Sustainable Hospitality Alliance launches Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality – version 2.0

WORLDWIDE: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance), which brings together the industry to create a responsible global hospitality sector has released its latest Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality v2.0.

WORLDWIDE: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance), which brings together the industry to create a responsible global hospitality sector has released its latest Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality v2.0.

First launched in March 2022, the updated version of the Pathway provides a more holistic and practical four-stage roadmap to accelerate hospitality towards a sustainable and contributory future. 

It harnesses the power of the four pillars (from the UN’s SDGs) of people, planet, place, and prosperity combined with the industry’s transformative power, innovation, and resources. 

It aligns with leading global frameworks and standards and integrates them into one place to combine the collective power of resources available to industry and reduce fragmentation of effort. This approach enables every hotel to advance its positive impact, regardless of size, starting point, or location.

Specific elements of the Pathway includes:

  • Definition of Net Positive Hospitality and demonstration of how people, planet, place, and prosperity are interrelated.
  • An outline of the material topics for the industry.
  • Ambitions that the industry should look to achieve on its journey towards net positive hospitality.
  • Alignment with various leading frameworks and standards, including the World Travel and Tourism Council Hotel Sustainability Basics, Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism, Global Business Travel Association RFP template, Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria, Travalyst Accommodation Criteria, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Net Positive Hospitality is a philosophy and approach that unlocks the hotel industry’s potential to contribute to the world’s future. The Pathway creates an integrated and pragmatic framework which any hotel can follow to advance their sustainability journeys in a prosperous and responsible way. 

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance says: “Across all industry sectors, the private sector is implementing actions to reduce carbon emissions, improve biodiversity, conditions for employees and impacts on local communities. This Pathway builds on that effort and promotes pollution minimisation, efficient resource use, protection, and regeneration of destinations, creating fairness in the workplace, including equitable and better opportunities for employees, working with communities to develop partnerships and social respect, and maintaining net positive governance.”

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO says: “We’re pleased to be a part of the Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality which includes our Hotel Sustainability Basics; the globally recognised and coordinated set of criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible and sustainable Travel & Tourism. Our research shows that most business owners know their environmental responsibility, but many sustainability practices, such as efficient water use initiatives, are patchy. Basics fill the gap by creating that level playing field for the sector.”

The Pathway has been developed in close collaboration and strong support with the industry and sustainability experts, such as EY, Considerate Group and Greenview. It will continue to evolve as the understanding of what it means to be Net Positive advances. In future releases, the Alliance will include detailed guidance to support every hotel (regardless of ownership structure, size and location) to work towards these ambitions. Further, to help measure progress towards Net Positive, this additional guidance will include content on regionality and a KPI measurement framework aligned with ESG reporting requirements.

Image: screen grab from video about the Aliance’s Pathway 2.0

citizenM secures Sustainability Linked Loan with aim to reduce environmental impact

WORLDWIDE: citizenM has secured a dual currency €243.3M and £201.7M Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL).

WORLDWIDE: citizenM has secured a dual currency €243.3M and £201.7M Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL).

The loan is with HSBC UK and HSBC Continental Europe, ABN AMRO Bank NV and Aareal Bank.

The completion of the loan means citizenM is one of the first European hospitality businesses to adopt the SLL funding structure.

By refinancing existing debt as a SLL, citizenM aims to reduce its environmental impact and drive continued sustainable growth. Green funding is often seen as a way to attract further investment for future growth as sustainability rises in importance for ESG and corporate sustainability targets.

Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, chief executive officer at citizenM, says: “At citizenM, we take sustainability seriously. We seek to build and operate hotels that minimise our impact on the environment, and it is important to us that our ongoing commitment to sustainability is reflected in every facet of our business. For this reason, we are immensely proud to have secured sustainability-linked funding, particularly given the complexity of the transaction, completed by a diverse lender group across Europe.”

The funding was provided equally by ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Aareal Bank and HSBC (UK and Continental Europe), with HSBC UK acting as facility agent and HSBC Continental Europe acting as Sustainability Linked Loan Co-ordinator.

Elizabeth Davies, head of hotels at HSBC UK, says: “We’re very proud to have completed this deal with citizenM. With its high profile in the hospitality sector, we expect that citizenM’s relatively early adoption of the Sustainability Linked Loan will help to drive further market adoption, as hospitality groups seek to demonstrate a serious commitment to creating positive impacts on the environment.”

Fred Bos head commercial clients sector, sustainability and E&E expertise at ABN AMRO, says: “We see climate change as the greatest threat to humanity. We view this cooperation as a positive step towards the prevention of climate change and as an opportunity to grow our loan book in a responsible way. We look forward to scaling what we have achieved with this financing structure more widely across the highly attractive hotel industry.”

citizenM launched in 2008 and operates 31 hotels worldwide across 18 cities and 9 countries, with a further 14 in development. In Europe the key target cities for new sites are London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Dublin, Munich, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.

The company has a firm commitment to sustainability targets and continued improvement to its existing green building certifications.

citizenM requires all its new-build hotels to achieve at least BREEAM-NC Excellent (ideally – Outstanding) accreditation or LEED-BD+C Gold (ideally – Platinum) rating. For redevelopments or existing buildings, the company aims for BREEAM-NC Very Good and LEED-BD+C Silver (at least).

Other sustainability processes by citizenM include:

– 100 per cent of its hotel electricity in Europe and UK comes from renewable energy sources
– energy, emissions and water consumption has been third party assured – to make sure figures are right
– citizenM stopped putting plastic water bottles in guest rooms and societyM meeting rooms. This has mean using 1.7 million fewer plastic bottles per year. 
– It donates 3 euros to our charity when a guest staying two nights or more skip their room clean
– Only LED lights are used, from the bedrooms to the kitchens
– BMS means once a guest checks out, the lights in their room switch off automatically. Also all areas of the hotels have individual light and temperature controls – so it only heats and cools according to use
– citizenM tracks waste and recycling rates in every hotel
– with its partners, citizenM reduces food waste by 70 per cent with intelligent portioning and packaging
– citizenM signed up to the TooGoodToGo app to sell breakfast buffet leftovers which would otherwise go to waste.

You can read more about what citizenM does with its ESG programme here.

Accor enters partnership with Ecotourism Australia

AUSTRALASIA: Accor, which has more than 19 brands across Australia and the Pacific, has joined forces with Ecotourism Australia to certify all Accor hotels in the region. 

AUSTRALASIA: Accor, which has more than 19 brands across Australia and the Pacific, has joined forces with Ecotourism Australia to certify all Accor hotels in the region. 

Accor has entered into a strategic partnership with Ecotourism Australia to certify all Accor hotels, apartments and resorts across Australia and the Pacific as Sustainable Tourism certified businesses.

Ecotourism Australia’s Sustainable Tourism Certification programme was introduced in 2022 and the standard is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Sustainable Tourism Certification is designed for all tourism operators and businesses in the tourism supply chain to meet and gain recognition for best practice sustainability initiatives.

Ecotourism Australia assesses businesses across the four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, environmental impacts, cultural impacts, and socio-economic impacts for which each business is independently audited. The Sustainable Tourism Certification is an extension to the existing ECO Certification program that has been in Australia for more than two decades.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Elissa Keenan, said, “We are delighted that Accor Pacific is leading the industry across Australia and New Zealand with this commitment to achieving international best practice sustainability using Ecotourism Australia’s 30 years’ experience in sustainable tourism. “

Accor has significant presence across the regions, including Ecotourism Australia certified ECO Destinations Port Douglas Daintree, Bundaberg and the Coffs Coast, and seventeen other regions currently undertaking certification, and throughout regional areas and capital cities.

Keenan added: “This is a key partnership for our organisations and we look forward to working with Accor properties across [its] hotel, apartment and resort brands on sustainable and responsible tourism practices.”

Sarah Derry, CEO of Accor Pacific, said: “Sustainability is redefining our business model and we are proud to lead the industry forward by investing in our sustainability actions and activities in the region. Our next phase of growth is built on our powerful sense of social, environmental and economic responsibility.”

In 2022 Accor Pacific removed 43 single use plastic items such as individual toiletries from guest facing areas in more than 80 per cent of its hotels.

In 2023 it has committed to taking these actions further into the removal of single use plastics from back of house operations, micro plastics in laundries and by finding an appropriate long term solution to replace plastic water bottles.

Derry added: “We know there is a lot more to do and our teams will continue to focus on driving sustainability actions. There are no limits to our ambition.”

From luxury to economy, Accor has 19 international brands across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia, including Sofitel, MGallery, Art Series, Pullman, Swissôtel, Mövenpick, Grand Mercure, Peppers, The Sebel, Mantra, Handwritten Collection, Novotel, Mercure, Tribe, BreakFree, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and Ennismore’s So.

Last year Radisson Hotel Group joined the GSTC as well as and CWT (One of the world’s leading Travel Management Companies).

TUI aims for all hotels and resorts to be zero carbon by 2030

WORLDWIDE: TUI has pledged its hotels and resorts worldwide will reach carbon zero emissions by 2030.

WORLDWIDE: TUI has pledged its hotels and resorts worldwide will reach carbon zero emissions by 2030.

The company has also committed to reduce its emissions on its cruises and airlines package holidays over the next seven years, and aims to be net zero across all operations and supply chains by 2050.

For the hotels and resorts, this means working with renewable energy and practising resource saving operational activities. As well as reducing food waste by 25 per cent by 2030, in the next two years TUI aims to eliminate all “unnecessary” plastic packaging and items. 

TUI is using science-based stats as a baseline for its sustainability efforts starting from its reporting and stats from 2019, and is working with the GSTC to achieve its sustainability goals. 

TUI’s agenda is built on its long standing historical efforts with 54m holidays delivered to hotels independently certified as sustainable between 2015 – 2022. A quarter of TUI hotels already generate green power on-site from solar and the company wants to enable 20m customers by 2030 to be able to book a sustainable stay – so it will be interesting to see what happens with the booking process (Google and offer a sustainable stay search option).

Sebastian Eble CEO Tui Group says: “Sustainability is a top priority for me personally and for TUI. We have proven in the past that we have the expertise and the right approach to make tourism more sustainable. That’s why we don’t see sustainability as a threat – for us, it’s an opportunity. We wanted to be led by the latest climate science, which is why we are working with the Science Based Targets initiative.”

As an experiment into sustainable practices TUI also has its development on Rhodes, which is being used to create a beacon for sustainable tourism. The project is run with both the TUI Group and the government of the South Agean, the Greek Government and TUI Care Foundation. The five year experiment which began in 2022 has 27 projects being tested for measurements and statistics to create a blueprint for future sustainable hotels and resorts. Actions at the Rhodes development include reducing plastic, and food waste, roadmaps to make the island carbon neutral and up-skilling tourism workers. 

For more information on TUI’s sustainable efforts and roadmap see the PDF on the Sustainability page on the website.

Quartz Inn Hotels adds “bubble hotel” to sustainable portfolio

SPAIN: Quartz Inn Hotels has announced the addition of the bubble hotel Miluna Open Nature Rooms to its Spanish portfolio.

SPAIN: Quartz Inn Hotels has announced the addition of the bubble hotel Miluna Open Nature Rooms to its Spanish portfolio.

The hotel will be one of nine independent and sustainable hotels in Spain for Quartz Inn Hotels.

The rooms of the hotel are the unique bubble type structures (see image) so guests can stargaze and feel connected to the immediate environment. The ethos of the hotel is to be connected to nature, and take action for the environment.

Sustainable measures at Miluna – which tick some of the UN’s sustainable boxes – include projects for reforestation and conservation of natural spaces, support for local producers and artisans, support for social projects and NGOs, and reduction of the carbon footprint.

Miluna recycles, “shops local”, offering local artisans and producers the chance to supply the hotel (as well as having a vegetable garden of its own). The hotel also offsets all the emissions produced at the complex using a company called REFLORA which studies and analyses the emissions annually and then offsets them in sustainable rural developments and projects such as tree planting. Miliuna has planted more than 500 trees on site but also has projects in other countries like Peru.

Quartz Inn Hotels co-founder Lidiia Tkachenko said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Miluna to our community of sustainable and independent hotels. Their constant commitment to the environment is admirable.”

Miluna’s co-founder Alejandro Bosch says: “At Miluna we are committed to people and the planet. Our hotel is focused on health, sustainability, recycling, social action and care for the environment.”

Quartz Inn Hotels is the first European hotel collection formed by independent and sustainable hotels and properties. The London based startup was founded in 2021 by Ignacio Merino, Lidiia Tkachenko and Alexander Zawadzki. Quartz Inn Hotels also runs the European Sustainable Tourism Awards, which are now open for entry.

Image: Miluna