Stamp of sustainability for hotels

WTTC and Sustainable Hospitality Alliance have launched ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’, a verification (or stamp) for hotels and lodging accommodations to meet nine out of 12 criteria, including water, energy and employee treatment, it was revealed on the sidelines of COP28 held in Dubai recently. This is aimed mainly at small and medium hotels, as the bigger names already have their own schemes.

Dr. Shehara Rizly

Speaking on the sidelines of COP28, held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, Julia Simpson, President and CEO, WTTC, shared, “I’m proud to say that with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance we have launched ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ stamp. It is a verification that a hotel or a lodging accommodation that is used by tourists has met a certain standard and the reason we are doing that is some of the big companies like Hilton’s and Intercontinental, the Marriotts have their very sophisticated sustainability schemes that look at water as well as other energy uses, but 80 per cent of our sector we think are small and medium hotels. They don’t necessarily have access to the know-how or the resources. Some are very advanced but not all of them do so. Hence, we wanted to create something created by the industry, for the industry.

“So, we reached out to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and created a stamp called the basics and part of that is a hotel will have to meet nine out of 12 criteria in different categories. One of them is water the other is energy use, another is how they work with their suppliers and their communities, and another really important part is how they treat their employees. So, it’s a really useful tool but it’s only a stepping stone and we want people to get that stamp stay in that scheme, work on that scheme for two years and then move on to some of the more sophisticated schemes that are out there.”

Glenn Mandziuk, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said, “Fundamentally, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s philosophy is around this notion of net positive hospitality. We want to give back more to the destination for which we have the privilege to operate within than we take out. Our partnership with WTTC is that we see it as a way to decarbonize the sector much more readily for companies of all sizes. Something that isn’t approachable let’s say within the industry on a PPA you must have real energy consumption needs in order to access that type of a framework by partnering together and pooling around a common PPA on behalf of the whole sector is something that will enable any organisation to actually access in a much more meaningful way.

“Another big area of focus for us is accelerators. It’s applying the actual tools, the approaches on the ground in different jurisdictions around the world, understand where the challenges are in the use of that tool and then looking to scale. Employability work we do, we help disadvantaged youth, for example, in India and in Egypt and other places access employment opportunities, provide essential training and ensure that there is a long-term future for those families that are with those youth. We have a program on supply chain and responsible resourcing across Africa and in India as well. So, those are areas that we are looking at how they can buy local.”

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