Legislation regulates the way we utilize natural resources, avoid pollution and harmful substances, manage waste and protect ecosystems and human rights. Supporting sustainability through the use of proactive legislation is nothing new. Rather than being a constraint to businesses and individuals, proactive legislation can eliminate competitive disadvantages and thus be an instrument paving the way to a successful and sustainable future (Berger-Walliser et al., 2016). In many cases, however, legislation is enacted as a last resort. In Germany, a new law on packaging makes it mandatory for the gastronomy sector to provide reusable containers as an alternative to single-use items from 2023 onwards. This is, arguably, a long overdue legislation based on a EU Directive. In a recent representative survey conducted by the German Packaging Institute (DVI) and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), 85% of respondents are in favor of introducing a deposit refund system for reusable containers. And while citizens around the globe view climate change as a major threat, the most recent report from the UNFCC warns that climate action plans put forward by nations ahead of COP26 are nowhere close to meeting the goals set in the Paris Agreement. Looking at legislative initiatives in your country, where do you see room for improvement? In which area under the sustainability umbrella do you see the need for more (or less) regulations? Can you share some best (or worst) practices?

Berger-Walliser, G., Shrivastava, P. & Sulkowski, A. (2016). Using Proactive Legal Strategies for Corporate Environmental Sustainability, Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, 6(1), 1-27.

Inge Huijbrechts
Inge Huijbrechts
Global Senior VP Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications for Radisson Hotel Group

The benefit of legislation is that it creates a level playing field and can be an accelerator. From this perspective legislation in the sustainability field is certainly useful, provided governments do not overregulate and focus on the essentials. Currently the focus should be on green hotel buildings, both in emerging and mature markets and on legislating essential elements of responsible consumption for example related to phasing out single-use plastics. On the topic of sustainable buildings and innovations (eg. for an accelerated roll out of hydrogen fuel cells in hotels) government incentives are welcomed and necessary to allow for early adoption.

Sam Laakkonen
Sam Laakkonen
Contingent Managing Director - Sustainability at Techstars
Lucienne Mosquera
Lucienne Mosquera
Co-founder of SustainUK and currently developing services to accelerate and simplify decarbonization and optimization of building and retrofit projects.
Eric Ricaurte
Eric Ricaurte
Founder at Greenview
Xenia zu Hohenlohe
Xenia zu Hohenlohe
Partner/Director at the Considerate Group
Sarah Habsburg-Lothringen
Sarah Habsburg-Lothringen
BA Hons, PGCE & MSc, Tourism Training Specialist & Business Mentor for Small, Independent Hotels
Simon Martin
Simon Martin
Head of Development Hospitality-Catering at IECD
Johanna Wagner
Johanna Wagner
Co-Founder of La Belle EDuC, Founder of Upside Up Hotel Asset and Guest Lecture at ESSEC MSc in Hospitality Management (IMHI)
Marloes Knippenberg
Marloes Knippenberg
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
Cassia Patel
Cassia Patel
Program Director of Oceanic Global
Stefan Gössling
Stefan Gössling
Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University

Climate change mitigation needs have been known for decades. Industry has been slow to wake up to the problem, and slower still to act. The trajectory of emissions has known only one direction, upwards. Should we wait for another decade for a miracle? Common climate policies can create a level playing field for all. So let's push for tougher climate laws, and say no to those trying to prevent these. And let's do this for tourism, for the stability of our business models.

Franziska Altenrath
Franziska Altenrath
Co-Founder at TUTAKA
Celine Vadam
Celine Vadam
Founder & CEO of WE(i) Think
Dan Ruben
Dan Ruben
Director, How to Green Your Hotel
Kathy McGuire
Kathy McGuire
Principal Sustainable Development at 3 Pillar Solutions, LLC
Maurice Bergin
Maurice Bergin
Managing Director at GreenHospitality.ie
Jonathon Day
Jonathon Day
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Frauke  Fischer
Frauke Fischer
Founder, Agentur Auf!

Here comes a plea for regulative action for biodiversity. Except of some natural goods such as timber from private forest, biodiversity and ecosystem services are public goods. That makes them prone to unsustainable use, the tragedy of the commons, and the free riding problem. Since we all depend on biodiversity and ecosystem services, we should not let the “free market” define the rules of consumption and trade of natural goods (and services). Strict rules and regulations, including certain no-go-criteria are urgently needed to stop the erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem services – for the benefit of all of us.

Trevor Girard
Trevor Girard
Director of Standards and Accreditation at Hotel Resilient
Federico Vignati
Federico Vignati
Principal Executive at CAF - development bank of Latin America