Amongst global sustainable hospitality experts there seem to be two co-existing, and sometimes contradictory, concepts for structuring sustainability agendas. On the one hand, there is an appeal to comply with and be guided by recognized global standards and certification schemes. Sound arguments include the ability to benchmark performance and ambitions, foster transparency and ensure a common and global approach and understanding of what sustainable hospitality is and includes. On the other hand, sustainability agendas must address local realities. A global hospitality relies on local infrastructure and responds to local stakeholder expectations. Local infrastructure such as energy grids, waste management facilities, access to water supplies and operational supply chains all impacts the sustainability performance of hotels. Some experts might argue that there is no sustainability unless created locally and locally only. Following the logic, the question arises whether such a high degree of individualization can be standardized at all. Now, whilst both approaches have their advocates, the majority seems to be trying to figure out how to combine the best of both worlds.

Where is the sweet spot between standardized frameworks for sustainable hospitality and individualized, local sustainability action plans? Which standards provide sufficient space for adjustments on the basis of local realities? What further arguments strengthen or weaken the application of both approaches? How much does the size and structure of the business influence the approach?

Natasha  Montesalvo
Natasha Montesalvo
Principal Consultant – Destination, Strategy and Insight at EarthCheck
Marloes Knippenberg
Marloes Knippenberg
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
Patrick O’Meara
Patrick O’Meara
Interim CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
Arjan van Rheede
Arjan van Rheede
Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability at Hotelschool The Hague
Jonathon Day
Jonathon Day
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Nelly Gedeon
Nelly Gedeon
Founder and CEO of Wayaj, Inc.
Megan Epler Wood
Megan Epler Wood
Principal, EplerWood International
Celine Vadam
Celine Vadam
Founder & CEO of WE(i) Think
Nicolas   Dubrocard
Nicolas Dubrocard
Founder & Director, Audit Diagnostic Solutions Tourism
Benjamin  Lephilibert
Benjamin Lephilibert
Founder & CEO, LightBlue Environmental Consulting
Andreas Koch
Andreas Koch
Managing Director at blueContec GmbH
Nia Klatte
Nia Klatte
Sustainability Project Manager at the Considerate Group
Marco Bevolo
Marco Bevolo
Founder of Marco Bevolo Consulting
Kathy McGuire
Kathy McGuire
Principal Sustainable Development at 3 Pillar Solutions, LLC
Franziska Altenrath
Franziska Altenrath
Co-Founder at TUTAKA
Suzann Heinemann
Suzann Heinemann
Founder and CEO of InfraCert GmbH
Randy  Durband
Randy Durband
CEO at Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
Henri  Kuokkanen
Henri Kuokkanen
Associate Professor at Institut Paul Bocuse
Willy Legrand
Willy Legrand
Professor of Hospitality Management at the IU International University of Applied Sciences, Germany