Michael Chang, director of energy and sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HST), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2016 Leader in the Light Working Forum at the Ritz Carlton – Coconut Grove in Miami.
An S&P 500 and Fortune 500 company, Host and is one of the largest owners of luxury hotels. Host currently owns 94 properties in the United States and 13 properties internationally.
According to Chang, sustainability issues have become increasingly integrated within the overall business strategy, and are now taken into account as part of the acquisitions process.
Chang said the increased integration of sustainability means that he needs to be aware of all aspects of the business. Chang added that he looks to see if Host is mitigating sustainability risks in the right places and how sustainability can be used to improve business performance.
Chang also stressed the importance of sustainability benchmarks that have measurable business impact and can analyze performance year-over-year and its impact on efficiency and revenue.
As for the next frontier in sustainability, Chang pointed to the need for increased connectivity between various parts of the building, which he believes will improve the overall efficiency of building automation.
He noted that during the last few years Host has focused on installing smart weather irrigation and room energy management. At the same time, many of Host’s management brands have been adopting new technology, such as a room key app.
The challenge for sustainability, he said, is “how can we connect all of these devices and machines to make the building more efficient and automated to a customized level.”