Sustainability goals... is the window of opportunity for hotels closing?
— 12 C-Suite executives shared their view
As we enter a decisive decade for sustainability, is the window of opportunity for hotels closing?
Following a decade of growth which brought jobs and fostered local and regional development, the tourism and hotel industry has repeatedly outperformed the global economy.
More than 3,000 new hotels will open their doors in 2020 alone. However, the industry is also responsible for nearly one-tenth of all carbon emissions globally, with the hotel sector accounting for almost a quarter of all tourism emissions.
Under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the hotel sector must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per room per year by 66 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050 compared to 2010 (ITP, 2017). The technology required to decarbonize the industry is available now.
How do you see the calls for more sustainability within your organization and, in particular, our responsibility to bring about a carbon-neutral future?
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
For us, sustainability aligns with the innovation introduced by the future generation of hoteliers, such as the thought-provoking ideas presented at #GENIO2019 which so inspired a large hospitality leadership team last month.
Historically, the hospitality industry's emphasis has been on waste, conservation and recycling. Today, times have changed and unless we really hear what the New Generation has to say and how they apply technology to push the sustainability agenda forward, we will become irrelevant.
That is why Kerten Hospitality has gathered a team of GenZ-ers to drive our sustainability programme. They are intensifying our collaboration with hotel schools, developing case studies and looking at how we can really make a difference in everything from waste management to re-using rainwater and maximising the use of solar.
Significantly, this team has grown up with smartphones, maintains a focus on health/wellness and prefers authentic experiences, shopping at bio farms and drinking vegan smoothies. Their lifestyle preferences have shifted the sustainability agenda in a meaningful way. For instance, our projects empower guests to contribute to the wellbeing of local eco-friendly farms and communities, engage in volunteer travel or bee and turtle saving expeditions, along with the implementation of savings for sustainable-related initiatives.
These initiatives give voice to the New Generation and this is what we believe will set us on the right path to sustainable solutions.