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A Message from Starwood President of Global Development, Simon Turner, on Sustainability

“I really do believe that there’s a generational shift in thinking on sustainability.  And I think that when you look at the generation of owners in their 30s and 40s there’s more sensitivity to sustainability and to eco-awareness than perhaps there was in the generation before.  I just think that as a society we are becoming much more aware of that.  And when you read press reports about the Antarctic ice sheet melting and it being irreversible and that sort of thing that you have to be sensitive to it.  I think fundamentally there’s been a shift in the social consciousness of everybody both in the business community and everywhere else that we’ve got to be aware of this and we’ve got to be sensitive to it.

What we do is we bridge the gap in those conversations with owners and we say being eco friendly of focusing on sustainability is good for the planet, it’s good for your guests, and it’s good for your bottom line.  Because what I think what we’re really trying to focus on doing is we want to do the right socially conscious thing, we also want to do those things in a manner that we’re not just doing it because they are the right thing to do (I know by the way that it is the right thing to do).  We’re doing it in a way that it make economic sense to the owners.

It’s interesting, one of the things we’re seeing with Element is because of the LEED certification, when you go in front of a planning committee, which is made up of mostly elected officials, that’s a very very important thing in their minds.  If they’re looking at a community which is responsive to sustainability needs, and you’re introducing a building that is going to be LEED certified, that resonates with them and it resonates with the voters and the taxpayers. So there are sometimes unquantifiable benefits. if you have a LEED certified building, maybe that makes it through the planning process just a little bit quicker and maybe they’re going to be more accommodating as far as giving you access to utilities and roads and those sorts of things, and that’s tough to measure specifically.  When it comes to lighting, and water usage, and the use solar, and all those types of things..net net, you can make an economic case that this is the right thing from an investment perspective as well as the right socially responsible thing to be doing.”

This quote is a transcript of the video which can be found on Hotelsmag.com

 

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