An Examination of LEED Certification’s Utility as Evidence for Superior On-Property Environmental Sustainability in Hotels
Behnke, Grant Michael
This study explores the potential misalignment between LEED certification's prescriptive scorecard and hotel real estate's operationally complex nature. This study revealed that LEED hotels generally outperform their non-LEED counterparts on a per square foot basis for carbon footprint, energy use, and water use metrics, but perform worse on a per occupied room basis. However, the large amount of variance in the data sample that is inherent in hotel industry data renders definitive conclusions about the utility of LEED as evidence for superior on-property environmental sustainability in hotels difficult to make. Any variance between LEED and non-LEED data groupings was generally not found to be statistically significant. These results demonstrate that further analysis is needed before LEED certification can be tied to levels of environmental sustainability between hotels in a meaningful way. Also, the true impact of hotel LEED certification is extremely difficult to find with any method besides direct comparison of hotel metrics before and after LEED certification.
hotels; sustainability; carbon footprint; LEED certification; impact investing; environmental impact
B.S., Hotel Administration
Bachelors of Science
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dissertation or thesis