World Panel
Viewpoint 7 December 2020

Driving Resiliency and Sustainability in Hospitality: Five Priorities for 2021

Sustainability in Hospitality

— 23 experts shared their view

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This viewpoint was created by
Willy Legrand, Professor of Hospitality Management at the IUBH International University
Maribel Esparcia Pérez
University Professor at the University of Lleida - Faculty of Law, Economics and Tourism and Founding Partner at the ESHC

How do we decouple growth from negative impacts in hospitality? Many authors and institutions have acknowledged that we are in an age of high levels of social inequality and ecological degradation. Thus, concepts such as post-growth, post-capitalist, post-development, and degrowth are emerging and discussed by governments, academia, and the private sector. Taking real action is now a social imperative for hospitality businesses to thrive. The five priorities for the hospitality industry to be resilient and sustainable as we hopefully blossom from COVID-19 are:

  • Integrate sustainability practices as an innovation strategy. There are actions we can undertake to improve-social wellbeing that are not necessarily costly or require many resources, such as actions to support community - based tourism.
  • Focus on technology skills and sustainability education at all company levels.
  • Use technology (such as blockchain) to accelerate supply chain sustainability, biodiversity conservation, sustainable procurement initiatives, workforce and human rights best practices, food security, and waste prevention, etc.
  • GHG emissions: do not rely on offsetting programs. The solution lies in making deep cuts in rising greenhouse-gas emissions; paying up instead isn't solving the problem. If there is no way because the assets are old, we want to offset third-party emissions from guests or other stakeholders, then support projects of local communities to meet offsetting targets (SBTi /CDP).
  • Encourage investors/owners' commitment to ESG and responsible investment for capital allocation.
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