Last year I had the opportunity to watch a truly passionate climate crusader speak to a room full of lodging executives at HTNG’s annual North American members meeting. Auden Schendler, the VP of sustainability for Aspen Skiing Company, talked about his work in corporate sustainability and doing the one thing that really matters: reducing carbon emissions. Schendler authored a book about his experiences, Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution. In it he talks candidly about his wins and losses, and provides a roadmap for others.
While recently putting some final touches on HTF, our own industry conference, I was reminded of Schendler. A CIO from a leading international lodging brand was on the phone and, through a series of conversational tangents, we ended up discussing sustainability. We both recalled Schendler’s influential session at HTNG, and lamented that the topic doesn’t get more attention within the lodging industry. “It’s hard to get this industry to embrace sustainability,” the CIO said.
That conversation motivated me to contact Schender. I sent him an email introducing myself, and asked if he’d give HT an interview about the role that technology executives can play in “getting green done” at their companies. He immediately responded, “Sounds like a worthy project.” It is, and I certainly hope you agree.
Schendler doesn’t mince words in his book. The changes businesses need to make aren’t going to be easy, but if your mother (or Confucius) told you that all good things were difficult to achieve, she was right; and getting green done is the mother of all good things.