Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality

Enabling every hotel to work towards net positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point
  • 1%

    total global carbon emissions come from hospitality industry

  • 3x more

    coral damage and disease at sites with high tourism

  • 8x more

    water per person used by tourism than local population in some locations

  • 18%

    of food bought by hospitality and food service wasted annually

Introduction to the Pathway

Every hotel around the world must move towards having a net positive impact on the environment.

The future of the tourism industry depends on protecting the unique and desirable locations in which hotels are based. The Pathway is designed to drive change by:

  • Taking a holistic view of environmental sustainability while helping hotels focus on the most material issues.
  • Providing clear guidance on practical actions which can be taken.
  • Creating a joined up approach to sustainable hotels across asset/building owners, operators and brands.
  • Collating resources and initiatives already developed.
  • Highlighting additional tools and resources which the industry needs.

Using the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality

The Pathway has been designed to support three key parts of the hospitality value chain:
Tall skyscraper buildings from the financial district

Asset/building owners

The entity which owns the hotel building, responsible for the building and all elements related to it. 


The entity which operates the hotel, responsible for day-to-day operations and staffing the hotel. 

Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts


The entity which provides the brand/flag of the hotel and other support such as standard operating procedures, design guides and other aspects to a separate operator. 

How should it be used?

A graphic of the Pathway to Net Positive

The Pathway has four stages with increasing environmental ambitions (and scope) which account for the different stages of sustainability maturity and ambition across the industry:

  • Starting: Simple environmental actions
  • Advancing: Robust environmental actions
  • Accelerating: Net zero impacts for the planet
  • Leading: Net positive impacts for the planet
Each stage of the Pathway guides the user through four simple steps:
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1. Take stock

Understand environmental impacts and risks and benchmark against peers.

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2. Set objectives

Ensure they are both reasonable and stretching.

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3. Make plans and take action

Gathering resources and implementing initiatives to achieve objectives.

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4. Review and report

Monitor progress to understand achievements, challenges and learnings.

What's included in the Pathway

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Pathway overview

One-page graphic laying out the full Pathway journey, which sets out the key ambitions and milestones for each stage.

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Introduction and Pathway stage details

Introductory guidance and stage details featuring the different actions to be taken by key stakeholders.

Download planner
Environmental action planner
Environmental action planner

Detailed list of possible environmental actions which can be used to develop a personalised action plan.

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Resources map and utilities tracker

Mapping of useful resources, sorted by Pathway stage and environmental issue. Plus a simple tracker for energy, water and waste. 

Creating the Pathway

The Pathway has been created with insights from Members and Affiliate Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance in consultation with environmental and industry experts. 

This first edition of the Pathway contains the overview and details of the Starting and Advancing stages, launched in March 2022. More time will be taken to work on the details for the Accelerating and Leading stages and define what Net Positive looks like in the context of the hospitality industry, with a further release expected later in 2022. 

The Pathway will be a live resource which is updated with new tools and resources as they become available. It will also be reviewed on a regular basis and will continue to be developed as sustainability thinking changes and updates. 

Introduction to Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality webinar
View webinar

Want help using the Pathway?

View our short introductory webinar, which includes guidance on why sustainability is important for the future of the industry, and a practical demonstration on how to use the Pathway.