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Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality Raises Global Ambition for the Hospitality Sector

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which unites leading hospitality companies comprising 30% of the industry, today announces the development of a Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the planet. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) supports the ambition and plans a sustainability framework accessible to the global hospitality industry.

The Pathway aims to enable every hotel to improve their impact, whatever their starting point on their sustainability journey. It will encompass four clear stages and practical tools that guide the industry towards a regenerative impact on our planet.

Globally there is overwhelming evidence of the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. The hospitality industry, like other major industries, has a crucial role to play in limiting its impacts across the spectrum of critical issues including emissions, water usage, waste and resource procurement.

The Pathway recognises the wealth of initiatives and resources designed to support the industry, from external partners as well as the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and it aims to build on these to develop a holistic, action-based approach for sustainable hospitality, regardless of whether hotels are part of a large international brand or independent.

To lead inclusive positive action on climate change, WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, will support the initiative by uniting leading hotel companies and industry partners with the ambition to raise the global basic level of hotel sustainability.

The global tourism body will create a set of fundamental sustainability actions for hotels, with demonstrable positive impact, for those businesses that are at the very beginning of their journey.

The hospitality value chain will play a key role in achieving the vision set out by the Pathway, including hotel developers, owners, investors and franchisees, who can all powerfully impact sustainability at different life cycle stages of an individual hotel property. The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance is therefore launching an Affiliate Membership. This will create a unique forum for industry asset owners and investors to join with the leading hotel operators to lead a consistent approach to responsible hotel management and advance the sustainability of hotels across the buildings as well as their operations.

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance said: “The world is without a doubt at a crucial tipping point. But it’s not too late to avert an environmental catastrophe. We need to act fast and we must collaborate as we double up our efforts. The dialogue needs to go beyond having ‘zero’ impact and look towards what we can be putting back into the natural world to ensure we have a lasting positive impact on our planet and its people.”

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “We recognise both the major challenges we are facing and the urgent need to restart our sector safely and responsibly. We fully endorse and support the Pathway, an initiative which complements WTTC’s own ambition to move the entire sector to net zero. WTTC is in a unique position to connect the entire industry and encourage the many SMEs and others within the industry to begin their journey with a solid sustainability framework.”

The Pathway has now entered the consultation phase and details will be launched in March 2022.

Iuliia Tore