London - The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance's newly formed Standing Committees are taking decisive steps towards resolving one of the industry's most challenging issues - harmonising industry metrics and streamlining reporting and benchmarking in sustainability. The Alliance's CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, believes that the industry could achieve a shared definition on standards and certification as early as next year.
At the Alliance's Autumn Summit, the industry-led Standards and Reporting Committee identified this issue as their top priority.
Looking ahead to 2024, I am optimistic that we can address the issue of complexity within standards and reporting in the industry. Our Standing Committees and key partners can drive large-scale, tangible change, and I look forward to working with all committee members as they act on their agreed priorities. Glenn Mandziuk
During their inaugural meeting, the Standing Committees established various priorities, including the creation of Sustainability Toolkits and the development of a Positive Impact Fund. This fund aims to bring community benefits and propel the industry towards Net Positive Hospitality, where the industry gives back to destinations more than it takes.
The Standards and Reporting Standing Committee has committed to creating a common framework for standards that is benchmarkable, KPI-oriented, and aligned with existing standards. In addition, the committee will update the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), the world's leading carbon measurement tool widely used in the hospitality industry, making carbon measurement more transparent and comparable.
Denise Naguib, Co-Chair of the Standards and Reporting Committee and Global Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity of Marriott International, expressed her enthusiasm for the committee's priorities, stating,
Building a framework is imperative for the sector to reach Net Positive Hospitality. A top priority for members at the meeting was the updating of the HCMI tool, which has guided the industry's carbon calculation for a decade, with the goal of adoption across the entire hospitality industry.
The Financing the Transition Standing Committee, led by Co-Chair Austin C. Wentworth, Head of North America of STRIVE by STX, has identified the creation of a Positive Impact Fund as a key priority. This fund aims to promote and channel ambitious, tangible corporate climate action in destinations around the world.
Recognising the importance of technology in driving the industry towards Net Positive Hospitality, the Technology Transfer Standing Committee, co-chaired by Torsten Kuttig, Director Hotel Development, ECE, aims to create a directory of innovative, sustainable technology solutions and best practices. This directory will focus on energy, water, waste, and people, facilitating collaboration and the sharing of technology solutions within the industry.
The Supply Chain Optimisation Standing Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar Group, and Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, CEO of Rabmer Group, aims to identify collective actions that the industry can take. By prioritising actions such as toolboxes and agreeing upon standards and measures, the committee aims to add value and ensure sustainability throughout the industry's value chain.
Jan Hein Simons, Co-Chair of the Risk and Resilience Standing Committee and Director Hotels Benelux for Colliers Alternative Real Estate, highlighted the committee's commitment to developing industry standards and due diligence on human rights and labour. The committee aims to set minimum requirements and standards that ensure the safety of people and communities where the hospitality industry operates. They also plan to create a Hospitality Trust Index to track industry progress towards Net Positive Hospitality.
The Communications and Public Relations Standing Committee, co-chaired by Cris Tarrant, Chairman of BVA BDRC, and Dimitris Manikis, President, and Managing Director for EMEA of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, recognises the importance of effective storytelling. The committee aims to communicate the industry's success stories, champion sustainable initiatives, and overcome challenges to drive the entire hospitality ecosystem towards Net Positive Hospitality.
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance is dedicated to transforming the industry and leading it towards a more sustainable future. By prioritising key initiatives and fostering collaboration, the Alliance's Standing Committees are set to make a significant impact on the industry's sustainability efforts.
COMMENT FROM STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRS/CO-CHAIRS
I was delighted to host the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance inaugural Standards and Reporting Standing Committee meeting where we agreed on important priorities that will continue to support industry efforts. Building a framework is imperative for the sector to reach Net Positive Hospitality. A top priority for members at the meeting was the updating of the HCMI tool, which has guided the industry carbon calculation for a decade, with the goal of adoption across the entire hospitality industry. This, among other priorities, illustrates the high ambitions of the committee, and we look forward to seeing these initiatives in action. The co-Chair of the Standards and Reporting Committee Denise Naguib, Global Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity of Marriott International
We are delighted to have agreed upon a number of priorities for our committee including the creation of a Positive Impact Fund. This is an exciting first for the industry and we look forward to working towards implementing a fund that will promote and channel ambitious, tangible corporate climate action on the ground, in destinations around the world. Austin C. Wentworth, Head of North America of STRIVE by STX, who is co-chair of the Financing the Transition Standing Committee
If the hospitality industry is to navigate its way to Net Positive Hospitality it is essential the sector collaborates and shares best practice. This must include sharing technology solutions. As a committee we have agreed upon an important action to create a directory of innovative, sustainable technology solutions and best practice focussing on energy, water, waste and people. We also look forward to contributing towards sustainable building quality standards. The co-chair of the Technology Transfer Standing Committee, Torsten Kuttig, Director Hotel Development, ECE
During the committee’s meeting it became evident that the value chain in hospitality is diverse and complex, impacting everything from a business's carbon footprint to its stance on human and labour rights. Prioritising actions that the industry can take collectively, such as toolboxes that highlight solutions to agreeing upon standards and measures, we should ask of our supply chains, is where we hope this committee adds value. A hospitality experience is, in so many ways, the sum of the thousands of decisions of sourcing in our value chain to make a comfortable and memorable stay. Thus, it is impossible for hospitality to build a pathway to net positive without also doing so in partnership with our value chain. Co-chairs of the Supply Chain Optimisation Standing Committee Dr Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar Group and Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, CEO of Rabmer Group
Members engaged in a productive discussion concerning the challenges our industry faces. A key outcome of our meeting is the desire to develop industry standards and due diligence on human rights and labour. We aim to set out minimum requirements and standards that ensure the safety of people and communities where the hospitality industry operates. We also aim to create a business case for change and develop, customise and launch a Hospitality Trust Index that tracks industry progress against the Pathway to Net Positive. Jan Hein Simons, director hotels Benelux for Colliers Alternative Real Estate and co-chair of the Risk and Resilience Standing Committee
The Communications and Public Relations Standing Committee's first meeting centred around the importance of effective storytelling. With an engaging story the industry can have a real impact in driving the entire hospitality ecosystem towards Net Positive. The committee agreed there is a wealth of information, innovation and initiatives that can inspire not only those inside the industry but also those outside. With far-reaching value and supply chains, the hospitality industry is in a unique position to engage and have cross-sector influence. As a committee we look forward to helping the industry communicate its success stories, championing those leading the way to a more sustainable future, whilst highlighting the challenges that the industry must overcome. Co-chairs of the committee, Cris Tarrant, Chairman, BVA BDRC and Dimitris Manikis, President, and Managing Director for EMEA of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
About the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance brings together engaged hospitality companies and the wider hospitality value chain, along with strategic partners, to address key challenges affecting the planet, people and places around the world.
Through their strategic initiatives and global networks, they develop practical programmes and resources to create a prosperous and responsible hospitality sector that gives back to the destination more than it takes.
Their members represent over 50,000 hotels spanning 270 brands – totalling over 7 million rooms – and include world-leading companies including Accor, Choice Hotels International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, as well as regional brands. Their network also includes other parts of the hospitality value chain, including owners, investors, suppliers, and other partners to further drive joined up action on sustainability, and accelerate the industry on the path to Net Positive Hospitality.