The power of the corporate buyers

The power of the corporate buyers

One billion business trips were made by Siemens employees worldwide in 2019, a proof of power by this company that now wants their employees to stay only in sustainable hotels. For lack of alternatives, Siemens has now set up its own “Green Stay” criteria – in association with HRS. How much pressure can this global corporate client exert on the hotel industry? The two movers and shakers of this initiative, Eric Hofmeister from Siemens AG and Fabio Fornari, Product Manager Sustainability at HRS Group, will be asking YOUR questions at the 6th HITT Think Tank on 26/27 June in Berlin.

Eric Hofmeister, pioneer of the change in the travel management at Siemens. / Photo: kommando kunst

On the one hand, it is the travellers who are currently exerting great pressure on the hotel industry with their sustainability demands. Therefore, Dr Crispian Tarrant, Chairman of BVA BDRC Consumer Research, will first present a brand-new global study from the hospitality industry for the hospitality industry on changing customer behaviour on 26 June. We reported on this last week (see link below).

The second big force is the corporate buyers. With their business trips and meetings, they turn over mega sums of money. The companies are well aware of their power – and, as in the case of Siemens, they not only saw the “green trend” early on, but also acted accordingly. Eric Hofmeister, for example, reports in our preparatory interview for the HITT that he was surprised in 2020 how weak the hotel industry, including the global chains, was in terms of sustainability criteria.

Sustainable criteria are changing the companies’ hotel portfolios

Hotels account for 21% of the emissions of an average business trip. Many travellers are – by now – aware of this, but also considerably more hoteliers. Quite a few of them have already repositioned their establishments and concepts themselves in a new and sustainable way in recent years and have even applied directly to Siemens to become a Siemens Corporate Hotel. “Our hotel portfolio has changed significantly since the Green Stay Initiative,” says Eric Hofmeister.

Fabio Fornari, HRS specialist for sustainability. / Photo: private

In HRS, Siemens definitely found the ideal IT partner and both used the two Corona years to build up the “Green Stay Initiative”. HRS created the “Green Stay” seal in order to be able to highlight the most sustainable hotels of all types and origins on its mediation platform. The latter is becoming an increasingly important decision criterion among private and business travellers. A lot of Siemens know-how went into this tool, emphasises Fabio Fornari. The evaluation by Green Stay is based on the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), founded in 2011 by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and today’s Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Eric Hofmeister and Fabio Fornari are convinced that the criteria behind the Green Stay Initiative are much better than many others and can clearly determine the carbon footprint.

Dear readers, dear HITT participants, this needs to be discussed! We are delighted that both gentlemen are willing to engage in the debate with you. Eric Hofmeister will even be on board the HITT both days.

The HITT plea for Green Corporate Travel: 

Eric Hofmeister, Head of Global Lodging Procurement, Siemens AG, A company that introduced its own “Green Stay Initiative” (GSI) as a first global standard for more sustainable accommodation for business travel and meetings.

Fabio Fornari, Product Manager for Sustainability, HRS Group, An OTA that is leading in business travel, offering an end-to-end Lodging as a Service platform with sustainability as a core principle.

On Monday, 26 June 2023, from 4.30pm at the HITT.

Impulse 2: The case for sustainability
The growing voice of consumers and corporate buyers is impacting hospitality choices: Both insist on staying in sustainable hotels (only). How strong is the pressure of these clients on the hotels’ business, how does it affect the hotel brand appeal and performance?

Copyright teaser image: Naturhotel Waldklause