Sustainability metrics for hospitality have long been self-defined. But a new framework aims to set clear definitions for sustainable hotel practices in order to improve responsible travel and tourism.
A partnership between the World Travel & Tourism Council, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and leading hotel companies totaling more than 25,000 locations worldwide, are working to develop the industry’s first sustainability standards “in a clear and transparent manner for all travelers and stakeholders.”
The effort, dubbed Basic Sustainability, is being adopted by Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co., Ltd. including their affiliates Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group, and Radisson Hotel Group, among other leading hospitality groups including Accor, Barceló Hotel Group, Huazhu including their affiliate Deutsche Hospitality, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Meliá Hotels International, and Minor Hotels including NH Hotel Group.
Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, CEO Louvre Hotels Group, part of Jin Jiang International, says the chain is “convinced that the hotel industry needs to evolve to develop more sustainable practices aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. That is the aim of our of global CSR plan ‘Objective 2025.'”
Routot says that due to the climate emergency, this work “must be done collectively, with all the hospitality groups going in the same direction, but also with our staff members, our clients and our partners. Sustainability is becoming a new standard for everyone, that is exactly why we endorse the Basic Sustainability framework with a lot of energy and hope.”
The new framework builds on existing metrics in the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality—an effort aimed at improving individual hotel impacts, regardless of the number of existing sustainability initiatives.
“This is a promising opportunity to leverage the strength and influence of the hotel industry to really make an impact.,” said Ramón Aragonés, CEO NH Hotel Group.
“For years, the sector has been an engine for economic growth, social development, and the coming together of cultures, and now, together, we will also be the driving force to a more sustainable future. We, as part of Minor, endorse the Basic Sustainability framework with great enthusiasm and the conviction that it is a huge step in the right direction.”
Federico J. González , CEO Radisson Hotel Group, says that after the pandemic, the chain is pleased to see the hotel industry take a coordinated and “non-competitive way forward” in order to facilitate “a true and effective response to the climate change challenge we face.”
González says the Basic Sustainability framework is a step-change that will help every hotel accelerate their sustainability efforts—a move that will help Radisson, its parent company Jin Jiang International, and “the whole industry” inch closer toward “the ultimate target of Net Zero and, at the same time respond to our clients’ demand for sustainable travel options that are easy to understand.”
The new initiative will work across several areas to incorporate the UNWTO Glasgow Declaration and the UNSDG’s decade of action. The brands will share tools and best practices with each other as well as with the larger hospitality industry.
It mirrors efforts recently announced by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Last month it announced its first “Considerate Collection”—26 sustainable independent boutique stays around the world.
“Staying in small, independent hotels goes hand in hand with traveling sustainably and all SLH hotels are already steeped in the many facets of sustainable hospitality,” Daniel Luddington, VP of Development at Small Luxury Hotels of the World, said in a statement.
The larger chains are steeped in it too.
“We have only one chance with planet earth,” added Marcus Bernhardt, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality.
“Deutsche Hospitality with its approximately 11,000 employees is aware of this responsibility,” he said. “Participation in the Basic Sustainability framework, therefore, is a matter close to our hearts. Let’s seize the opportunity to make a big difference together.”
Basic Sustainability’s directives will be finalized over the coming months, the group said. It will officially launch in March 2022.