Together with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), brands, associations, and destinations, Radisson Hotel Group launched the Hotel Sustainability Basics verification scheme. Announced at ITB Berlin, Basics will enable tourist accommodation providers from around the world, regardless of their size, to begin their sustainability journey.
Basics first launched at WTTC’s Global Summit in Manilla last year as a coordinated set of criteria that all hotels could implement as a minimum to drive responsible and sustainable travel and tourism. Basics emerged as a result of demand from a group of global hotel brands, and while there is a number of sustainability initiatives currently available, Basics focuses on a starting point. It will encourage hospitality businesses to begin their sustainability journeys.
Made up of 12 key criteria, the Basics are achievable for hotels to implement as a bare minimum. They serve as a stepping-stone to more complex sustainability schemes and sustainability.
In order to ensure the validity of the program, WTTC partnered with Green Key and SGS to develop an online verification system to allow hotels to provide evidence and ensure they are following the Basics. The verification scheme enables hotels and other tourist accommodations to be verified for meeting eight of the 12 criteria in the first year and demonstrate their commitment to working toward all 12 of the criteria by year three.
Six international hotel groups have joined Basics as inaugural partners. The first hotel groups include brands such as Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Meliá Hotels International, Meininger, and Radisson Hotel Group.
Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, said, “We are incredibly proud to have launched the verification scheme for Hotel Sustainability Basics. The initiative is a response to the sector’s need for a baseline for hotels and other tourist lodgings to start their sustainability journeys.”
“Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but many sustainability practices such as efficient water use initiatives are patchy. Basics fills the gap by creating that level playing field for the sector,” Simpson said. “It is testament to the need for such a scheme that already thousands of hotels from around the world have already signed up to Basics and are beginning their verification processes from today.”
Inge Huijbrechts, global senior vice president of sustainability, security, and corporate communications at Radisson Hotel Group said, “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 commits to implement Hotel Sustainability Basics in all its 1,100 hotels by 2025. We do this together with our shareholder Jin Jiang International, their affiliate Louvre Hotel Group and other major hotel groups and destinations around the world,” Huijbrechts said.
Green Lodgings Trend Report
WTTC carried out an international benchmarking exercise through the Green Lodgings Trends Report, learning from 27,000 accommodation providers on how they are currently fairing against the 12 criteria. This benchmark will allow WTTC to track the progress of Basics over time.
Almost 100 percent of accommodation providers implement at least one initiative to reduce inequality and 96 percent have adopted linen reuse programs. The report also showed many hoteliers are establishing sustainable practices, but there is still a way to go for these to become common across the sector. Two-thirds of those surveyed have already begun to eliminate the use of certain single-use plastics such as straws and implement other waste reduction initiatives. Almost half of the respondents have replaced small plastic toiletry bottles with bulk dispensers and a third now provide vegetarian options for every course in their food and beverage provision.
In addition to the Alliance, WTTC collaborated with other sector figures including representatives from Greenview, WTTC’s hotel members, Expedia, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and Trip.com, as well as the certification bodies SGS and Green Key.