Driving Resiliency and Sustainability in Hospitality: Five Priorities for 2021
— 23 experts shared their view
Recovery, resilience, recalibration, or bouncing back are a few examples of keywords that are at the center of any discussion surrounding the hospitality industry's economic prospects this past year. However uncertain the economic future may be, major crises of earth systems are unabated to date. While similarities exist between resiliency and sustainability (i.e. both concepts refer to the state of a system or organization over time in response to instabilities), there are notable differences, and conflicts, in the two concepts (i.e. achieving short-term economic resiliency at the expense of socio-environmental wellbeing). Looking forward, all eyes are on resiliency (growth!) in hospitality but how do we decouple growth from impacts, most notably carbon emissions? How do we ensure that sustainability is a component of resiliency (or vice versa)? What are the five priorities the hospitality industry should set to tackle resiliency and sustainability at the same time in 2021?
Managing Director at GreenHospitality.ie
All stakeholders are becoming more environmentally aware and looking for quantifiable actions, carbon reduction strategies, and clear messages from the businesses they interact with – no more so than the hospitality sector which has a substantial environmental footprint.
Environmental Sustainability are words rarely heard when hospitality professionals meet. When the word Sustainability is used what they mean is Financial Sustainability. The Hospitality sector worldwide has only paid lip service to the seismic challenges Climate Change presents and poorly visualizes the economic challenges as governments reallocate resources under the Green Agenda to combat it – elements of tourism could be sacrificed.
Hospitality failed to embed the environment as a core business tenet following the last financial crisis but has another chance now as we reopen worldwide following the pandemic (An environmental catastrophe itself!). The measure of our leadership will be judged if all we do is chase profit at the expense of a suffering planet.
5 Priorities for Hospitality Businesses for 2021
- Commit to implementing an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), with quantifiable targets
- Achieve third-party environmental certification
- Develop a Carbon Reduction Plan and set specific reduction targets – Energy 5% and Carbon 10% per annum as a minimum
- Monitor and Measure emissions monthly and use Key Environmental Performance Indicators (KEPI's) to monitor your targets (Use HCMI Protocols)
- Eliminate Single-Use Plastics – don't use Covid as an excuse