Thursday, June 27, 2013

Retail and Hospitality Go Green & Financially Gain

Eco-Friendly Hilton Hotel; Source: TreeHugger
Green building projects are becoming more prevalent in the retail, restaurant, and hotel industries, as going green leads to several benefits for business owners. According to a McGraw Hill study, the retail and hospitality industries face great challenges in efficiency due to their long hours of operation and number of guests. Green building efforts in retail and hospitality have almost doubled since 2011, with retail and restaurant reporting that 38% of their construction projects are green and hotels reporting 48%. These numbers are expected to increase by at least 10% within the next year.

Both industries have seen the benefits of green building. The retail industry saw an 8% decrease in annual operating costs and 15% decrease in energy consumption. Hotels saw a 1% decrease in operating costs and a 15% decrease in energy consumption as well.

Both industries saw an increase in ROI or return on investment. Retail saw an 8% average increase and hotels saw a 14% average increase. Green buildings are incredibly beneficial for these industries as they often constantly use utilities. Hotels for example, keep hallway lights on 24 hours a day, and if they invested in energy efficient building systems, they could waste less energy and save more money. Investing in a more expensive, but green design would save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run for these industries, leading to an increase in asset value.

Customers also place high value on being able to shop or stay in green buildings as 41% of retail shoppers and 70% of hotel customers reported that they valued shopping or staying in green buildings. Customers tend to feel better when contributing to a company that is environmentally aware. The study demonstrates that going green allows companies to not only save money but also to enhance the customer experience.