Nearly two-thirds (65%) of travel managers say they would prioritize hotels that have earned a validated sustainability certification, according to a survey conducted by HRS, the global corporate travel and payment technology platform; and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The full report is called “A New Order: Travel Programs Focus on Sustainability.”

The results, according to an announcement, showcase the increasing frequency of sustainability as a key factor in influencing where millions of business travelers may decide to sleep when they are on the road in 2023 and beyond.

Martin Biermann, chief product officer for HRS, said the global megatrend of sustainability is accelerating in everyday discussions that are reshaping the priorities of corporate lodging programs. He said that is evident in the traction that HRS’ Green Stay Initiative has gained, now representing more than 440 brands in 170 countries. It’s encouraging, said Biermann, “to see both corporate program leaders and hotel suppliers leverage technology to support this important cause at this crucial moment.”

Delphine Millot, GBTA’s senior vice president of sustainability, said “the C-suite is leading the charge,” according to the research. Accordingly, she said, GBTA is highly engaged with sustainability to provide more research, advocacy, tools and educational events for members — such as this week’s Sustainability Summit — “to play our role in helping the business travel community seize upon best practices and technologies to help our industry reduce its carbon footprint.”
Other findings from the research were:
  • 59% of respondents said they would elevate certified hotels in the displays in their corporate online booking solutions.
    • Nearly half (48%) said senior executives and leaders have the most influence on their company’s sustainability efforts, followed by the corporate social responsibility department (33%).
    • There is a gap between Europe and North America as respondents consider taking action to drive more business travelers to sustainable hotels. Europeans (78%) are more likely to feature hotels with validated green credentials than those based in North America (61%).
    • More than one-third (36%) say sustainability considerations will have a “moderate” to “major” impact on the hotel choices they will make for their lodging program in 2023. Another 36% said that sustainability elements will have a “minor” impact, with 28% reporting that it will have “no impact” at all.