Meliá Hotels achieves highest rating in corporate sustainability assessment

SPAIN: Melia Hotels International, one of the leading hotel companies in Spain, has achieved the highest rating in the global travel industry in the latest S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA).

SPAIN: Melia Hotels International, one of the leading hotel companies in Spain, has achieved the highest rating in the global travel industry in the latest S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA).

The CSA is an assessment of the performance in sustainability of companies in 2022 and is a comprehensive annual assessments of the sustainability performance of companies across all industries.

It focuses on economic, governance, social and environmental criteria, as well as on industry-specific criteria. 

Gabriel Escarrer, executive vice president and CEO of Meliá said: “In the current complex business environment, sustainability has become as one of the most important values for companies, and for Meliá, especially due to the family nature of our business, it is now a key factor in driving our transformation and responding to the demands and expectations of our customers, employees, shareholders and investors, hotel owners and society in general. For all of them, we are proud to have once again achieved this recognition as the most sustainable hotel company in the world.”

Meliá has taken part in this assessment since 2018, (where is came third in the industry). From 2019 to 2021, Melia achieved the top position in Spain and Europe, and second place globally.

This month the results of the new assessment were released and again Melia scored highly with its environmental reporting and climate strategy but even higher with is Social and Economic and governance.

In 2020 it also has ranked seventh in the Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world (and the leading travel company) and is the only Spanish travel company included in the list of “Europe’s Climate Leaders 2021” by Financial Times.

Founded in 1956 Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 hotels across more than 40 countries, under the brands Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, The Meliá Collection, INNSiDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and Falcon’s Resorts by Meliá. It also has a portfolio of affiliated hotels under the “Affiliated by Meliá” network.

In September last year Melia hotels celebrated World Tourism Day with its Travel for Good campaign.

Image: Melia Hotels

The Eden Hotel Collection achieves zero waste and launches Green Champions

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

The group is now taking steps to get the accreditation by Green Tourism.

The Eden Collection recycled 313 tonnes of waste across all of its hotels in 2022. Of that 30 per cent was recycled, and 50 per cent was converted into renewable energy through incineration. The final 20 per cent of the group’s waste was food waste and this was broken down to create organic matter through the process of anaerobic digestion – where the bacteria breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen.

The group has also announced the launch of its ‘Green Champions’ at every hotel, which achieves the Green Tourism accreditation this year. One member of staff from each of those hotels has volunteered to be responsible for taking the lead on environmental initiatives. This includes using more energy-efficient light bulbs, sourcing local produce, and encouraging paperless bills. 

Jayne O’Malley, group operations manager at The Eden Hotel Collection said: “We are so proud of the work that has taken place across the Group over the past 12 months and we’re really looking to build on that in 2023. We are aiming to be a collection of environmentally responsible hotels, providing intelligent luxury and to assist in achieving a cleaner, safer and healthier world for ourselves, our families and that of future generations.”

The group is working with the Carbon Trust and 1st Waste Management Consultants Ltd, as well as in tree planting and wind turbine projects in the UK.

The Eden Hotel Collection has hotels across the UK, including Bovey Castle in Devon, The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham, Brockencote Hall Hotel in Kidderminster, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington, and The Arden Hotel in Stratford.

In other UK hotel news, Kent’s first eco hotel opened late last year.

Image: Bovey Castle, Devon – The Eden Collection

Relais & Chateaux publishes first sustainability report

FRANCE: Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report.

FRANCE: Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report.

The document, which has been written after analysing results from half of the 580 properties which took part in the report, looks at the environmental, social, and societal impact the group has on the world, and defines 15 goals for 2025 and 2030 based on three core pillars: environmental conservation, sustainable cuisine and social and societal empowerment. 

The 89-page Sustainability Report: In Search of Hospitality in Harmony with the Natural World (baseline year 2021) aims to measure and share the association’s progress, as well as focusing on the positive impact its independent chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs can have on sustainability.

Philippe Gombert president, Relais & Chateau and owner Chateau de la Treyne said: “I am deeply proud our association of 580 independent hoteliers, restaurateurs and chefs appreciates that hospitality must operate in harmony with the natural world. We have been working regeneratively long before that became a buzzword. Now, as the world faces the grim realities of climate change, it is time to consolidate our progress and accelerate the pace of change as we enter a new, critical phase in humankind’s relationship with nature. Against this context, our first sustainability report is published so that we can openly and transparently share our successes, acknowledge our challenges, set ambitious new goals for all our properties and showcase to the world the positive contribution that hospitality can–and must–make for future generations.”

The report provides a comprehensive snapshot of members’ sustainability practices and has sections on progress, such as how many of the United Nation’s SDG’s the group is meeting with a score against the ones they are committed to.

Page 23 of the report also has a detailed map – that of a tree dissected, with the growth rings showing the complexity of the process to cover all aspects of the groups’ impact on the environment. 

Not all properties in the 580 have replied to the first round of sustainability questions for the report and it is the hope of Oliver Roellinger, vice president, Relais & Chateaux, cook and owner Les Maisons de Bricourt that all properties will be part of the process for future annual sustainability reports.

Roellinger said: “It was a great success that half of our 580 properties responded to our first questionnaire, which measured activity in 2021. But it’s our ambition that all member properties respond each year, to reach the goals we are setting for ourselves. We want the data to be accurate and as robust and reflective of the association as possible– that way we can drive the necessary transition into a regenerative future.”

With the adoption of their sustainable development action plan, Relais & Chateaux will measure the progress of its members in a comprehensive annual report developed with engineers and sustainable development experts. 

The full report can be found in full on the Relais & Chateau website’s Sustainability section.

In September luxury hotel group Kempinski also published its first ESG report.

Preferred Travel Group commits to reducing emissions

WORLDWIDE: Preferred Travel Group has become a signatory of The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

WORLDWIDE: Preferred Travel Group has become a signatory of The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

This means the group is helping to align the sector with global commitments and will help to find solutions to the challenges facing businesses and destinations globally. 

The Glasgow Declaration encourages commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and to achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050. 

The Declaration was officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.

As a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, Preferred Travel Group commits to develop and deliver a climate action plan by September this year. 

The plan will align with the five pathways of the Declaration (measure, decarbonise, regenerate, collaborate, finance), report publicly on an annual basis, and work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information.

Nina Boys, vice president of sustainability for Preferred Travel Group said: “As a travel industry leader committed to addressing climate change, Preferred Travel Group believes in action and impact.Through collaborative partnerships and company-wide initiatives, we will accelerate our sustainability goals by establishing a corporate climate action plan by September 2023, guided by the five pathways of the Declaration. We are proud to join this inspiring network of global travel and tourism organisations to address climate change now to protect our planet for future generations.”

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. It is hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program’s website, supported by Recommended Actions for tourism stakeholders across the world to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources.

The declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities.”

Research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF and released in December 2019 showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25 per cent by 2030 from 2016 levels.

Accor recently committed to Net Zero emissions by 2050.

Choice Hotels becomes one of the largest members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

WORLDWIDE: Choice Hotels International, one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, has joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

WORLDWIDE: Choice Hotels International, one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, has joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

The Alliance has an increasingly large global network of hotels and hotel groups joining its cause for responsible hospitality, uniting to build a more sustainable future.

With nearly 7,500 hotels, representing more than 630,000 rooms in 46 countries and territories, Choice Hotels’ new membership will see the company join other member hotel companies to share best practices, understand the latest sustainability innovations, and create a lasting positive impact for people and the planet. 

Megan Brumagim, vice president, environmental, social and governance, Choice Hotels, said: “As a hospitality leader, each day across our global portfolio, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of our associates, franchisees, guests, communities and each other. It’s why we’re proud to join the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and continue driving forward initiatives that support all aspects of the sustainability agenda. It’s why continuing to invest in our people, planet and purpose remains central to the company’s long-term strategy.”

Choice Hotels has already taken key steps to advance sustainable practices in its corporate offices and across its portfolio of brands. 

Choice Hotels’ Room to be Green programme sets minimum standards required for all hotels, which includes switching to LED lighting, implementing a linen and towel reuse initiative to conserve water, recycling waste and assigning a ‘Green Leader’ at each property. 

Choice also encourages all franchisees to advance beyond this minimum standard to achieve Level 2 and 3 certifications, by utilising an energy management system (EMS), switching to renewable energy sources, using eco-friendly cleaning products or consumables in their hotels, and donating unused soap to prevent disease in developing countries through a partnership with Clean the World.

With Choice as part of their network, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s members now represent over 50,000 properties and more than seven million rooms. 

By convening a total of more than 60 hotel companies, affiliate members, and strategic and supply chain partners, the Alliance is unique in its ability to drive collaboration between their members in a non-competitive space – uniting hospitality companies to ensure that destinations and communities are being supported and protected now and for future generations.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, said: “It’s tremendous to welcome Choice Hotels to our ever-growing membership. Their experience in implementing sustainability practices across such a wide network of franchised hotels will be deeply insightful for the Alliance, and we look forward to helping them expand these efforts even further. By bringing the prominent and influential hotel company together with other industry leaders, the Alliance now represents over 50,000 hotels, and is truly in a position to make Net Positive Hospitality a reality.”

Image: Choice Hotels