Sharm El-Sheikh hotels aim for Green Star Hotel certificate ahead of COP27

EGYPT: Sharm El-Sheikh hotels are striving to be awarded Egypt’s Green Star Hotel certificate ahead of the country hosting COP27.

EGYPT: Sharm El-Sheikh hotels are striving to be awarded Egypt’s Green Star Hotel certificate ahead of the country hosting COP27.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said 22 properties have already got the sustainable hotel certificate and 48 have applied.

Sixteen more hotels are in the process of completing the steps needed before they can apply.

The Green Star Certificate is a national green certification and capacity-building program managed by the Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism. 

The GSH program offers an opportunity for hotels operating in Egypt to be internationally recognised for raising their environmental performance and social standards while reducing their operational costs. 

A team of certified local and international experts guide interested hotels through a sequence of training and information support sessions leading to field audits to ensure compliance with the program standards prior to granting the GSH certification.

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP27) will take place in November this year.

Image: Egypt.travel

Travelodge launches ‘inclusive, caring and conscious’ sustainability strategy

EUROPE: Travelodge is aiming to become a net-zero hotel operator as it launches its new sustainability strategy.

EUROPE: Travelodge is aiming to become a net-zero hotel operator as it launches its new sustainability strategy.

The hotel company, which operates nearly 600 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain, has launched its Better Future plan, which will be based around three pillars of being inclusive, caring and conscious.

Travelodge’s strategy is to become a “sustainable business with long term profitable growth,” using science-based targets and KPIs to reach its net-zero goal.

Jo Boydell, Travelodge’s chief executive said: “As one of the UK’s largest hotel brands, we have always been committed to doing business responsibly. However, we know that there is more we need to do and we believe that sustainability has a critically important role to play in shaping the future of Travelodge. The plan has been designed to mark a step-change in our sustainability agenda and is fully integrated with our wider business strategy and our purpose to provide affordable travel for everyone.” 

To help create its Better Future plan, Travelodge appointed Simply Sustainable, an award-winning global management consulting specialist in ESG and sustainable business.

During the last 12 months, the group consulted a wide range of stakeholders, which included landlords, investors, local authorities, developers, key suppliers and charity partners. Travelodge surveyed more than 40,000 of its business and leisure customers and their team of over 10,000 colleagues. It was this feedback that helped the group develop a plan.  

To enable the implementation of Better Future, Travelodge has created a new ESG model and steering committee. The group will also provide an annual sustainability report to see how close it is to achieving its targets.

As well as aiming to provide an accessible, inclusive and affordable place for both guests and staff, the company wants to tackle reducing energy through energy efficiency projects. It also said it would have sustainability as a key consideration when building new hotels.

Boydell added: “We have a long road ahead of us to complete our route to becoming a net-zero hotel operator and continue our journey to make sustainable, affordable travel for everyone a reality.” 

Image: Travelodge.

Hotelbeds commits to environmental strategy

WORLDWIDE: Hotelbeds, a global bedbank has put sustainable tourism at the centre of its ESG strategy.

WORLDWIDE: Hotelbeds, a global bedbank, has put sustainable tourism at the centre of its ESG strategy.

The Palma-based company has already achieved carbon neutral status for the last four years and has signed up to The Climate Pledge, which aims to achieve the goals in the Paris Agreement 10 years early.

Hotelbeds has also launched its Green Hotels programme and offers support for Ukraine with its Make Room 4 Ukraine initiative.

Chief executive Hotelbeds, Nicolas Huss said: “As one of the world’s leading travel technology companies, we have the opportunity to make tourism a force for good and contribute to creating a sustainable future. We are committed to supporting and developing green tourism and to continue to reduce the environmental impact of our daily operations and offices, while also supporting our partners to achieve their own ESG goals. 

This year Hotelbeds plans to launch a global reforestation project and a mentoring scheme for small scale or start-up businesses, particularly those with a focus on sustainable travel.

It also plans to introduce search filters identifying hotels that are committed to sustainability initiatives. Hotels which would come up on this search might have banned single use plastic or have electric charging points for vehicles.

Huss added: “Another important part of our strategy is to make sure we lead our ESG agenda from the front, ensuring our employees can contribute themselves to creating a stronger and healthier society as well as supporting local communities to thrive and progress.”

A recent booking.com survey suggested more than 50 per cent of UK travellers want to stay in sustainable accommodation when they travel.

Image: Pexels

Marie Claire UK Sustainability Awards recognise hospitality efforts

WORLDWIDE: Marie Claire’s UK Sustainable Hospitality Awards have recognised several hotel groups and independent hotels for their efforts in actively implementing change for sustainability.

WORLDWIDE: Marie Claire’s UK Sustainable Hospitality Awards have recognised several hotel groups and independent hotels for their efforts in actively implementing change for sustainability.

Global hospitality group Accor has won the Marie Claire Sustainability Award for Best Sustainable Hotel (global group) while London’s Room2 Chiswick has won for Best Sustainable Hotel (independent).

The awards, which are judged by an independent panel of industry and sustainability experts, celebrate the brands and organisations that are actively implementing change for a sustainable future.

Accor has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and in March last year it was the first major international hotel group to set out its long-term science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement. 

The global group also pledged to ban single-use plastic by the end of this year and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It became the first international hotel group to commit to this.

Duncan O’Rourke, CEO Accor Northern Europe, commented on winning the award: “Sustainability impacts every element of the hospitality industry from how consumers and businesses perceive us, to how we attract, engage and retain employees, interact with the communities we operate in, and design our hotels and food and drink choices. Above all it is our corporate responsibility to act positively. This is why it is integrated into every part of our business. We’re delighted to receive this recognition and will continue to keep striving to do better and lead the industry on sustainability issues every day.”

Room2 Chiswick is the world’s first “whole-life net-zero ‘hometel’”, and its zero carbon footprint also recognises the embodied carbon used in its development, meaning that all carbon emissions associated with its creation from beginning to end, and now in its operation, have been taken into account to deliver its zero-carbon footprint.

Sani Resort won the Best Sustainable Holiday (with kids) Abroad. In 2020 the resort was the first certified carbon-neutral resort in Greece. Its location already attracts those interested in the environment as it is set in a 1,000-acre ecological reserve, with 7km of Blue-Flag beaches, 20km of forest trails, and 270 acres of wetlands.

Andrea Thompson, Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief and Sustainability Awards judge said: “What really makes Sani Resort stand out is its environment-focused activities for kids, which teach the next generation all about ecosystems, recycling and other ways they can protect the planet.”

The recognition for sustainable practices comes as Booking.com’s sustainability report found that more than half of UK travellers are looking to book sustainable accommodation on their travels.

Image courtesy of Accor Hotel Group.

First carbon neutral five star hotel to open in Menorca

SPAIN: Menorca will have its first carbon neutral five star hotel at the end of this month.

SPAIN: Menorca will have its first carbon neutral five star hotel at the end of this month.

The  Villa Le Blanc By Gran Meliá, will open at the end of July and is the latest opening for the Leading Hotels of the World.

It’s Gran Melia’s first carbon neutral property out of the 15 in its portfolio.

The hotel aims to achieve its carbon neutral status by incorporating facilities and technologies that will enable it to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 87 per cent. Carbon neutral status does not include the emissions from the building, renovating or construction of a building, known as embodied carbon.

The hotel will also look at alternatives to offset the remaining emissions ensuring when it is operating it keeps its carbon neutral status (net zero). The renovation included installing biomass boilers, photovoltaic solar panels and using geothermal energy for condensation. This is where engineered geothermal systems (EGS) can use the carbon dioxide from condensation as a heat extraction fluid instead of using water, making it much more environmentally friendly.

The building will feature a SATE External Thermal Insulation System, which is when buildings are thermally and acoustically insulated from the outside.

The building will also use a circular water system so that grey water and rain water can be re-purposed, reducing the amount of water being used.

The hotel was previously a Sol Beach House Hotel but has been renovated by architect Alvaro Sans to include 159 rooms including a Penthouse Suite, a Swim-Up Master Suite and a Presidential Suite. 

The island of Menorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.

Gabriel Escarrer, vice president and CEO of Meliá said: “Villa Le Blanc is a dream come true for our company. A project like this allows us to move forward towards hotel decarbonisation. It is also in such a special place as the Biosphere Reserve of Menorca, making it one of the most tangible results of our commitment to a hotel model based on excellence, responsibility and sustainability.”

The Villa Le Blanc Hotel is located on Santo Tomás Beach on the Migjorn coast, halfway between Mahón and Ciutadella. 

Image credit: Gran Melia

www.melia.com