Matan Kesler

Investing in Sustainability as a Way Forward: Managing Upfront Costs vs. ROI

The hospitality industry is no longer a stranger to the concept of sustainability. In recent years, hotels have been making a conscious effort to reduce their environmental impact and become more eco-friendly. From reducing plastic waste to switching to sustainable mobility, hoteliers are taking steps to make their properties more sustainable. And it’s not just a trend.

The world understands the importance of investing in sustainable business practices. Hotel chains are doing their part. I believe every hotelier has to adopt sustainable practices if they want to remain competitive in the dynamic hospitality market of today and survive well into the future. However, as a financial expert, I know there are still some challenges that need to be addressed when it comes to investing in sustainability.

On the surface, it seems simple: balance the short-term losses with long-term gains, which ultimately results in an attractive return on investment (ROI). But what applies in theory sometimes has trouble working in practice. While sustainability initiatives can lead to long-term savings, they often require significant upfront investments that may not be feasible for many hoteliers.

Another potential pitfall that can happen when businesses invest in sustainability is that they may end up sacrificing the customer experience when running out of money. Sustainable practices are important but obviously shouldn’t come at the cost of providing customers with a good experience.

How to approach the solution?

It’s important for hotel investors and owners to take a strategic approach when considering green investments, aiming to balance upfront costs to achieve the best results. 


The key is to find investments that don’t just pay off in the long term but also generate short-term benefits. Investing in sustainability initiatives should be a win-win – it should not only help reduce environmental impact but also increase profits (companies like CarboonZero offer such solutions for building owners, helping to become green and reach emission reduction targets, as a way to boost property value).

Promoting sustainability without breaking the bank

One of the most effective and beneficial investments hotels can make to promote sustainability is investing in energy-efficient technology. These types of technologies reduce electric and water bills while also reducing their environmental footprint. And it could, in theory, boost the property value. There are some practical and visually driven SaaS solutions out there, so experimenting and picking the right one to suit the needs of your building can help heaps and possibly even create a new revenue stream.

By investing in energy-efficient lighting, thermostats, and appliances, hotels can save a significant amount of money over time. These products are designed to use less energy and last longer, and the effect is immediate.

The second set of critical measures that can help mitigate financial risks when investing in sustainability is good investing practices: diversification, insurance, and contingency.

Diversifying investments across different hotels, geographical regions, and sustainability initiatives can ensure that a single loss will not cause significant harm to your overall investment portfolio. Seeking partnerships from government or non-government agencies providing energy sustainability practices also could save some of the cash flow. Being vigilant to apply to public calls for green energy shouldn’t be overlooked.

Additionally, relying on insurance can offer protection against environmental risks such as natural disasters or economic downturns. Finally, contingency planning is essential for minimizing the damage from unforeseen circumstances like supply chain disruptions or unexpected sudden events.

Investing in sustainability initiatives can be a great way for hoteliers to reduce their environmental impact while also increasing their profits over time. Regardless of the niche – whether a hotel chain is developing an eco-friendly resort or simply upgrading existing facilities, their investment in sustainability requires careful consideration of both environmental impacts and economic benefits.

While initial investments may seem costly at first glance, long-term savings can be achieved through lower utility bills as well as cost avoidance from potential fines or fees associated with non-compliance with local regulations.

Hotels that have high green credentials also benefit from increased customer loyalty rates due to trendy designs and amenities that appeal to those who appreciate sustainable practices. And let’s not forget the added advantage of increased visibility driving up demand due to customers sharing their experiences via social media platforms.

The choice is clear: Investing wisely in sustainability offers a great opportunity for hotels to stay competitive while doing their part for a better tomorrow — one which cannot be overlooked if they wish to remain relevant in today’s hospitality market.

About the Author
Math may not make you rich, but understanding it surely will! I am Matan Kesler, CEO of Voyage and a finance professional providing financial services and solutions for real estate groups and individuals with cross-border assets and portfolios across Europe. My team and I specialize in providing a range of financial instruments, including traditional bank loans, mezzanine loans, convertible notes, strategic partnerships, and credit lines. With a track record of 750 million euros in successful transactions with leading banks, funds, and institutions across Europe, our clients can trust our experience and expertise. I bring my financial background to my role as CEO of Voyage, constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to drive growth and success for the company.
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