WTTC launches sustainability basics

MANILA, 25 April 2022: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’, a globally recognised and coordinated set of criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible Travel & Tourism.

Launched last week at WTTC’s Global Summit hosted in Manila, it will help hotels address and improve their environmental impact.

Developed by the industry for the industry, it highlights 12 actions for hotel sustainability. It will help raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry by providing every hotel with a starting point on its sustainability journey.

The initiative has already gained support from major global groups such as Jin Jiang International, including their affiliates Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group and Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Barceló Hotel Group, Meliá Hotels International, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), as well as key hotel associations worldwide such as the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Hotel Association of India (HAI) and Huazhu Hotels Group. Collectively this represents more than 50,000 hotels worldwide.

WTTC’s ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ provides the global hospitality sector with a baseline of positive actions to be taken to ensure they meet at least the minimum sustainability requirements.

However, this is just the beginning of their journey. WTTC urges the sector to seek constant improvements beyond the 12 basic criteria. Whether an individual business or part of a larger group, every hotel moves on to more advanced frameworks and greater sustainability.

“This initiative acts as a stepping stone to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality which will enable every hotel to take a strategic and progressive approach to achieve a positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point.”

 WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said: “We are launching the Hotel Sustainability Basics to ensure no hotel, however small, is left behind in the drive to introduce a basis sustainability measures within a minimum level the next three years.

“Sustainability is non-negotiable, but not every small hotel has access to the science of making a difference. It gives everyone access to a global standard and allows consumers to travel confidently.

The criteria, developed by WTTC in close collaboration with leading global brands and industry associations, focus on fundamental actions for hotel sustainability and address tourism’s impact on the planet across a spectrum of critical issues.

These criteria include actions to measure and reduce energy use, measure and reduce water use, identify and reduce waste, and measure and reduce carbon emissions.

It also includes a linen reuse programme, the use of green cleaning products, the elimination of plastic straws, stirrers, and single-use plastic water bottles, the implementation of bulk amenity dispensers, and measures to benefit local communities.

WTTC is now calling upon hotel operators, owners, associations, and investors worldwide to officially support the initiative and work across their networks to implement the criteria over the coming three years.

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance Chair Wolfgang Neumann

said: “Every industry must do its part to ensure the future of our planet and its people.

While many companies take great strides and lead the way, others are only now taking their first steps.

“By understanding the simplest steps hotels can take to become more sustainable, the Hotel Sustainability Basics will help raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry.

“This initiative acts as a steppingstone to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality which will enable every hotel to take a strategic and progressive approach to achieve a positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point.”

Global Sustainable Tourism Council CEO Randy Durband added: “The GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels serve as the global standard for sustainable hospitality and the Basics map to eight of those that have been frequently mentioned by our global partners as essential first steps. As such, GSTC supports the application of this programme, and we encourage users that do not comply with them currently to take steps to move quickly to do so.”

Simpson told delegates that hotel groups, brands, and operators, can become WTTC recognised supporters by endorsing the initiative and completing the Green Lodging Trends Survey (GLTS) to benchmark their performance and keep track of progress.

Initially, eight of the 12 criteria are mandatory, whilst others can be committed to and covered within the first three years.

This provides a clear starting point for all stakeholders and will ensure the minimum level of sustainability is achieved across the global hotel industry.

(Source: WTTC)