Sustainability Takes Center Stage at 41st EHMA General Meeting

This past weekend, I had the honor to visit Monaco to attend the annual General Meeting for the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA). Founded in 1974, EHMA is comprised of nearly 450 members who are general managers of prestigious hotels in 28 European countries. They are responsible for more than 350 hotel properties, 70,000 employees and 90,000 guest rooms.

Diversey Care is a supporting partner of EHMA because both organizations share a passion for sustainability and advancing the hospitality industry through innovation. Between energy and water consumption and waste generation, the hospitality industry has the potential to make a big impact on the environment. And furthermore, through collaboration, we can identify the best solutions for reducing negative consequences on our planet.

At the event, I participated in a joint discussion on sustainability with Professor Michael Hartman, an advisor to Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL) for sustainability strategy. I referred to sustainability as the new “quality” within the hospitality industry because of its increasing importance among hotel owners, employees and guests. According to a 2012 survey of more than 5,000 consumers, more than 60 percent stated that they will give better ratings to hotels with high indoor air quality, LEED certification, and programs in place to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and promote recycling. Thus, it’s clear that sustainability is essential today and can pay off for hotels that implement, maintain and promote programs supporting the environment. It actually pays off in the shape of higher Guest Satisfaction levels.

On 29 March, we held a ceremony to present the EHMA Sustainability Award by Diversey Care, which acknowledges an EHMA general manager who successfully implements an innovative sustainability program at their property. This year, the honor went to Fabrice Moizan, general manager of Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris.  Moizan’s sustainability program raised more than €181,000 by selling wine together with his employees, which was used to replant 37,000 trees throughout 40 hectares of forest, thus reducing the facility’s carbon footprint.

I hope his story inspires you to think about sustainability in your everyday life. Whether you’re a hotel manager, employee or a guest, it’s important that we all keep sustainability in mind and take steps toward making a better life for future generations.