A study titled, “Exploring the Relationship between Eco-certifications and Resource Efficiency in US Hotels” found that hotels that had earned the “Eco-Leaf” designation from travelocity.com ran with a higher level of efficiency than hotels without the eco-certification.
Study co-author and professor at the cornell School of Hotel Administration, Rohit Verma said, “As we all know, the hotel industry has been hoping to see improved sales or market position from environmental sustainability, but maybe we have all been looking in the wrong place for the benefits from eco-certification.”
“The intriguing thing here is that this study shows a benefit from sustainability initiatives that has been hidden in plain sight. The fact that eco-certified hotels are more efficient is even more interesting because many hotel operators were worried that sustainability would be more expensive, not less,” said Verma.
In another Cornell study, “Environmental Management Certification (ISO 14001): Effects on Hotel Guest Reviews”, data was compiled using feedback from guests at 6,850 hotels in Spain, identified that guest satisfaction scores using 4-star hotels was particularly strong when the hotel had gained the ISO environmental management certification.
Also co-authored by Verma, the study found that although the guests gave significantly higher satisfaction ratings to 4-star hotels that gained eco accreditation, guest satisfaction ratings regarding 5 and 3-star hotels were muted. The assumption by Cornell, was that the results implied that acquiring ISO 14001 certification may give upscale hotels a distinctive asset that leads them to a competitive advantage over similar non-certified properties, although in 5 and 3-star properties, it appeared that guests use other factors when they make their satisfaction ratings.