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.

Expedia launches latest sustainability strategy Open World

WORLDWIDE: Expedia has launched its new global social impact and sustainability strategy known as Open World.

WORLDWIDE: Expedia has launched its new global social impact and sustainability strategy known as Open World.

The Open World social impact and sustainability strategy complements the Open World technology platform, which launched earlier this year. The platform was created for partners to leverage and offer products and services which would work together in the travel ecosystem.

Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO, Expedia Group said: “Travel is transformative. It broadens horizons, strengthens connections and changes perspectives. With our new Open World social impact and sustainability forward-looking plans, we will further our mission to power travel for everyone, everywhere. Travel needs to lighten its footprint on the planet, and everyone should be able to experience it and receive the associated benefits. Now is the time to innovate the existing model. We have a responsibility to enable a stronger, more sustainable industry.”

Open World aims to foster a healthy planet and a travel industry that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The sustainability parts of the report includes a Q&A section with Expedia’s CEO Peter Kern.

Q: How is Expedia Group helping advance a more sustainable travel industry?

“Our collective industry must recognise that we impact the environment with every travel experience we sell. At the same time, travel is one of the biggest economic drivers for many communities throughout the world; we must ensure the future of travel for generations to come. As travellers are increasingly shopping their values, they are turning to our platform for inspiration and guidance, and we will be ready to meet this desire for greener, more responsible choices. We’re committed to working together with our partners and peers to ensure the industry can fulfil the scientific imperative of Net Zero by 2050. This commitment encompasses our initiatives with the UNWTO and the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, among others, to accelerate sustainability in the travel industry. And we’ve already started at home with our LEED Gold Certified Seattle headquarters and the purchase of renewable electricity to power our offices worldwide.”

Expedia Group recently joined the Travalyst Coalition (helps travel companies deliver sustainability frameworks and methodologies to travellers worldwide). and signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism along with more than 450 organisations.

Under the declaration, Expedia Group will support the global goals of cutting emissions in half over the next ten years helping the travel industry achieve Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. 

Expedia Group is also developing a long-term climate action plan. A partnership with The Travel Foundation will offer training and practical guidance to destination marketing organisations (DMOs), enabling them to manage change at a local level.

Booking.com released its sustainability report earlier this year.

Marriott International shares London office space with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

UK: Marriott International is to share its Holborn offices with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance as they work closely on environmental issues.

UK: Marriott International is to share its Holborn offices with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance as they work closely on environmental issues.

Sharing Marriott International’s offices, until Q2 next year, is a key moment for the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which brings the industry together to look at social and environmental challenges facing the world today.

In March this year, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance launched its Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality, a framework aimed at those in the industry who want to make positive changes towards climate change, biodiversity loss, and waste. It also encourages the sector to look at the social aspect, working on human rights and inclusive employment. 

Glenn Mandziuk, chief executive officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “Our organisation is built on collaborative action – across our members, the wider hotel industry, their business associates and other strategic partners – and this office will enable our team to work together on shared environmental and social solutions. We are grateful for our partnership with Marriott International as we transition from remote working towards a permanent HQ. Coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing a huge momentum across the industry, and beyond, for sustainability, and this workspace will enable our charity to continue its evolution and growth.”

Marriott will share its offices until the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance finds a suitable headquarters, and will benefit from the partnership with the charity, drawing on its expertise and strategies for the hospitality industry. Marriott International aims to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050 through its science based targets and sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.

Dani Murray, vice president, business finance & administration, Europe, Marriott International, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to our office space. At Marriott International, we take our commitment to environmental, social and governance extremely seriously and we value the essential work of this global sustainability network. We look forward to working closely with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance over the coming months and welcome the opportunity to support the charity’s growth and further drive collaborative action across the wider hospitality industry.”

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s members make up 25 per cent of the global hotel industry by rooms and include 14 world- leading hotel companies with a combined reach of over 30,000 properties and 4.5 million rooms.

Current members include: BC Hospitality Group, Caesars Entertainment, Dorint Hotels & Resorts, Deutsche Hospitality, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, ITC Hotels, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group, Scandic, Soneva and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

It’s not just industry experts who value a sustainable hotel strategy. Booking.com’s latest Sustainability Report found more than 50 per cent of UK travellers wanted to stay in sustainable accommodation when travelling abroad.