[Update] Sustainable Hospitality Alliance celebrates 30 years and sets out new vision

7 min reading time

Published on 14/11/22 - Updated on 14/11/22

Net Positive: SHA

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance hosted an industry summit called Net Positive: Hospitality with purpose, for people, planet and prosperity on 11-12th October, during which it celebrated its 30th anniversary and launched programmes that will feed into the Alliance’s new 5-year strategy.

The summit included a panel of expert guest speakers, from inside and outside the industry, who examined the current sustainability challenges and driving factors. They also shared best practice examples and talked about current actions and innovations in the field. Discussions during the summit will help create the Alliance’s new 5-year strategy aimed at permitting the industry to attain the targets of the UN sustainable Development Goals.

The outcomes of the summit will drive industry sustainability towards Net Positive Hospitality. Two programmes were launched as a result of the event. They are aimed at providing an industry-wide approach to carbon measurement and reduction plans and creating a collaborative platform to support refugees through employment opportunities in the hospitality industry. New members also joined the Alliance, and it will unveil a wide range of collaborative partnerships over the coming weeks.

One such partnership is the Memorandum of Understanding the Alliance signed during the summit with the World Travel & Tourism Council to accelerate the transition to Net Positive Hospitality. This MoU commits both parties to closer collaborative working, focusing on improving the environmental and social impact of the industry. They will promote a united voice for a more sustainable future and cooperate on new research projects. Concretely, the partners will collaborate to raise awareness of new initiatives, launch new commissions and advisory bodies, further understanding of key sustainability indicators and partner on issues such as youth employability, human trafficking, and climate action.

In a similar vein, the Alliance announced on 18th October a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) to drive advanced ESG efforts within the industry. The partners will support one another's programmes and solutions including the AHLA Foundation’s workforce development programmes and the No Room for Trafficking campaign, and the Alliance’s social and environmental sustainability tools and resources.

On 25th October, a cooperation agreement was announced between the Alliance and the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE). It will be aimed at creating innovative solutions for advancing sustainability in the sector by combining the Alliance’s industry expertise and leadership with ICHRIE’s reach among the academia and hospitality student community. Concretely, the agreement will see the partners collaborate on the development of research to support the innovation needs of the hospitality industry, both social and environmental, and on the sharing of key learnings from within and beyond the sector.

On 7th November, a partnership with Greenview was announced in order to combine its expertise in sustainability programmes and data management with the Alliance’s goals. The aim of this partnership is to focus on creating innovative tools to support the industry in working towards Net Positive Hospitality. The partners will build on the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, which they previously co-developed to allow hotels to measure the carbon footprint of stays, meetings, and events. The tool works for all hotels, regardless of size, amenities, or experience in carbon reporting, and is now used by over 30,000 hotels worldwide. It provides consistent, transparent, and globally comparable data, enabling hotels to inform buyer decision-making and track their carbon reduction progress.

Following a reception at Buckingham Palace ahead of the COP27 Conference, the Alliance and the Considerate Group announced a co-operation agreement to support the hospitality industry to become measurably more sustainable. Through this agreement, both organisations will represent the hospitality industry as part of a co-ordinated private sector effort to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future. Impact monitoring and reporting are key focuses for both parties. Considerate Group’s Con-Serve™ data-monitoring platform enables hospitality clients to measure resource consumption and broader ESG metrics including electricity, heat, water, waste, food miles, business travel and volunteer hours and aligns to the aforementioned Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative.

Finally, the summit also coincided with the 30th anniversary of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Initially founded in 1992 under the name the International Hotels Environment initiative (IHEI), the charity was set up by 11 hotel company CEOs following the Rio Earth Summit. It evolved over the years additionally to tackle social issues and changed its name to the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), before becoming the independent charity it is today. Nine of the original founding brands of the IHEI are still represented in the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance in 2022. A gala dinner marked the milestone and was attended by six Directors and CEOs from across the charity’s history.

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.

Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

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.

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has been a valuable supporter of our Hotel Sustainability Basics which are the first step in the ladder to advance sustainability in the industry. Although the hospitality industry has transformed dramatically in recent years, we recognise that there is still more that we can do together. Our collective efforts will enable the hospitality industry to continue moving towards a greater positive impact through this new partnership.

Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council

AHLA and the AHLA Foundation are proud to enter this partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, as many of our member brands are already on the leading edge of ESG efforts in the hospitality sector. America’s hotels recognise the industry-transforming potential of a sustainability strategy that addresses the environmental impacts of waste, water, energy and sourcing across operations and want to ensure we are reducing our environmental footprint without compromising the needs of our guests.  This partnership will also strengthen our career development and human trafficking work, further extending our impact on the communities we serve.

Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association

We are very pleased to be an official knowledge partner of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. This partnership is especially important at a time when sustainability is so critical to our businesses and our lives.  This partnership will allow the hospitality industry and education to work together to foster research and to promote this agenda among the over 120,000 students represented by our ICHRIE member schools.

Dr. Ralf Burbach, President of ICHRIE

As ESG reporting becomes increasingly essential for companies around the world, we are proud to be working alongside the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to ensure hotels and their networks have access to the latest tools and initiatives. Through this joined up approach we aim to facilitate hotels to not only keep track of their impact, but also understand and communicate their progression towards a more sustainable future.

Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO of Greenview


We are delighted and honoured to be partnering with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, as such a highly recognised organisation with a truly international reach. Their solid frameworks set guiding principles which the entire industry can follow. This collaboration will help us drive the much-needed change in our sector and achieve goals the entire planet needs, as well as focusing on creating a positive impact for hospitality businesses.

Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Managing Partner & CSO of Considerate Group

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