INCORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE BEGINNING OF INVESTMENT DECISIONS
The decisions made for a hotel built today will determine its footprint for the next 20 years. Numerous opportunities exist to incorporate renewable energy, efficient equipment and technology, and take advantage of funding models to maximize the return on your investment. More and more risks are emerging that will affect site selection, such as water stress, weather patterns, and regulatory issues. The more you discuss sustainability issues with everyone in the development and acquisition process, the more opportunities you will find and the better your due diligence will become.
11 Topics to get the Sustainability Discussion Started
Ask architecture & design if there are any opportunities to build in environmentally efficient ways to save energy and water, or eco-friendly opportunities to use unique and sustainable building materials.
Ask the brand or developer if they have any resources available for hotels, or any incentives if you build a green hotel according to their guidelines.
Ask lenders if there are any incentives available for sustainability or ESG (Environmental, Social, or Governance) evaluations.
Ask local authorities if there are any incentives available for sustainability.
Ask local market peers if there are any challenges or opportunities relating to sustainability they would have done differently or would recommend.
Ask the management company if they have any sustainable hotel programs that will provide value for you.
Look into sources of energy to see if any opportunities for renewable energy sources exist, such as Purchase Power Agreements, On-site installation, or even selling back to the utility to monetize your investment.
If you want to position your property as truly innovative and sustainable, ask if it is possible to make your hotel a net zero building or similar.
Review the site for water stress issues and determine if any action should be taken to address them.
If looking at an acquisition, ask if an energy/sustainability audit has been conducted (if it has not, consider undertaking one as you may find new opportunities to incorporate).
If looking at an acquisition, look into the lifestyle status of the boilers and/or chillers to see opportunities to replace with the most efficient equipment possible.
To evaluate water risks in site selection, you can use the WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.
To evaluate potential biodiversity impacts in site selection, you can use the Protected Planet tool.
Check back in early 2017 for more resources and best practices shared by HOT Signatories and coalition members!