Our history


The World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance brings together engaged hospitality companies and uses the collective power of the industry to deliver impact locally and on a global scale.
Over the last three decades, we have launched a series of landmark initiatives to address key social and environmental challenges affecting the communities in which we all operate.
    • 1992

      Our organisation was founded in 1992, by a consortium of chief executives from 10 global hotel companies, as a result of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The organisation was first known as International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI), a programme of International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and part of the Prince’s Charities group.

    • 1993

      We began to develop free practical tools and resources for the wider hospitality industry. The Environmental Management for Hotels manual was the first resource we published.

    • 1995

      We launched Green Hotelier Magazine, an editorial platform providing guidance on sustainability for the wider hospitality industry. It was first established as a printed magazine and evolved into digital publication in 2010. We are pleased to continue to provide insight and guidance via our website and through our programmes and free tools and resources for the hospitality industry.

    • 2004

      We expanded our programmes to include youth employment, when founder of Youth Career Development Programme (YCDP), Lyndall De Marco, joined IBLF. From 2004 it operated as Youth Career Initiative (YCI), as an initiative of International Tourism Partnership (ITP). This continues to run today as our youth employment programme.

    • 2004

      The International Hotels Environment Initiative became International Tourism Partnership.

    • 2010

      We launched our first working group, bring together senior executives from our member companies to co-develop our programmes, tools and resources. We continue to lead working groups on each of our areas of action.

    • 2010

      We began working with governments and providing a platform for external partners to collaborate with the hospitality industry on regional and global issues. Our first project was with in partnership with the US Department of State to support survivors of human trafficking through our youth employment programme. We continue to work with foundations, governments and corporate organisations to support communities and environments through our programmes.

    • 2013

      After 20 years as a programme of IBLF, the organisation closed its operations and we joined Business in the Community (BITC), part of Prince’s Charities group, with HRH The Prince of Wales as president. BITC is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business.

    • 2014

      We began bringing together leading hotel companies with key stakeholders and leading specialists to discuss key environmental and social issues, through a series of roundtable discussions. This was the beginning of our work to address human rights risks in the hospitality industry.

    • 2017

      Working with our members we agreed the priority areas of action for the hospitality industry to collaborate to make the most impact. At the Skift Global Forum in New York, we launched ‘International Tourism Partnership Goals for 2030’ on Human Rights, Youth Employment, Climate Action, Water Stewardship.

      These remain our areas of action, aligning our work with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and uniting the hotel industry to work collectively on key issues.

    • 2017

      We began to work with other industries to address key global issues that affect all sectors alike. Our multi-sector collaboration on responsible hospitality recruitment project brings together the consumer goods and electronics industries to create a strong and unified voice for business promoting human rights in labour supply chains.

    • 2018

      Our members came together to support a set of Principles of Forced Labour, which we launched at the Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment and Employment, in Singapore with representatives from Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott, and Radisson Hotel Group.

    • 2020

      We expanded our programme strategy and began to engage across the hospitality industry value chain to promote a joined-up approach to sustainability. In partnership with IFC, we launched the Business Case for Sustainable Hotels which aims improve cross-collaboration between owners, investors and operators by detailing the shared benefits for all partners.

    • 2020

      We became an independent charity under the name of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, taking forward the work of International Tourism Partnership and its sub-brands Youth Career Initiative and Green Hotelier. Our organisation and member companies remain united, as we continue to address the key environmental and social challenges with a renewed vision of responsible hospitality for a better world.

    • 2021

      Launch of our Core Employability Skills curriculum. This training resource supports disadvantaged people to gain the skills to build a future in the hospitality industry and beyond. It’s a core part of our youth employment programme, and we also invite organisations interested in using this curriculum to get in touch.

    • 2021

      Expanded our reach to include other partners in the hospitality value chain to further drive collaboration on industry sustainability as Affiliate Members. This includes real estate owners, investment funds, legal and consulting firms.

    • 2023

      At ITB Berlin, launched our updated Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality incorporating People, Planet, Place and Prosperity for a holistic approach to sustainable hospitality.

    • 2023

      Unveiled new Net Positive strategy. Leading hospitality brands came together to agree on a shared vision for a prosperous and responsible sector that gives back to the destination more than it takes, signalling the dawn of a new era for the once-fragmented hospitality industry.

    • 2024

      Rebranded as the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, underlining our organisation’s global presence and commitment to addressing sustainability issues around the world. This new name supports our collective vision and mission, reflecting our comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

Our work

Find out more about our work

Working with our hotel and affiliate members we agreed the priority areas of action for the hospitality industry to collaborate to make the most impact. We commit to drive action on the leading environmental and social challenges.