Sustainable Business Travel: Our Partnership for a Greener Future

If we want to avoid the most severe effects of climate change, the world must halve carbon emissions by 2030. At HVS, travel is an essential component of what we do, and carbon emissions are inevitable. But we are highly committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
Jack Mahan

At HVS, we take sustainability seriously. It is an important topic for us as a firm and also for the hospitality industry as a whole. As consultants to hotels and hotel operators, we spend much time traveling to meet our clients and conducting site inspections at hospitality properties across the country and globe. Travel is an essential component of what we do as a firm. More broadly, business travel represents nearly one-fifth of all global travel. In 2019, U.S. residents alone took more than 460 million business trips, according to Sustainable Travel International. Unfortunately, business travel also generates significant CO2 emissions. Consequently, we are highly committed to fighting the carbon effects of business and are very mindful of our own carbon footprint.

Metric Tons of CO2 Generated by Activity

Authorized use of graphic from Sustainable Travel International

Combating our Carbon Impact

If we want to avoid the most severe effects of climate change, the world must halve carbon emissions by 2030.[1] One way we have addressed our carbon impact at HVS is by measuring our carbon emissions and purchasing carbon offsets. This enables us to take climate action to reduce our footprint across nearly all of our U.S. divisions. 

With the help of Sustainable Travel International, we calculate the total CO2 emissions we have generated indirectly (scope 2 and 3 emissions). Then we fund a diversified portfolio of carefully vetted projects (curated by Sustainable Travel International) to support practices and initiatives that offset our firm’s CO2 emissions. As a result, in 2022, HVS Americas offset just under 200 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Supported by Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International has become our trusted partner in accomplishing our environmental goals. It is a mission-driven organization dedicated to combating travel and tourism’s impact on Earth’s most vulnerable destinations and communities. Sustainable Travel International partners with businesses like HVS to fund critical climate projects across the globe. These strategic partnerships aim to remove existing greenhouse gas emissions and implement the structures and practices necessary to avoid future emissions. Beyond the primary goal, many projects also provide benefits to the local communities, bringing jobs, safer living conditions, and stability to the targeted areas.

HVS Funding For Projects Across The Globe

Through Sustainable Travel International, HVS has funded projects in Indonesia, Chile, and Brazil:

  • The Katingan Mentaya Project in Indonesia focuses on protecting and restoring one of the country’s largest remaining peat swamps, which holds a massive store of carbon beneath its surface.
  • The San Clemente Hydro Power Project in Chile supports the construction and operation of a hydro plant that will generate renewable energy for the Chilean national power grid.
  • The Trocano Araretama Project in Brazil protects a large area of the Brazilian Amazon along the Madeira River from deforestation and strengthens environmental monitoring in the area.

HVS Can Help You with Your Sustainability Efforts

As the only global hospitality-focused consulting firm, HVS seeks to help you by providing tools, knowledge, and connections needed to not only achieve your goals, but exceed them. Given the importance of sustainability for the planet and our industry, we want to make available resources critical to our mutual success in the sustainability arena. We are also continuing to work on solutions and guidance to help hotels embed sustainability into their day-to-day operations.

For more information, please connect with Rod Clough or Jack Mahan, and stay tuned for more sustainability-related content from our task force focused on this important issue.

More About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International’s carbon offset program supports three types of climate projects: Forests, Energy, and Blue Carbon, each with their own pivotal focus.

Project Types
Source: Sustainable Travel International

Partnering with Sustainable Travel International is a cost-effective way to take part in the fight against climate change. Their projects are scientifically proven to help mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions. Supporting these projects today is vital to paving the way for a sustainable tomorrow.
Learn more about Sustainable Travel International at their website.

[1]  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030," 4/4/2022. Retrieved 5/18/23.

Rod Clough is the President of HVS Americas. He is responsible for the overall direction, management, and ongoing success of 40+ offices across North and Latin America. Under his leadership, HVS Americas conducts over 3,500 valuation and consulting engagements annually. During his 30-year tenure, Rod has been instrumental in leading the growth of the firm; this includes significantly expanding the number of offices across the United States, as well as launching multiple divisions, including U.S. Hotel Appraisals, HVS Latin America, HVS Brokerage & Advisory, and HVS Asset Management & Advisory. A frequent speaker at the nation’s largest hotel conferences, Rod is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) and a state-certified appraiser. He earned his BS from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and also holds a Colorado real estate broker's license. Furthermore, Rod is proudly Latino and gay, and his firm is welcoming of all races and colors, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and gender identities. Once associates join HVS, they tend to stay due to the extraordinary culture Rod has inspired—a culture defined by the ideals of balance, connectivity, efficiency, collaboration, honesty, integrity, kindness, and excellence, among others. Rod resides in Northern Colorado where he and his husband Jeff are raising their daughter, Rory. Contact Rod at (214) 629-1136 or [email protected].

About Janet M. Ott

Janet Ott is the Chief Marketing Officer of HVS Americas and is responsible for the management of the HVS brand and delivering an integrated marketing strategy. She oversees strategy initiatives, branding, marketing communications and programs, digital marketing, events, and sponsorships, as well as sales and marketing effectiveness. Janet joined HVS in 2017 to take on this newly created role. She previously served as the global Chief Marketing Officer of GfK, based in Europe; prior to that, she held senior leadership roles in the United States and Europe at American Express, Chase, and D&B.


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