WTTC Launches Hotel Sustainability Basics Criteria

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hotel Sustainability BasicsThe Hotel Sustainability Basics just launched by WTTC is a globally recognized set of criteria that set the baseline for responsible and sustainable travel and tourism for the hospitality industry.

The new Hotel Sustainability Basics, a set of 12 globally recognized criteria launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) at ITB Berlin on March 6, is designed to provide a framework hotels of any size can use to begin their sustainability journey. The main idea behind developing Hotel Sustainability Basics, WTTC said, is to provide an achievable starting point by providing what it believes to be the “fundamental standards required of our sector.” Individual hotels can then build on these fundamentals to more complex sustainability efforts, which ultimately would lead to greater sustainability across the global hospitality industry. The Basics criteria have been recognized by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance as the starting point for a net-positive industry.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said, “Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but need a step-by-step guide that is scientifically verifiable.”

The criteria are open source and freely available for any hotel company or individual property to adopt. However, if a venue wants to have official verification that it has gone through the Basics process, WTTC partnered with Green Key and SGS to develop a simple online verification system hotels can use to prove they are following the Basics and ensure the entire program’s validity. To be officially verified, hotels have to meet eight of the 12 criteria in their first year, and prove their commitment to achieving all 12 of the criteria by year three.

The 12 criteria fall into three main buckets:

  • Efficiency, which includes criteria for measuring and reducing energy and water consumption, waste and carbon emissions
  • Planet, which includes fundamental items such as linen reuse programs, using green cleaning products, providing vegetarian options, and eliminating single-use plastics
  • People, which entails fundamental ways to positively contribute to the community in which the venue is located, such as reducing inequalities.

WTTC will use the results of its Green Lodgings Trends Report, which asked 27,000 hotels and other accommodation providers about their current level of achievement of the Basics 12 criteria, as a baseline against which to measure future progress. The Green Lodgings Trends Report did find that almost all of the venues surveyed had at least one initiative to reduce inequality, and 96% have adopted linen reuse programs. Two-thirds also said they already are implementing waste-reduction strategies such as eliminating straws and other single-use plastics. Other initiatives already underway for almost half of respondents was replacing small plastic toiletry bottles with bulk dispensers, while a third already provide vegetarian optins for every course in the food and beverage offerings.

Inaugural partners include six major hotel groups, including Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Melia Hotels International, Meininger and Radisson Hotel Group. “It is a testament to the need for such a scheme that already thousands of hotel properties from around the world have committed to implement Basics, and from today can begin the verification process,” Simpson added.

Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications at Radisson Hotel Group, also believes Hotel Sustainability Basics is filling a “new and unanswered demand in the hotel industry: to provide a solid, trusted, and clear label for essential hotel sustainability. It’s important we define responsible travel to preserve the planet and protect communities. With Hotel Sustainability Basics we offer the traveler a clear sustainable stay option for all types of hotels around the world.” Radisson Hotel Group has committed to implementing Hotel Sustainability Basics in all its 1,100 hotels by 2025.

To learn more about the Basics initiative, visit the WTTC’s website.

You May Also Be Interested In…

Relais & Châteaux Sustainability Report: A Roadmap for Environmental Action

Sustainable Meetings in Demand, but Cost is Limiting Factor

Canada Launches Sustainability Benchmarking Initiative

Print Friendly, PDF & Email