Iberostar Group builds on learnings in new report

by: Felicity Cousins | December 6, 2023

SPAIN: Iberostar has unveiled its latest sustainability report at COP28 in Dubai, including learnings from its first approach.

The 34 page report outlines the hotel group’s progress on decarbonisation, waste management, and reduction of single-use plastics, and includes learnings from its first process, as well as looking at how shaping the value chain through innovation and collaboration will be key.

For example, Iberostar says that despite effective waste management practices, 25 per cent of its waste projected for landfill disposal requires innovative solutions upstream in the value chain. 

This mirrors a parallel challenge with carbon emissions, where Scope 3 carbon alone represents 77 per cent of its total footprint. 

Acknowledging this, Iberostar is actively engaging the value chain, and in public-private partnerships to drive sector development, particularly in waste and energy.  

Gloria Fluxà, vice chairman and chief sustainability officer of Iberostar Group said: “Our roadmap explores the transformative power of circular thinking. Circularity requires us to redesign current processes, stimulate innovation, and foster collaborations – vital across industries. 

“For our own sector the potential is clear – it yields multifaceted benefits critical to achieving our mission of a responsible tourism model – one that is net and nature positive.”

Fluxà who was recently announced as vice-chair and chair of WTTC’s Sustainability Committee, explains that the shift away from linear thinking will ultimately lead the group to substantial reductions in carbon emissions, minimising resource extraction, promoting biodiversity restoration “while maintaining economic viability so that we can safeguard both natural ecosystems and communities.”

Commitments and approaches in the latest report include:

  • Food waste will be reduced by 60 per cent in all-inclusive hotels over the next five years;
  • Hotels will have a minimum of 65 per cent plant-based offer by 2030;
  • Each hotel will personalise its strategic plans in-line with a data-driven approach according to materiality assessments;
  • Hotels will reduce their total residuals by 30 per cent over five years;
  • Building on its work to source 100 per cent sustainable seafood by 2025, Iberostar will expand sustainable procurement to ruminant meats, tea, coffee, cocoa and sugar;
  • Hotels will work with suppliers to foster the assessment of biodiversity impacts and towards regenerative and sustainable services;
  • 60 per cent of waste currently sent to landfill could be reassessed with enhanced destination infrastructure (a Destinations Stewardship team has been created to drive greater collaboration and public-private initiatives).

Iberostar has been a leader in sustainable practices achieving single-use plastic-free status in 2020, employing more than 230 full-time 3R staff across 60 hotels. (3R covers Reducing waste and Reusing and Recycling products).

It is also managing around 23,000 tonnes of waste annually and diverting 56 per cent of waste from landfill over three years.

Iberostar achieved a 12.4 per cent reduction in scope 1 & 2 emissions last year and has reduced energy consumption by 5.7 per cent. This year it reduced food waste by nearly a third (see below).

Iberostar reduces food waste by nearly a third this year

Image: Anna Jiménez Calaf on Unsplash