117 | Practical Hospitality Sustainability with Aurora Dawn Benton


Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton (formerly Reinke) is a passionate and dynamic speaker and consultant who specializes in sustainability for the hospitality industry. Aurora launched Astrapto LLC to help owners and management teams with practical and strategic approaches to sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Aurora’s favorite quote, from Fernando Trias de Bes, is “Better a mediocre idea with brilliant execution than a brilliant idea with mediocre execution.” She believes sustainability strategies are generally straightforward, but require dedication and diligence to come to fruition. Her services and tools turn sustainability from a lofty idea to a feasible reality.

In addition to her love of sustainability, Aurora loves teaching and nurturing future leaders and entrepreneurs. She co-founded a social enterprise incubator, has judged international business plan competitions, and is a volunteer social entrepreneur coach.

In This Episode, Aurora Reveals:

  • The power of triple bottom line impact – running a business with the goal of generating positive returns in three areas: People, Planet and Profit.
  • Practical ways hotels can become more sustainable, including forming a “green team” and doing a purchase audit.
  • The ROI for sustainability initiatives, the importance of measurement, for example, food waste, and building a solid business case.
  • One trend hotels should really be going after as part of their sustainability strategy.

Download the FREE Guide

Step by Step Guide to Conducting a Simple Hotel Purchase Audit

Resources & Links

Aurora Dawn Benton

Astrapto LLC

Key Hospitality Sustainability Resources

Rather than trying to become an expert on sustainability, follow these resources (on Twitter, subscribe to their newsletters, or check out their educational offerings) to learn what is most relevant for the hospitality industry.

  • GSTC – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council sets forth recommend criteria for hotel sustainability certifications (such as Earth Check, Bioshpere Responsible Tourism, and Green Key)
  • ITP – the International Tourism Partnership has created free tools such as the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative and the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative
  • AHLA Sustainability Committee publishes a number of helpful guidelines and basic business case scenarios for green initiatives
  • GBTA – the Global Business Travel Association has a Sustainability Committee and has included sustainability criteria in their standard Hotel RFP template.
  • WTTC – the World Travel and Tourism Council publishes economic impact and other industry indicators.
  • UNWTO – the World Tourism Organization supports sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible tourism
  • WWF – the World Wildlife Fund partners with hospitality companies such as Royal Caribbean and Hilton to promote sustainable practices

News and Blogs:

  • 329 | Ruff and Ready: ADA gives hotels a short leash when accommodating guests with service animals

    Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.

  • 328 | Curb Appeal: Hotels’ refreshed images designed to attract road trippers

    Nearly 48 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, predicts AAA. Most of them will drive and many of them plan to stay in hotels. What makes a travel consumer choose your hotel? Price can be a factor but so can the story the property tells through its online photos and its real-life curb appeal. First impressions of a hotel set the tone for the guest’s entire stay. Its roadside image is more important than ever as the lodging industry this summer hangs its hopes on a comeback driven by domestic travelers. Lodging Leaders podcast explores the importance of a hotel’s curb appeal as hoteliers think of ways to attract travelers seeking safety and assurance as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

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