The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the urgency for companies and individuals to act to protect the wellbeing of the planet, their communities, their employees, and in the case of hotels, their guests. As such, environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives have accelerated.
The hotel industry’s commitment to ESG initiatives, while somewhat nascent, is increasing. Rising energy costs, which have increased electricity costs by 10 percent since May 2021, are likely to accelerate the industry’s focus on sustainability, particularly given the shift in traveler preferences toward more sustainable tourism and green accommodations and the growing demand for disclosure around climate risk. Although Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has exacerbated energy price hikes, might motivate hotel operators to invest in long-term environmental upgrades, higher interest rates and sharply declining equity prices may offset this positive momentum, at least in the near term.