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Assignment Briefs 11-28-2022

Formulate the initial plan for introducing some simple changes with a short payback period. Clearly label each suggestion, provide reasons and use examples for justification.

The Goodwind Hotel

Founded by a family of Italian immigrants in the 1960s, it started off as a 2 bedrooms Bed & Breakfast, and grew into a thriving 20 bedrooms hotel. The founding family had started a business in a town in the south coast of Kent that survived on agriculture and had been able to bring new life and money to its people. However, the fast and sudden growth of the business had inevitably caused some changes and the values of environmental and social sustainability on which everything had been built had faded away.

When Gianna, granddaughter of the founder, took over the hotel, her first decision was to bring the hotel back to its founding values with the aim of transforming into the eco- friendliest hotel on the planet. She knows it was a very ambitious mission but, at the same time, she was certain it was possible.

The hotel industry had become very competitive in the past years. Traditionally, the players could be divided into two large groups: branded and independent hotels. Depending on which of the two categories a hotel belongs to, it can decide between four business models: franchised, managed, owned, and leased. However, borders are not so clear anymore: three big trends are changing the rules of the game and business model innovation is necessary to survive.

All stakeholders are being affected by technology-based transformation, evolving customer needs and a more dynamic competitive environment. With the advent of Airbnb as the first big player in the sharing economy, for example, competition has been radically transformed.

Among the evolving customer needs category, one of the strongest trends is that of increasingly responsible individuals. More specifically, as more consumers are choosing to engage in eco-conscious lifestyles at home, it is not surprising that this is reflected in their travel choices as well. As a matter of fact, eco-friendly travel options were projected to increase up to 36% in the past year and are estimated to continue growing.

It was time for Goodwind to honor its original values and provide a higher sense of purpose to its employees, guests and communities. Gianna lived eco-consciously herself and was aware of the benefits going green would bring. Starting from the financial side of the story, making the hotels more sustainable would allow for costs savings in different areas (e.g. energy consumption). Reputationally, the opportunity was huge. Riding the wave of the eco-friendly travel trend would put Goodwin one step ahead of its competitors and would build a strong reputation for the hotel, and also increase customer loyalty. Finally, the benefit to the natural environment and communities would be important, Goodwin would take an active role in saving the planet.

Obviously, there were costs to be considered as well. The initial conversion costs of new resources, the training costs for employees, consultancy fees … they would have to set up a new management and organizational system, cultural change had to be implemented, resistance would have to be overcome. However, Gianna was sure a business case for sustainability existed and she was determined to prove it.

She has approached a Sustainability Consultancy firm, where you work, for help. Her goal was clear: making Goodwin hotel the first hotel to be 100% eco-friendly, but the road was winding, a detailed programme was needed, and a gradual approach to introducing sustainability practices is preferred.

Your boss has asked you to sketch out the following (a max of 2000 words – he is not a fun of long wordy report!) for his consideration before discussing it with Gianna.

(a) an initial plan for introducing some simple changes with a short payback period

(b) suggestions for a more integrated approach where sustainability is at the very core of strategy. Sustainability would require greater effort and every investment is valued from this perspective.

What would you suggest?

YOUR TASK:

a) Formulate the initial plan for introducing some simple changes with a short payback period. Clearly label each suggestion, provide reasons and use examples for justification.

b) Suggestions for a more integrated approach where sustainability is at the very core of strategy. Integrating sustainability at this phase would require greater effort and every investment is valued from this perspective. (hints: refer to the core text chapters in Section 2: Managing Sustainability for ideas)

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