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Classified in: Environment, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: Photo/Multimedia, Product/Service

HRS Redefines Sustainable Business Travel with Green Stay Initiative

HRS, the leading global corporate lodging platform, introduced a first-of-its-kind solution that gives corporations and employees a way to organize travel more sustainably. HRS' Green Stay Initiative, in pilot this quarter, leverages proprietary technology to give procurement leaders and everyday business travelers an intuitive system to identify, compare and prioritize hotels that contribute to reducing the ecological footprint of the lodging portion of the typical business trip.

HRS is assimilating data from thousands of hotel groups and independent properties as part of a groundbreaking framework, including details on energy consumption, water use, and waste disposal. Through the unprecedented normalization and organization of this global data, HRS is pioneering a sustainability database that efficiently brings vital information to corporations and travelers as procurement and individual booking decisions are made.

The Megatrend: Companies & Governments Aggressively Target Carbon-Neutral Business Practices

The new megatrend of sustainability remains a primary topic around the world as countries and regions look towards taming the COVID-19 pandemic and revitalizing their economies. Highlights illustrating this trend include:

Not surprisingly, this trend has flowed into the managed travel arena. As corporate travel looks at a redefined ecosystem in the wake of the pandemic, procurement and travel departments are tasked with doing their part to help companies achieve carbon net-neutral status this decade.

"The latest Sustainability Index from Cornell highlights that hotels, on average, account for 45 kilograms of carbon emissions per room night. Metrics like this are vital as companies take steps to reduce their carbon footprint," explains Martin Biermann, Chief Product Officer for HRS and leader of the team developing the Green Stay Initiative. "As we built this unique global database, we analyzed various approaches to collecting this information. Carbon, water and waste data varies, as location, climate, hotel type, municipal infrastructure and other factors impact true measurement. While suppliers have progressed in capturing this data, the legacy fragmentation of the global hotel marketplace resulted in disparate data points that are far too complex for companies to efficiently digest. To address this, we took steps to build a normalized global framework that solves these issues proactively. We believe this system can ultimately enable net-zero hotel programs for the world's largest corporations."

HRS is educating corporate procurement executives, travel managers and hotel suppliers about the Green Stay Initiative during the global Corporate Lodging Forum series, taking place virtually this month in multiple regions.

How It Works: Hotels Engage in Scoring System to Showcase Their Sustainable Practices

Building off the success of the Clean & Safe Protocol launched by HRS in 2020, ongoing hotel engagement plays a key role making the Green Stay Initiative work for both corporations and preferred hotel partners. (More than 60,000 hotels participate - free-of-charge - in the Clean & Safe Protocol today.) With corporate procurement leaders incorporating a hotel's sustainability practices and performance in the equation as it considers them for inclusion as a preferred partner, hotels are increasingly providing quantitative data regarding their sustainable practices.

HRS has developed a proprietary scoring system, determining actual footprint values on a hotel's energy, water and waste usage. This scoring system is based upon guidelines established by recognized organizations such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and the World Travel & Tourism Council. Hotels are scored based upon their metrics and progress from the prior calendar year. This enables corporate decision makers to weigh environmental sustainability elements based on factual data when developing programs. When hotels are categorized as "Green," they are awarded a new Green Stay label that appears in procurement displays (when buyers are considering hotels for inclusion as a preferred supplier) and self-booking tools used by employees and travel agents for individual bookings.

"We're in a unique position as a technology provider at the intersection of corporate procurement, facilitating important engagement between companies and hotel suppliers on this vital issue," said HRS CEO Tobias Ragge. "As a global organization driven by values, we remain committed to innovating with the goal of doing our part to keep our planet pristine and inviting for generations to come on all continents ? especially when connecting through travel. The Green Stay Initiative enables companies to dramatically enhance awareness of new sustainability priorities for their travel programs, while also facilitating an avenue for hoteliers to promote their corresponding investments. As our industry emerges from pandemic-related challenges, we're hopeful this technology will ultimately represent a milestone in advancing sustainable managed travel for years to come."

About HRS

HRS is revolutionizing managed lodging programs for corporations, hotels and business travelers worldwide with its proprietary technology and expertise. Leveraging its unique Lodging as a Service platform, HRS oversees the totality of corporate hotel programs for its clients, from initial procurement and rate assurance to booking, virtual payment and expense management. HRS' staff supports clients and hotel managers globally with unmatched on-the-ground coverage in all major business travel markets. The company's data-driven solutions deliver savings and performance for corporations across all hotel categories, including transient, meetings and long-stay lodging scenarios ? all while digitizing processes on the hotel side for a better traveler experience. Founded in 1972, HRS today works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world's leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and independent hotels. More information at www.hrs.com/corporate.

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