BVA BDRC joins the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

By Cris Tarrant

We are pleased to announce that BVA BDRC has joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, reinforcing our commitment to a low-impact future and using our skills to help the sector work on a cohesive response to the challenge posed by the climate crisis.

The sustainable movement will be the defining initiative of our times and it is vital that we all contribute towards its success.

As an independent research specialist, we can help shape the conversation, ensuring the sector remains connected to the views of travellers, guests and consumers and can retain control of the story.

Our membership of the Alliance will add to our B Corp initiative and commitment to the MRS Net Zero Pledge and MRS Inclusion Pledge, allowing us to use the tools of our trade to help make sense of the world and contribute to a more sustainable future.

At the end of last year we hosted an event which found that consumers wanted to be more sustainable and were calling on companies to “help me help”, creating a so-far-untapped opportunity for hotel brands. Research conducted to support the event found that 76% of the UK public were ‘very concerned’ about sustainable issues, led by environmental over social

Given the choice between similar hotels and similar choice with one offering better sustainability offerings, an overwhelming majority chose the sustainable hotel. This was the same when the price went up by 5%.

We believe that companies who help their customers make better sustainable choices can build loyalty and profitability.

The sector is concerned that sustainability is a burden; a tax on operations or an issue for the legal department. We feel that we can help all stakeholders recognise the business opportunity that becoming sustainable provides.

We joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance as it launched its revolutionary Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality, providing guidance to help every hotel work towards net positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point.

The Pathway to Net Positive provides a practical, four-stage guidance framework as a free resource that supports all parts of the hospitality value chain to progress in a cohesive, strategic manner. It includes detailed action guidance for hotel operators, brands and asset owners, applicable to both single or multi-unit organisations.

The Pathway recognises that sustainability is crucially important to the sector’s long-term success and that all businesses need to evolve and innovate as stakeholder needs and expectations change.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance members make up 30% of the global hotel industry by rooms and include 16 world-leading hotel companies with a combined reach of over 35,000 properties and 5.5 million rooms.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the hotel sector accounts for around 1% of global carbon emissions and this is set to increase. Hospitality, like other industries, has a responsibility to manage its impact on our planet.

Research conducted by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance found that the hotel industry needed to reduce its carbon emissions by 66% per room by 2030, and by 90% per room by 2050 to ensure that the growth forecast for the industry does not lead to a corresponding increase in carbon emissions. The industry will need to go even further to help limit warming to 1.5C and avoid the very worst impacts of climate change.

The hospitality sector has faced a series of disruptions in recent years, from the online travel agents, to peer-to-peer lodging and now the shifts in customer behaviour driven by the pandemic. It is only by acting in harmony that the sector has been able to navigate these issues.

Collaboration will be key to success in achieving sustainability and we hope to be able to act as a trusted third party to the Alliance and provide the opportunity for members to share data without fear of revealing information to their competitors, and with no commercial agenda.

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