As more companies consider the environmental impact of their business travel, employees increasingly are being asked to stay in hotels that meet certain environmental standards, including “green” certification.
Some companies are going so far as to query a hotel chain about its operating practices before signing any kind of contract. Companies asking about the frequency of things such as towel washing include Oracle, KPMG and the American Institute of Architects, reports USA Today.
Companies want to be able to state the environmental impact of their business travel policies in their annual sustainability reports, said Linda Chipperfield of Green Seal, a certifying body, according to the article. Green Seal says it has certified 53 hotels so far, but that number is expected to double by spring of 2010.
Because of this, firms are asking hotels about their energy efficiency and water use, as well.
Cities that rely on convention business are pushing their hotels to adopt environmentally friendly practices in order to give the cities more leverage in getting conventions, too.
The way a hotel was constructed can come into consideration, too. About 30 hotels have been certified to LEED status so far, according to the U.S. Green Building Association.
In August, the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) put out a guide to help companies establish travel-related corporate social responsibility initiatives based on a five-step implementation plan.
The guide provides a list of questions that address suppliers’ sustainability credentials, which are organized by travel sector including airlines, ground transportation, and meetings and events.