WTTC launches ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ initiative at its Global Summit in Manila

TD Editor

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’, a globally recognised and coordinated set of criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible Travel & Tourism.

The initiative was launched today at its prestigious Global Summit being held in Manila this week and will help every hotel address and improve their environmental impact.

Developed by the industry for the industry, it highlights 12 actions which are fundamental to hotel sustainability and will help raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry by providing every hotel with a starting point on their sustainability journey.

The initiative has already gained support from major global groups such as Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co., Ltd. including their affiliates Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group and Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Barceló Hotel Group, Meliá Hotels International, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), as well as key hotel associations around the world like the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Hotel Association of India (HAI), Huazhu Hotels Group, and many more. Collectively this represents more than 50,000 hotels around the world.

WTTC’s ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ provides the global hospitality sector with a baseline of positive actions to be taken to ensure they meet at least the minimum sustainability requirements.

However, this is just the beginning of their journey, and WTTC urges the sector to seek constant improvements beyond the 12 basic criteria so that every hotel, whether an individual business or part of a larger group, moves on to more advanced frameworks and greater sustainability.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are launching the Hotel Sustainability Basics to ensure no hotel, however small, is left behind in the drive to introduce a basis sustainability measures within a minimum level the next three years.

“Sustainability is non-negotiable but not every small hotel has access to the science on how to make a difference. This gives everyone access to a global standard and provides consumers to travel with confidence.

“WTTC wants the hospitality industry to lead by example so that sustainability becomes the basic requirement used to drive change forward for this generation and the next.”

The criteria, developed by WTTC in close collaboration with leading global brands and industry associations, focus on actions which are fundamental to hotel sustainability and address tourism’s impact on the planet across a spectrum of critical issues.

These criteria include actions to measure and reduce energy use, measure and reduce water use, identify and reduce waste, and measure and reduce carbon emissions.

It also includes a linen reuse program, use of green cleaning products, the elimination of plastic straws, stirrers, and single-use plastic water bottles, the implementation of bulk amenity dispensers, as well as measures to benefit local communities.

WTTC is now calling upon hotel operators, owners, associations, and investors around the world to officially support the initiative and work across their networks to implement the criteria over the coming three years.

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance Chair, said: “Every industry must do its part to ensure the future of our planet and its people.

While many companies are taking great strides and leading the way, others are only now taking their first steps.

“By offering an understanding of the simplest steps hotels can take to become more sustainable, the Hotel Sustainability Basics will help to raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry.

“This initiative acts as a steppingstone to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality which will enable every hotel to take a strategic and progressive approach to achieve a positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point.”

Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, said: “These Hotel Sustainability Basics are an excellent way for hotels to take the first step on their journey to sustainability.

“The GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels serve as the global standard for sustainable hospitality and the Basics map to eight of those that have been frequently mentioned by our global partners as essential first steps. As such, GSTC supports the application of this program and we encourage users that do not comply to them currently to take steps to move quickly to do so.”

On stage at its Global Summit in Manila, Julia Simpson told delegates that hotel groups, brands, and operators, in addition to owners who represent a number of hotels, can become WTTC recognised supporters by endorsing the initiative and completing the Green Lodging Trends Survey (GLTS) to benchmark their performance and keep track of progress.

Initially, eight of the 12 criteria are mandatory, whilst others can be committed to and covered within the first three years.

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