Thursday, October 19, 2023
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s global summit concluded with a resounding commitment to propel the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality as part of its 5-year strategy.
Convening world-leading hotel brands, suppliers, and partner organisations participants united to accelerate aligned action, recognising the pressing need for progress from both a people and planet perspective.
During the summit, the Alliance’s newly formed Standing Committees met for the first time and established key priorities for the next 12 months. Leading the way will be the essential work towards aligning standards and certification. The Standards and Reporting Standing Committee will create a common framework that is benchmarkable, KPI-oriented, and aligned with existing standards, ensuring greater accountability, and promoting industry-wide progress.
Another priority identified by the Standing Committees is the updating of the world’s leading carbon measurement tool, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). As the most widely used methodology in the hospitality industry, the HCMI has already made a significant impact in carbon measurement practices. The updates will further enhance transparency and comparability, reinforcing its role in driving sustainability efforts.
Recognising the need for tangible impact within communities, the Standing Committees have also prioritised the creation of a Net Positive Capital Investment fund. This fund will pool financial resources among hotel organizations to drive positive change and improve procurement methods, including the utilisation of local supply chains.
“These actions signify a major milestone in further aligning hotels and organisations on their united journey towards Net Positive Hospitality,” stated Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. “Throughout this week, the global hospitality industry has collaborated, making significant progress since the Alliance last convened. The Standing Committees have agreed on strong priorities that will lead to tangible change in our industry. We have also firmly integrated the voice of younger generations, who have challenged and inspired us to accelerate our actions towards a more sustainable future. Their ‘clear call to action’ demands decisive and responsible leadership.”
The Mainstreaming Net Positive Hospitality summit, held in London, was attended by the Alliance’s Members across the value chain, representing hotel brands, operators, owners, investors, and other partners. Strategic partners and collaborators also participated, demonstrating the collective commitment to driving sustainable practices within the industry.
In recognition of the importance of scaling impact across the hospitality network, the Alliance launched its groundbreaking sustainable training system under the formation of the Net Positive Hospitality Academy with the support of XU. This innovative initiative aims to educate all stakeholders on sustainability and the Net Positive Pathway, transcending sectors, and supply chains with a comprehensive top-down and bottom-up approach.
Moreover, the summit witnessed the launch of The Net Positive Hospitality Business Simulation, a new learning tool developed in partnership with Sim Institute. This tool equips hotel decision makers with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness between environmental, social, and governance issues. It engages and upskills hospitality leaders and students, empowering them to drive positive change within their organizations.
The summit placed a strong focus on addressing social injustices affecting the world and the industry. Dr. Halleh Seddighzadeh, an international counter-trafficking expert and forensic traumatologist, delivered a keynote address highlighting the pervasive issue of human trafficking and the role the hospitality industry can play in combating it. Dr. Halleh emphasized that an intelligence and data-led approach can help “pierce the veil of trafficking.”
Throughout the summit, attendees drew inspiration from the input and reflection of younger generations, acknowledging the profound impact of Gen Z values on industry practices and the prioritisation of sustainability.