Their study found chain hotels are more likely to use energy efficient light bulbs, train staff to turn off lights, heaters and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms, buy in bulk to reduce packaging, use safer cleaners and chemicals, and give guests tips on how to save water and energy, a WSU release said Tuesday.
"I don't know if independents are as aware of the importance of being green today," Dennis Reynolds of the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management said. "If you have two hotels in a city at the same room rates, but one is green, are you going to pick it because it's green? Is that important to you or not?
"The preliminary research suggests that it is."
What started out as environmental responsibility soon turned into a financial benefit for hotels, he said.
"It's a smart practice for hotels," Reynolds said. "When it started, no one acknowledged that. They said, 'This is a green practice. We're doing it for the environment.'
"That caught on very quickly because, yes, it's good for the environment but it's also good for the bottom line."