News, Sustainability

Leadership and Sustainability

Sustainability as a corporate strategy may finally have reached a tipping point.


For years sustainability has been a conceptual discussion in board rooms and messaging points from marketing departments. But from a tactical perspective, outside of LED lighting upgrades, very few practical, ROI positive steps to incorporate sustainability goals into corporate strategy have been taken. That’s what makes the recently announced collaboration between Sonder, Arcadia, and Zen Ecosystems so intriguing. The partnership reveals unique ways that technology is helping Sonder expand its business in an ecologically responsible way while significantly contributing to the bottom line.  

Sonder’s rapidly expanding portfolio touches almost every city on the globe, so it’s no surprise that they think creatively about ways to usher this growth forward responsibly. Working with Zen Ecosystems was a natural step, as the adoption of Zen Thermostats and Sustainability-as-a-Service platform results in an annual reduction of 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide for every Sonder room where they are installed. This project bloomed into discussions about more comprehensive ways to pursue sustainability, resulting in an open marketplace of services designed to align with Sonder’s goals. Starting with Zen HQ, Sonder will be able to precisely optimize energy use based on both demand (e.g. heating and cooling) as well as supply (renewable energy vs. fossil fuels). Zen HQ not only enables how much energy is consumed, it also enables control over the form of the energy that’s used. By optimizing efficiency and savings, Sonder will be able to generate Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and contribute directly to company Sustainability objectives. Sonder will be able to use this efficiency to engage directly with their guests. Guests will be able to understand their direct involvement in sustainability, driving retention and satisfaction. 

Pursuing Sonder’s sustainability goals goes beyond Zen products and services. Arcadia’s ability to deliver clean solar energy without panel installation immediately reduced Sonder’s utility bill and allowed them to deliver renewable energy to their buildings in Illinois. Plans to expand this service across Sonder’s portfolio are evolving quickly.

This partnership illustrates how sustainability, technology, and business can align to benefit the company, the consumer, and the planet. It is crucial for other players in the hospitality industry – big and small – to follow Sonder’s lead in incorporating and executing modern sustainability services into their corporate strategy.