During its summit in Manila last week, the World Travel & Tourism Council introduced the Hotel Sustainability Basics, a set of eco-oriented best practices at the beginner level for hotels developed in collaboration with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, industry experts and environmental academics. The program will provide a ramp for all types of hotels to move forward to more advanced initiatives.
According to the WTTC website, the program includes 12 criteria for sustainable action divided into three categories – efficiency, planet and people. Program participants must meet eight mandatory criteria by the end of the year, including reducing the use of water and energy, reducing carbon emissions, reducing waste, implementing a program for recycling linen, using green cleaning products and eliminating plastic straws, mixers and more. disposable waste. . Broader criteria, as noted on the website, include the introduction of programs for the benefit of the property’s local community and the promotion of gender equality. At the time of going to press, only six actions have been identified specifically on the website as “required, with two tagged as“ priorities. ”WTTC did not return BTN’s requests for clarification.
Several of the criteria noted in the WTTC program have for years been identified in the hotel industry in general as necessary steps towards sustainable operation. They also comply with major programs such as the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria for Accommodation.
WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said in a press release that the goal of the new program was to offer better access to information on best practices across the industry, so that “no hotel, no matter how small, is left behind”, while industry is pushing towards a more sustainable future.
“Sustainability is not negotiable, but not all small hotels have access to the science of how to make a difference,” she said. “This gives everyone access to a global standard.”
While the WTTC has defined the criteria and minimum requirements for the program, it is still working on a verification process for participants, which it plans to complete in the fourth quarter. The program’s adaptation to more advanced initiatives such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria would prepare participants to build on the basics and potentially pursue sustainability certification through a GTSC-accredited third party.
Corporate travel managers have expressed their need for more uniform standards for sustainable hotel partners. The Global Business Travel Association is working on a set of criteria for the hotel application process that the organization is to issue this year. Industry players such as HRS have introduced their own sustainability certification programs, but the information is limited to their customer sets.