Luxury hotels lead industry in green accommodations

October 12, 2010 |

Results from the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 2010 Lodging Survey showed that luxury and upper-upscale hotels are most likely to feature green amenities and earn green certifications. The survey, which is conducted every two years, was funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation and prepared by Smith Travel Research. Results were tallied from 8,800 respondents, for a very respectable 18% response rate. Questions focused on 14 green-related categories, including allergy-free rooms, water-saving programs, energy management systems, recycling programs, green certification, and green renovation.

The chief findings:

  • 23% of respondents use energy management sensors in guestrooms, down slightly from 25% reported in 2008. Properties most likely to have sensors: luxury (43%) and upper-upscale (32%) hotels.
  • 60% of respondents have recycling programs, up from 40% reported two years ago. Luxury (87%) and upper-upscale (85%) properties are most likely to have these programs, while economy hotels (36%) are least likely.
  • 88% of respondents report use of energy-efficient lighting, versus 68% in 2008. Hotels across the board equally report using this type of lighting to a significant degree.
  • 69% of respondents say they have a water-saving program in place, up from 46% in 2008. Once again, luxury (80%) and upper-upscale (85%) properties are most likely to have such a program. A significant number of upscale hotels (73%) also report having a water-saving program.
  • 51% of respondents report having a digital energy management system in place; this is the first time the question appeared on the survey. Luxury (48%) and upper-upscale hotels (51%) again lead the industry, with only 7% of economy hotels reporting use of a digital energy management system.
  • 56% of hotels offer 100% nonsmoking rooms, up from just 38% two years ago. Upscale (70%) and independent brands (66%) are most likely to offer such rooms.
  • 71% of luxury hotels report that they are working toward a green certification program, with upper-upscale (64%), upscale (47%), mid-level (43%), and independent (40%) rounding out the category. Least likely to go for certification: interstate hotels (32%).
  • 12% of hotels plan to incorporate LEED elements within the next years (if major structural renovations are planned). This is down markedly from the 21% reported in 2008. Luxury (28%) and upper-upscale (16%) are most likely to pursue LEED renovations.
  • 10% of hotels reported having incorporated LEED renovations during the past 12 months, again down from 2008, when 20% of hotels reported LEED renovations. Luxury (25%) and independent brands (12%) were most likely to have incorporated LEED.

The 2010 Lodging Survey is available for purchase (free to AH&LA members) at:

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