The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has hosted a high-level industry summit on Net Positive: Hospitality with purpose, for people, planet and prosperity. This exclusive event was attended by senior leadership from the Alliance’s Members, comprising world-leading hotel brands, operators, owners, investors and other partners, alongside the organisation’s strategic partners and collaborators. 

The Summit, which took place on 11–12 October at The May Fair Hotel, London, featured a range of expert panellists, from within and outside the industry, who examined the current sustainability challenges and driving factors, and shared best practice examples and expertise of current actions and innovations. The event also featured high-level discussions that will feed into the development of the Alliance’s new five-year strategy, enabling every part of the industry to contribute towards achieving the global targets set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Recognising 30 years of collaboration for a better world 

The Summit also coincided with the 30-year anniversary of the organisation. Founded in 1992, as the International Hotels Environment initiative (IHEI) – part of the then Prince of Wales’s International Business Leader’s Forum, the charity was founded by 11 hotel company CEOs in the wake of the Rio Earth Summit in recognition of the “urgent need to support moral and ethical conviction with practical action.”1 Over the years, the organisation expanded its scope to tackle social issues as well as environmental challenges, and evolved first into the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and now as an independent charity, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Nine of the original brands are still represented through their modern-day equivalents demonstrating their long-term commitment to operating sustainably and supporting the wider industry through collaborative action.

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said:

We are very proud of our 30-year legacy and commend the foresight of our founding CEOs to recognise the crucial need for collaboration to tackle the significant, global threats to our people and our planet.  Our organisation, the hospitality industry, and the challenges have all evolved since then and we know that we must do more to achieve the full and positive impact the industry can have on our planet and our communities.”

The anniversary was recognised at a gala dinner which featured six of the Directors and CEOs from across the charity’s history. This included their first Director Wendy Twist of IHEI from 1992 to 1998, and Lyndall DeMarco, who was Director from 2001 to 2008, via video, in addition to Stephen Farrant, Director of ITP from 2009 to 2015, Madhu Rajesh, Director of ITP and CEO of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance from 2018 to 2021, Patrick O’Meara, Interim CEO of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance from 2021 to 2022 and current CEO, Glenn Mandziuk.  

Partnerships for Net Positive Hospitality 

The summit also hosted a wide range of expert speakers, including Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism at UN World Tourism Organisation, Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE, Vice President of Business in the Community, Michael Nowlis, Programme Director, Leadership Programmes at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), and Anna Pollock, Founder of Conscious Travel and Co-founder of The Hive. With the addition of senior executives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and leading hotel companies including Hyatt, Marriott International and Soneva.

The outcomes of the summit will drive industry sustainability towards Net Positive Hospitality. They included the launch of two significant programmes aimed at providing an industry-wide approach to carbon measurement and reduction plans, and a collaborative platform aimed at supporting refugees through employment opportunities in the hospitality industry.  

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance was also proud to announce a host of new members and a wide range of collaborative partnerships, which will be unveiled over the coming weeks, designed to reach the wider hospitality industry and inspire an even more joined up approach to sustainability.

Glenn Mandziuk, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said

“This is a pivotal time for our organisation and the hospitality industry. I am hugely positive about the potential for the future. We are seeing innovative actions from across the industry, and a willingness to share and collaborate for a greater outcome. But we also recognise that we need to further break down silos and transition the whole industry onto a path that has a positive impact for everyone and everywhere.”

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