As we reflect on the past year, I have immense pride and gratitude for our incredible progress in pursuing Net Positive Hospitality. From launching our ambitious new strategy to unveiling cutting-edge tools and initiatives, our achievements have been inspiring. I want to thank the dedicated staff team at the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance for their unwavering dedication and hard work. Their commitment to our mission has been instrumental in driving our progress forward. I would also like to thank the Board of Trustees for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the year.

The collaboration we have received from our donor members and partners has genuinely humbled me. Through the collective efforts of the hospitality industry, we have been able to drive climate and social action and effect meaningful change. I am grateful for the generosity of the individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know over the past year. Their passion and commitment to sustainability have been a constant source of inspiration. COP28 was a pivotal moment for our industry, and our presence on the global stage was undeniable. It is a testament to our progress as a sector and growing influence. I was honoured to be surrounded by inspiring leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry, and together, we showcased the strides we have taken towards a more sustainable future.

This year, we have achieved significant milestones that have propelled us closer to our vision of Net Positive Hospitality. We launched a bold five-year strategy, outlining our journey’s course and our key objectives and strategies. To ensure the success of our initiatives, we established six standing committees and three working groups composed of over 100 members and partners. These committees and working groups enable engagement from the industry on focused actions, fostering collaboration and collective impact. Further, we launched a Hospitality and Tourism Task Force of leading hospitality company CEOs within the Sustainable Markets Initiative, developed and launched an innovative Net Positive Hospitality Business Simulation, and supported academic and industry competitions to draw out innovation within the sector for people and the planet.

The advancement of our new Academy showcases our commitment to sustainability training within the sector. This innovative platform provides comprehensive sustainability training at all levels within the hospitality industry, equipping professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to drive sustainable practices. Additionally, we have forged new and deeper partnerships with several leading global organisations, breaking down silos of effort and catalysing collective impact. Through these collaborations, we have been able to leverage the expertise and resources of our partners to accelerate progress.

One of the many highlights of COP28 was the significant announcements we made to propel the sector towards Net Positive Hospitality. Incorporating our Net Positive framework, we unveiled an ambitious joint vision for the International Finance Corporation’s EDGE Green Building certification and Building Resilience Index. This partnership recognises leading companies that minimise their environmental footprint and give back more than they take. Furthermore, we launched a ground-breaking new digital Pathway, providing a clear roadmap to accelerate ESG progress. This comprehensive guidance, along with our latest resources and case studies, empowers hotels to navigate the stages of the pathway easily. In addition, we introduced two innovative platforms, a Resource Directory and a Hospitality Member Directory, designed to support and empower businesses in their pursuit of sustainable practices.

Our efforts have already yielded tangible change on the ground. Through our Accelerator Programme, we have launched collaborative pilot initiatives that target systemic issues in specific destinations. These initiatives capture critical learnings and have the potential for scaling and replication, ensuring a broader positive impact. Furthermore, we have initiated a ground-breaking supply chain project in Africa, working with several members’ procurement teams and properties. This project aims to increase the industry’s positive impact on communities and improve hotels’ environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Additionally, our Egypt employability programme has provided opportunities for youth employment in the hospitality sector, creating a brighter future for those involved.

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, our commitment to pursuing Net Positive Hospitality remains strong. To accurately measure our progress, we must continue to act in every community where tourism is critical. This action includes delivering leading sustainability training, harmonising industry metrics, streamlining reporting, and setting benchmarks for sustainability efforts. As an Alliance, we are committed to working hand in hand with our members to synchronise these efforts and ensure a shared journey towards a sustainable future. The past year has been a testament to the power of collaboration and the determination of the hospitality industry to create a more sustainable future. With the support of our dedicated staff, visionary board, committed members, and invaluable partners, we will continue to drive progress and make a positive impact in the pursuit of Net Positive Hospitality.

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