Shaping the Future of Hospitality: Continuous Improvements or Radical Changes?
Sustainability in Hospitality — Viewpoint by Willy Legrand
In the hospitality industry - just like in the business world in general - a paradigm shift is necessary [see NRDC], which calls for radical changes.
I see 3 priorities that are implementable by key hospitality stakeholders if they decide to work together (which can be a radical change for some of them already…):
- Hotel operators and their suppliers: Zero plastic: our industry is one of the oldest of all, which means that it operated without plastic much longer than it has operated WITH plastic. With plastic bans already in place in some states and countries and with the help of more and more start-ups and consultants who are experts in this transformation, this objective is within our reach.
- Hotel investors and franchisors: Zero land take: taking natural land to develop new hotels is not reasonable anymore - wherever that is (i.e. whether there is a local regulation about it or not) as we know that the earth is suffocating under our artificial constructions. As land doesn't grow, our industry's growth projections should be based only on the potential to do more and better with existing buildings and converted land.
- All: choose and aim for new KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the industry, before and above financial results:
- kg of CO2 emissions/stay
- kg of CO2 emissions/meal served
- Reduction in scopes 1 to 3 CO2 emissions
- Avoided emissions
But GES are not enough to report about and the hospitality industry has a unique and exciting role to play well beyond reducing emissions, a role which could be driven by the following KPIs:
- Biodiversity restoration
- Contribution to employee wellbeing, physical and mental health
- Value added for the local economy
- Improved life conditions for local communities, etc…
Transparency about what is being done, what worked and what didn't in a collaborative mindset is going to be absolutely essential to get to a new era where the hospitality industry contributes to restoring our planet and improving the health and wellbeing of all of its "guests".