Radisson Hotel Group has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2050 as part of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Race to Zero campaign. This will be a boost to Radisson Hotel Group’s image if the target can be reached because there is growing demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) transparency and concrete actions. According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 Consumer Survey, 19% of respondents typically take an eco-holiday, which shows that a significant number of travellers are conscious about their impact on the environment*. A move by Radisson Hotel Group to reduce its carbon footprint is likely to gain positive feedback from the public.

The lodgings industry can use ESG solutions to improve how it is viewed

It is no secret that hotels struggle with a negative ESG image because of the inherent nature of the industry. Working towards neutrality and then promoting what is being done is very important for companies. However, the initiative set out by Radisson Hotel Group shows a clear plan to reduce its carbon footprint to be neutral by 2050. The hotel group plans to do its part in helping to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050 and avert a climate crisis. It also intends to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% by 2030, from a 2019 base year. The Group is also committed to reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel and energy related activities and franchises by 28% within the same timeframe.

Some consumers view ESG practices as a marketing exercise, and Radisson will need to ensure that claims of greenwashing in response to these plans are unfounded in order to best capitalise on the image being put forward by these carbon neutrality campaigns. In the GlobalData Q2 2022 ESG Sentiment Polls, 31% of respondents believed that for most companies, ESG is just a marketing exercise, with a further 23% saying some companies take ESG seriously, but for others it’s a marketing exercise**. Within lodging, for instance, greenwashing practices such as urging guests to reuse towels and turn off lights, coupled with claims of stringent ESG practices that have later been proven false, have tarnished trust with consumers who are increasingly recognising when green claims are self-serving.

Following through on promises will be of paramount importance

Plans like this have the effect of boosting the public image of a company. However, following through on plans is imperative, otherwise it risks damaging the company’s public image, as well as irrevocable damage to the planet. This is because consumers can see through false or empty promises.

Over the past ten years, Radisson Hotel Group has made great strides and made excellent energy efficiency gains of 30%. In 2021, the Group reduced its carbon emissions by 22% per square metre, compared to 2019, and reduced its water footprint by 23% per square metre versus 2019. However, a reduced number of guests due to the impact of Covid-19 could go some way towards explaining this reduction. Radisson Hotel Group is also involved in the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign as part of an important, globally coordinated effort to reach the goal of net-zero by 2050. These campaigns are to build momentum around a global shift to a decarbonised economy, therefore a prominent hotel group such as Radisson Hotel Group showing support will be welcomed.

*GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey – 22,499

**GlobalData’s ESG Sentiment Polls Q2 2022 – 1,090