WTTC launches Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative

WTTC launches Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative

Scheme aims to help even small hotels reduce their environmental impact

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched Hotel Sustainability Basics, an initiative to help guide the hospitality industry towards more sustainable practices.

Launched at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Manila on April 20-22, the initiative comprises a globally recognised and coordinated set of criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible travel and tourism.

The scheme has already gained support from 50,000 hotels around the world including major global groups such as Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Meliá Hotels International and Indian Hotels Company. 

Developed by the industry for the industry, the programme highlights 12 actions that are fundamental to hotel sustainability and which will help raise the base level of sustainability across the hospitality industry.

Speaking about the initiative, WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said: “We are launching the Hotel Sustainability Basics to ensure no hotel, however small, is left behind in the drive to introduce basic sustainability measures within a minimum level over the next three years.

“Sustainability is non-negotiable but not every small hotel has access to the science on how to make a difference. This gives everyone access to a global standard and provides consumers with the ability to travel with confidence. WTTC wants the hospitality industry to lead by example so that sustainability becomes the basic requirement used to drive change forward for this generation and the next.”


The criteria, developed by WTTC in collaboration with leading global brands and industry associations, focus on actions which are fundamental to hotel sustainability and address tourism’s impact on the planet across a spectrum of critical issues. They include actions to measure and reduce energy use, measure and reduce water use, identify and reduce waste, and measure and reduce carbon emissions.

The action list also includes linen reutilisation; use of green cleaning products; elimination of plastic straws, stirrers and single-use water bottles; implementation of bulk amenity dispensers; plus measures to benefit local communities.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance chair Wolfgang M. Neumann said: “Every industry must do its part to ensure the future of our planet and its people.

“While many companies are taking great strides and leading the way, others are only now taking their first steps. By offering an understanding of the simplest steps hotels can take to become more sustainable, the Hotel Sustainability Basics will help to raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry.

“This initiative acts as a stepping stone to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality, which will enable every hotel to take a strategic and progressive approach to achieve a positive environmental impact, whatever their starting point.”

Initially, only eight of the 12 criteria are mandatory, while others can be committed to and progressed towards within the first three years.

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