Cornell Sustainability Roundtable Proceedings Demonstrate Complexity of Green Operations

The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) has posted the proceedings of its inaugural Sustainability Roundtable. The proceedings, which are available at no charge from the CHR website, cover the roundtable's examination of key points regarding the lodging industry's efforts to operate sustainably, including such issues as the definition of sustainability, emerging regulations and laws, engaging guests, and the complexity of carbon neutrality.

"When we issued highlights of the sustainability roundtable late last year, people were interested in learning more about the discussions," says Rohit Verma, CHR executive director. "So, with the assistance of our panel members, we now have the expanded proceedings." The roundtable was chaired by associate professor David Sherwyn.

The roundtable participants agreed that guests expect hotels to operate in a sustainable manner; the question no longer is whether to be sustainable, but how to do it. To ensure that sustainability programs pay off, they must be carefully constructed, with an eye toward revenues as well as costs. Additionally, hotels must demonstrate their sustainability commitment so that guests will respond by participating in sustainability initiatives.

The CHR roundtables are open to partners and invited guests, while students at Cornell observe the discussions. More than 60 students took advantage of the opportunity to sit in on all or part of the sustainability discussions.

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