As COP28 commences in Dubai, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has outlined new efforts to propel the hospitality industry towards increased sustainability.

The alliance announced that its newly established standing committees are taking steps to tackle the pressing challenge of aligning industry metrics and simplifying sustainability reporting and benchmarking.

Setting the agenda for 2024

At the alliance’s autumn summit 2023, the standards and reporting committee, led by industry experts, identified the harmonisation of standards as their top priority. CEO of the alliance Glenn Mandziuk expressed optimism about addressing industry complexities and achieving tangible change through collaborative efforts, saying in a statement:

“Our standing committees and key partners can drive large-scale, tangible change, and I look forward to working with all committee members as they act on their agreed priorities.”

Driving tangible change

During their inaugural meeting, the standing committees outlined key priorities, focusing on sustainability toolkits, a positive impact fund, and a commitment to update the hotel carbon measurement initiative (HCMI). The positive impact fund is designed to benefit communities and propel the industry towards net positive hospitality.

Committee focus areas

The standards and reporting standing committee commits to a benchmarkable and key performance indicator-oriented framework, updating the widely-used HCMI tool.

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The “financing the transition” standing committee, led by co-chair Austin C Wentworth, prioritises the creation of a positive impact fund to drive corporate climate action globally.

The technology transfer standing committee, co-chaired by Torsten Kuttig, will target the development of a directory showcasing innovative, sustainable technology solutions, promoting collaboration within the industry.

The supply chain optimisation standing committee, led by Dr Megan Morikawa and Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, aims to identify collective actions and standards to ensure sustainability throughout the industry’s value chain.

Ensuring resilience and progress

The risk and resilience standing committee, co-chaired by Jan Hein Simons, focuses on industry standards and due diligence, ensuring the safety of people and communities where the hospitality industry operates. They plan to create a hospitality trust index to monitor progress towards net positive hospitality.

Finally, the communications and public relations standing committee, co-chaired by Cris Tarrant and Dimitris Manikis, aims to champion sustainability initiatives and effectively communicate success stories within the industry.

Dedicated to industry transformation, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s standing committees are poised to make a lasting impact by prioritising key initiatives and fostering collaboration. The journey towards net positive hospitality is underway, driven by these concerted efforts.