Relais & Châteaux Sustainability Report: A Roadmap for Environmental Action

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Relais & Châteaux’s report, “In Search of Hospitality in Harmony With the Natural World,” sets ambitious goals and objectives for 2025 and 2030.

With 580 independently owned hotels and restaurants worldwide, Relais & Châteaux has a long-standing commitment to sustainability. Since 2015, the not-for-profit association has been tracking the progress of its members in terms of responsible purchasing, conscious sourcing, biodiversity conservation, social policies, community empowerment and cultural heritage preservation through its internal platform called Moving Forward. Late last year, Relais & Châteaux released its first sustainability report, In Search of Hospitality in Harmony with the Natural World—a comprehensive snapshot of members’ sustainability practices that covers a wide range of issues including management of natural resources, environmental conservation, gastronomic culture and social responsibility. The study includes the results of a questionnaire completed by 283 member properties, sets clear objectives for the future, and commits to publishing updated reports on an annual basis.

The three major pillars of the report are environmental conservation, focusing on climate change, water use, biodiversity and plastic pollution;  sustainable cuisine, including the life cycle of dishes, prioritizing local suppliers and supply chains and preserving culinary heritage; and gender parity, focusing on employee diversity and working conditions and other aspects of social and societal empowerment. Among the results:

On climate: Relais & Châteaux intends to firmly establish decarbonation as part of its culture. 50 percent of its members will have measured their carbon footprint by 2025, compared to 12 percent in the baseline year of 2021. Several hotel members are already pioneers in terms of carbon neutrality, including  (Awasi Patagonia (Chile), Awasi Atacama (Chile), Awasi Iguazú, (Argentina), EOLO-Patagonia’s Spirit (Argentina) and Nayara Springs (Costa Rica).

On cuisine: The culture of local and organic produce is at the heart of restaurants’ practices, with 30 percent of them offering vegetables that are organic, local and seasonal. The association intends to increase this to 50 percent by 2025.

On gender parity: In the top 10 salaries of Relais & Châteaux employees who work at properties, 42 percent are women. The association is aiming for 50 percent by 2030.

“While Relais & Châteaux is an association of independent operators, it’s by leveraging their entrepreneurial creativity and flexibility that we will speed our progress towards the ambitious goals we have set,” said Lars Seifert, chief communications & sustainability officer. “Together we can show that hospitality, travel, exploration and enjoyment of the world’s varied cultures can be a force for good.”

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