality benefits. Local produce tastes better. Why? Because it's picked when it should be and not weeks earlier and left to mature in a chemical bath on a cargo ship...

SETE Greek Sustainable Tourism Conference

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the SETE (Greek Tourism Federation) 16th annual conference. This year, the topic was sustainability. A vital and necessary conversation to be having in a country with such rich natural resources. I received excellent hospitality and service at the Electra Metropolis hotel and throughout my visit. One of the special highlights of this experience was ...

Put your money where your word of mouth is

Put your money where your word of mouth is

A few months back I reported on a study that showed how online reviews of top eco-hotels on TripAdvisor contained keys to how properties can better communicate sustainability initiatives. Another study recently came out showing a correlation between customers who mention social or environmental initiatives in online reviews and how they rate hotels.[1] If you are in a business that lives and dies by word of mouth and online ratings, this is worth paying attention to.

Practical Hospitality Sustainability with Aurora Dawn Reinke

I was honored to be interviewed by the Lodging Leaders podcast host, Jonathon Albano, on the topic of hospitality sustainability. I hope you enjoy the episode and I welcome your comments. 

Anything but Luck: Achieving the 13th Living Building Challenge Award

Anything but Luck: Achieving the 13th Living Building Challenge Award

On May 20th, the DC Chapter of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, along with our partners, Leaders in Energy and USGBC-NCR, held an event at a newly certified Living Building Challenge facility at the Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF). The panel of experts on green and living building standards, benefits, and challenges, included...

How Washington DC Hotels are Embracing Sustainability

How Washington DC Hotels are Embracing Sustainability

The 5 Green-Key rated Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., was the perfect setting for an event titled Checking In as the Hospitality Industry Embraces Sustainability, hosted on March 30.  The event, sponsored by the DC|MD chapter of NAIOP’s Sustainable Development Committee and the USGBC National Capital Region chapter, hosted three panelist who left no doubt that now is the time to pursue sustainability in hotels....

How to Engage Your Guests in Your Sustainability Initiatives

How to Engage Your Guests in Your Sustainability Initiatives

A recent study[1] shows guests have negative perceptions of three green hotel initiatives:  low water pressure, temperature control, and green products. The authors analyzed comments on the top 10 GreenLeader hotels in the US, as of 2014. Interestingly, they found that an average of 10% of guest comments were related to green efforts, ranging from 4% to 48.7%. In the reviews analyzed, guests made comments to the effect of “I’m all for saving the environmental, but…” It’s a shame that “green” takes the blame, when it needn’t. Let’s consider each...

Beware the “Because I Said So” Syndrome of Sustainability

Beware the “Because I Said So” Syndrome of Sustainability

Sustainability, like any major change initiative, is dependent on executive sponsorship, but the focus on top leadership buy-in can be skewed.  Executive sponsorship is no doubt vital.  Projects without it have lackluster results and high resentment. Much time is invested wooing executives, but initiatives become watered down by the time they reach managers and frontline employees...