Women in Sustainable Hospitality launches at 1 Hotel Mayfair

by: Felicity Cousins | June 19, 2024

UK: Good&Co. the sustainability and hospitality consultancy has launched Women in Sustainable Hospitality (WISH) with an inaugural meal at the 1 Hotel Mayfair last night.

The idea of the roundtable event was to bring together women in hospitality and sustainability to talk about the challenges and success they have in their roles and to connect and support each other.

Jo Geneen co-founder of Good&Co. said: “We founded WISH so that senior women across the hospitality industry – owners, operators, tech and trade associations, working in sustainability could come together, learn and share and also support one another.

“These women are often working in small departments with minimal resources and have often transitioned from other areas of hospitality or do the role in addition to another. Right now, they are in demand and their responsibilities and importance in their organisations will only grow in the coming year. ”

Felicity Cousins, editor of Sustainable Hotel News attended the launch with invitees; Brenda Collin executive vice president Europe Preferred Travel Group, Ella McCann-Tomlin VP of ESG Mews, Laura Sharpe director of operations Firmdale Hotels Plc, Michelle Mason, ethical recruitment programme manager World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Leanbh Collins, group sustainability and operations project manager Virgin Limited Edition, Henny Frazer chief marketing officer Ani Private Resorts, and Jessica Matthias global sustainability director, Sabre.

WISH held the inaugural dinner at 1 Hotel Mayfair, which opened in November last year.

The hotel was constructed by reusing and renovating two existing buildings resulting in the retention of more than 80 per cent of the existing structures, reducing the amount of embodied carbon produced during demolition and construction, and mitigating construction waste and debris.

The project achieved BREEAM Excellent standard and the entrance is adorned with the eye-catching “living” chandelier by nature-inspired artist Patrick Nadeau. Suspended from the lobby ceiling it’s made up of 50,000 strands of air plants. 

The biophilic design principles continue throughout the hotel with its striking living walls and 1,300 individual plants and 200-plus local and native plant species throughout the property. 

(L-R) Ella McCann-Tomlin VP of ESG Mews, Brenda Collin executive vice president Europe Preferred Travel Group, Laura Sharpe director of operations Firmdale Hotels Plc, Jo Geneen co-founder Good&Co., Felicity Cousins, editor Sustainable Hotel News, Michelle Mason ethical recruitment programme manager World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

During the Women in Sustainable Hospitality dinner in the hotel’s Dovetail Restaurant, guests enjoyed a cocktail of Strawberry Orchard Fizz by Avallen – plant positive spirits – and the farm to table menu, which included vegan and vegetarian options.  

Conversations around the table ranged from whether real luxury can be sustainable, hotel mattresses and circularity, accessibility in hotels and why hotels don’t show their accessible rooms on their websites, CSRD and which sustainable certifications will still be around in years to come and AI and sustainability.

The group also talked about women in sustainability, the female voice, as well as how many of the sustainability roles are run by one person or very small teams. This led to a discussion about work load, communication, information around new regulations and financial implications, as well as the struggles which come with that in terms of stakeholder buy-in.

Geneen noted: “There’s a lot to navigate from legislation and policy to customer and employee demand, and this industry still needs more powerful female voices on these topics at executive level.”

Brenda Collin, executive vice president Europe, Preferred Travel Group said of the evening: “Meeting like-minded female professionals in an informal environment over dinner was a wonderful opportunity to learn from peers about their goals and aspirations around sustainability. What I found interesting was that we are all trying to bring fellow professionals on that journey, by simplifying the content, because we are more powerful when we work together to address the climate issues when we all understand the why and the how.”

WISH will be running future events in London, Amsterdam and Paris.

1 Hotels launches sustainable meetings

Images: Good&Co.