We’re delighted to feature a special interview with Jon Proctor, CEO of Green Tourism,  who we’re very pleased to welcome as a speaker and industry expert at our 2016 ASAP Convention on 1 December.

Jon gives his top tips on what ASAP members can do to make their businesses more sustainable including interesting insights from Citadines in London who’ve won several awards for their green tourism initiatives.

You can meet Jon at the convention where he’s a speaker as well as running an ‘Ask the Expert session so you’ll have the chance to ask individual questions of him there.


An interview with Jon Proctor, CEO of Green Tourism

Jon Proctor, CEO of Green Tourism, the world’s largest sustainable certification programme of its kind, discussed why Serviced Apartments should be sustainable and what a business can do to achieve this.

Working with over 2,000 eco-friendly accommodation providers and attractions in the UK and abroad to assess and accredit green credentials, Green Tourism currently work with 14 Serviced Apartment Providers across the UK, including Citadines, The Knight Residence, Fountain Court Apartments and Fraser Suites Glasgow.

What positive business impacts come from being a sustainable Serviced Apartment Provider?

Primarily being green is about being efficient with the use of resources and that means saving waste, saving energy and saving money – something every business should be interested in.

  1. Saving money – installing energy efficient appliances, reducing water use and recycling will all help to save money on the bottom line.
  2. Providing a competitive advantage – genuine commitment to sustainability will generate an enhanced business image and help towards increased appeal to customers.
  3. Improving credibility with corporate buyers – corporate buyers are increasingly asking for evidence of ‘green’ credentials in the RFP (Request for Proposal) process meaning they respect sustainable businesses. Holding a Green Tourism accreditation can also speed up this process.

And many more!

What can a Serviced Apartment Provider do to become more sustainable?

  1. Improve efficiency by investing in renewable energy, green technologies and energy and water saving products.
  2. Save money by recycling, it’s much more cost effective than sending waste to landfill.
  3. Be creative when it comes to interiors by using recycled materials or nearby craftsmen when decorating.
  4. Plant a window garden of herbs for guests to use while they stay.
  5. Reduce carbon footprint by informing guests of nearby attractions and local shops to reduce their need to travel while staying and support local businesses.

Don’t forget to share your story! All of your good work shouldn’t go unnoticed so make the most of the green market place.  Joining Green Tourism highlights your commitment and achievements to customers and sets you apart from competitors.

What is the most common area for serviced apartments to fall down on when it comes to sustainability?

In many cases, they are unaware of the latest products regarding efficiency and the dramatic effects these can have on their carbon footprint.

It is often discussed that it is more difficult for city-based operators to ‘go-green’ – is there any truth in this?

Not at all, in fact city based operators can be amongst the most sustainable due to the proximity of sustainable travel, i.e. public transport, and nearby services that can reduce carbon footprint.  Cities may not have the nature of rural sites but they have the cultural aspect, which is also an important part of a sustainable future

It’s important to make the most of the assets that you have wherever you are located.  An increasing number of city based Green Tourism businesses are putting in rooftop gardens and herb boxes to make the most of limited space.

Success in the sector – Citadines

Citadines has done some excellent work across its sites, that has resulted in 5 Green Tourism awards (3 Gold and 2 Silver), including energy and water saving activities and innovative projects.

st-marks-3The group is particularly strong at thinking outside the box when it comes to sustainability, as the following examples demonstrate:

  • Providing an organic welcome hamper with Duchy Originals.
  • Installing sustainable flooring made from bamboo material at its Trafalgar Square site
  • Actively encouraging guests to enjoy local natural attractions and have green days out at its South Kensington site
  • Installing the most efficient air conditioning you can achieve, resulting in a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 4:1 (meaning the output of the air-conditioning is 4 times the input)

For more information visit www.green-tourism.com

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