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Eco-friendly standards ‘will be as common as wi-fi’ in hotels of the future

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Last week saw the launch of a new green initiative for sustainable tourism from leading travel website, TripAdvisor. Programme leader, Jenny Rushmore spoke to Blue & Green Tomorrow about how TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, now the largest green hotel programme in the world, is hoping to change the way travellers and the industry view sustainable tourism.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders launched in Europe last Tuesday with the aim of helping travellers make eco-friendly choices when using B&Bs and hotels around the world. With 6,000 properties already featured in the new programme, while results from a survey show more than a quarter of EU respondents are making active eco-friendly travel choices, it’s set to be very popular.

Jenny Rushmore is the director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor and is leading the new green programme. She thinks interest in sustainable holidays is a growing trend that’s set to continue.

“We’ve found that green leader properties on average have 20% higher TripAdvisor rating that others, so overall we’ve found it to be really popular – both with the hotels who want to participate and also with our users,” she said.

Through polling, TripAdvisor found there was a real demand for green travel choices, but travellers didn’t feel enough advice was available. Nearly half of respondents said they don’t feel hotels currently provide enough information about their approach to sustainability.

“So there was this clear gap between what people were interested in and what was available. We realised that TripAdvisor, because it’s the first place where people go to book their trip, was really in this perfect position to close that gap and actually make it incredibly easy to book a green trip”, said Rushmore.

The new green scheme will mean that when users search for hotels, they don’t have to click through to a different section, but details on the green credentials will already be on the front page.

Rushmore added, “What we are hoping to do is to help millions of people make greener choices just by taking away all the effort and making it super easy.”

Travellers can also contribute to this change by writing reviews of the sustainability measures employed by hotels they have stayed in. The site has already accumulated 30,000 green reviews.

Rushmore says the more travellers chip in, the more businesses will respond.

We’ve had properties and hotel chains actually change their policies so that their hotels can qualify for GreenLeaders and that’s the kind of change we would really like to see.

“It’s also a bit of a chicken and egg thing, as more hotels provide more green practices, so at the same time more consumers expect it. And we think in the future it will become as standard as expecting wi-fi in a hotel.”

Rushmore said she believes customers are already becoming more considerate of the environment when travelling, but the reality of our busy lives sometimes makes it difficult to make considered sustainable choices.

“I think that many people are very interested in it, but the challenge we all have in our daily lives is we are very busy and there is only so much time we can spend in researching whether what you do on everything is environmentally friendly.”

But by speeding up this process and empowering environmentally conscious travellers, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders will force hotels to take note of this new trend.

“Ultimately you vote with your feet so if you think environmental practice at a hotel is important then choose to go and stay somewhere like that, then also come back and write a review and tell the hotel that’s why you choose them.

“So the more travellers that tell hotels ‘this is why we were doing it and this is what we were interested in’, we think the more the industry will change.”

Next month Blue & Green Tomorrow will be hosting a range of talks on sustainability as part of Sustainable September. The Sustainable Tourism debate will see speakers debate for and against the motion, “Growth in tourism is undesirable: it is rarely economically, socially or environmentally ‘good’”.

Rushmore said if she was to answer the question, she thinks tourism growth doesn’t have to be unsustainable, but it’s challenging to prevent it being so.

She admits that sometimes tourism contributes to the degradation of the environment, but insists there are plenty of companies on the right track.

There are lots of great examples both of accommodation, places which are actually giving back to the community and having a positive impact on the area that they’re in, there are also tour groups who do that.

“So I think that it certainly isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely a big challenge and that’s why it’s important that everyone takes it really seriously.”

The Sustainable Tourism debate will take place at the Museum of London on September 3 from 6-9pm. Tickets are available here.

Photo: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr

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Further reading:

TripAdvisor launches green initiative for sustainable travel

Key industry leaders to discuss responsible tourism opportunities

Experts from across the globe meet to discuss sustainable tourism

Museum of London to host Sustainable September Tourism Debate

Tickets on sale for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Sustainable September events

Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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