Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, shares his hopes for COP27 and explores the achievements of the Alliance since COP26.
I’m honoured to be at COP27
This week I’m in Sharm El-Sheikh for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, with the purpose of positioning the hospitality industry as a key part of the global acceleration towards to a sustainable and regenerative future.
As I join global leaders and climate change experts in Egypt, countries around the world are currently experiencing, or still recovering from, severe flooding, devastating droughts and storms, and acute water, energy, and food crises. At this pivotal conference, the fact that human-induced climate change is largely devastating the lives of people and ecosystems with the least power to make change remains in the forefront of my mind. Those at COP27 are in a significant position of power and influence, and it is our responsibility to not only maintain, but accelerate the commitment and pace needed to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Positioning the hospitality industry as a key part of this global acceleration
Ahead of COP27, we have been presented with some fantastic opportunities.
Last week, I was honoured to be invited to meet with the US Ambassador, Brian Moynihan, and Special Presidential Envoy, John Kerry, to reflect on the priorities for COP27 and how we can continue to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future.
Following on from this, I had the privilege of joining His Majesty King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace, on behalf of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, alongside Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group. During the meeting we positioned the key role that the hospitality industry has to play within global co-ordinated efforts to transition the private sector towards a more sustainable and regenerative future.
Today I am honoured to be joining the UN World Tourism Organization at COP27, acting as a representative for the Alliance and our donor members and strategic partners, as well as the wider hospitality industry. I will be taking part in two key events:
This morning’s UNWTO side-event on Policies and corporate strategies scaling up climate action in tourism provided a key opportunity to hear reflections from high-level policy makers and corporate leaders on the implementation of the Glasgow Declaration. I also had the opportunity to speak about our newly updated Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, and the importance of uniting the industry on the pathway to Net Positive Hospitality.
This afternoon, I will be presenting on climate and water action in destinations at the UNWTO Meeting of the Committee on Tourism Sustainability later today – highlighting some of our regional programmes which focus on water risk and supply chains.
One year on from the launch of the Glasgow Declaration
Last November, ahead of COP26, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance became one of the founding signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. The Declaration urges the acceleration of climate action by securing commitments to reduce emissions in the sector by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
As I approach my sixth month as CEO of the Alliance, I have been blown away by the drive and innovation within the Alliance team, which then stems across our prominent network of members and partnerships.
Through collaboration, we have taken vital steps towards a more responsible industry:
- We released the 2022 update of our Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, which enables every hotel to provide robust, transparent, and globally comparable data, informing buyer decision making and allowing hotels to track their progression in cutting emissions.
- We launched the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality, setting out our vision for the industry, in which every hotel around the world can, and must, aim for net positive environmental impacts, no matter their starting point.
- We are now engaging 35 supply chain and strategic partners, to ensure that commitment to sustainability filters down from industry leaders and sustainability teams to suppliers, stakeholders, and teams on the ground.
- In the past year we have doubled our number of members, with six new hospitality companies joining us over the past six months. Our members now represent 45,000 hotels, or 6.2 million rooms, which equates to over 35% of the industry.
Continuing our collaboration for a better world
With this dedicated and powerful network, we are truly in a position to drive the hospitality industry towards a more sustainable and regenerative future.
To continue crucial discussions on how we can protect our planet and its delicate ecosystems, I am very pleased to be joining the World Travel and Tourism Council at the UN Biodiversity Conference – COP15 – exploring how the industry must support and inspire governments, businesses, and society to implement the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and help transform humanity’s relationship with the natural world.