Our Chair, Wolfgang M. Neumann, writes a guest blog on the crucial need for co-ordinated and collective action
As the world unites in Glasgow for COP26, it serves as an annual reminder of the crucial need for co-ordinated and collective action if we are to have a meaningful impact on the climate change crisis. In 2015, COP was instrumental in uniting almost 200 countries behind the Paris Agreement, but now, six years on, this need for collective action remains more important than ever. This year’s IPCC report finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the goal of limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.
“The world is without a doubt at a crucial tipping point. But it’s not too late to avert an environmental catastrophe.”
The world is without a doubt at a crucial tipping point. But it’s not too late to avert an environmental catastrophe. We need to act fast and we must collaborate as we double up our efforts. The dialogue needs to go beyond having ‘zero’ impact and look towards what we can be putting back into the natural world to ensure we have a lasting positive impact on our planet and its people.
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which unites leading hospitality companies comprising 30% of the industry, this week announced the development of a Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the planet. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) supports the ambition and plans a sustainability framework accessible to the global hospitality industry.
The Pathway aims to enable every hotel to work towards net positive hospitality, whatever their starting point on their sustainability journey. It will encompass four clear stages and practical tools that guide the industry towards a regenerative impact on our planet.
“The dialogue needs to go beyond having ‘zero’ impact and look towards what we can be putting back into the natural world to ensure we have a lasting positive impact on our planet and its people.”
As the COP events get underway, there will be a wealth of new initiatives and targets – including the UNWTO Glasgow Declaration of which we are proud launch signatories. Our Pathway recognises the significant work that’s being done by many partner organisations to support the industry. Our aim is to co-ordinate and build on these to create a holistic, action-based approach that’s applicable for all hotels, regardless of whether they are part of a large international brand or independent.
Fully achieving the vision set out by the Pathway will require joined up action across brands, operations and buildings. We are therefore pleased to create a unique forum for industry asset owners and investors to join with the leading hotel operators to lead a consistent approach to responsible hotel management with the launch our Affiliate Membership. We welcome more partners to join us to create a better and more sustainable future for all.
COP26 will provide a valuable opportunity for a recovering world to come together and make high-level plans. It is crucial however that we make significant and tangible action in the interim. The Net Positive Pathway will be a practical way that every hotel can advance their progress and help to achieve our vision of responsible hospitality for a better world.