This week, Senior Editor Mark Rogers is attending the two-day Green Travel Summit at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, CA. The event is the first fully dedicated forum focused on exploring green travel strategies and their impact on business travel and corporate meetings.
David Jerome of InterContinental Hotels speaks at the Green Travel Summit
“During the Olympics in Beijing, the capital went green by pre-setting the thermostats in the hotel rooms,” said David Jerome, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, InterContinental Hotels. "It didn’t matter if you were comfortable or not. That’s not our way. As a hotelier, we want to make sure we meet our guest’s needs. The best practices are win-win. Instead of asking guests to put heir towel back on the rack, we prefer to use biodegradable cleaning material, carpet from recycled materials."
Jerome informed the audience that 38 percent of carbon emissions come from buildings. “ As a hotelier, how do we respond to this?” posited Jerome. “What if Apple built a hotel? What would it look like? What if Toyota built a hotel like a Prius? These are the kinds of things we’re thinking about at InterContinental.”
When asked if it was possible for InterContinental to go green across its hotel portfolio, Jerome responded that in addition to Green Globe and LEEDS there were 130 different competing green standards for hotels – that’s why the company created its own internal standard.
“There’s a huge demand for green hotels,” said Jerome. “I see us pushing against an open door.”