Hotel Sustainability Basics is a globally recognised and coordinated set of sustainability indicators that all hotels should implement as a minimum. Developed by the industry for the industry, they represent the 12 actions that are fundamental to hotel sustainability. WTTC is calling on destinations and accommodation stakeholders around the world to implement the criteria over the next three years and raise the bottom floor of sustainability in the sector.
The Travel & Tourism sector is taking important steps toward greater sustainability and net-zero operations. Yet many hotel companies and properties continue to face important challenges in starting their sustainability journeys, often due to financial and human resource constraints. It is vital to support and empower these stakeholders to embark on their sustainability journeys in an aligned and strategic manner. The global hotel industry has come together to identify the first crucial steps that all properties can and should take, irrespective of their size, resources and progress made so far, thereby raising the base level of sustainability across the entire industry.
The Hotel Sustainability Basics criteria are open source and freely available for any hotel company or property to adopt. They are intended as the first step of a progressive sustainability journey, that can then be expanded to follow more ambitious pathways (e.g.‘Pathway to Positive Hospitality’ or the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria). WTTC urges the sector to seek constant improvements beyond the 12 basic criteria so that every hotel, whether it's an individual business or part of a larger group, is always developing new ways to become more sustainable.
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The Green Lodging Trends Report (GLTR) is the leading global benchmarking study on sustainability best practices in hotels. WTTC and Greenview carried out a benchmarking exercise of 27,000 properties to see where the industry currently stands in its performance against the 12 criteria.
WTTC launches the Initiative at the 21st WTTC Global Summit, Manila for DMOs, Industry Associations and Hard Brand and Group HQS.
WTTC invites Hotels to participate in the Green Lodging Trends Report (GLTR) to access an insightful benchmark report.
WTTC launches the verification scheme for individual hotel properties that adopt the Hotel Sustainability Basics Initiative in Q1 2023.
By officially supporting the initiative and getting involved, you are strengthening a global call for an inclusive, more sustainable development in the hospitality industry and commit to lead by example by ensuring that your hotel(s) are or will implement the criteria as a bare minimum.
Strengthen your position as a sustainability leader by committing to ensure that your hotel(s) are or will implement the criteria as a bare minimum.
Be an integrated part of all global technical activities WTTC organises around this initiative and connect with like-minded businesses to share experiences and learn from each other to scale impact.
Better understand your impacts on resources, the planet, and people and identify opportunities for operational improvements thanks to the tracking and benchmarking of progress made.
Increase awareness about your sustainability commitment to a global audience on both the demand and supply side by being part of all WTTC communication activities.
The 12 criteria have been selected following an intense process of industry review and based on their significance as actions which represent a base level of sustainability activity that all hotels should be undertaking. They represent both back of house and guest facing activities, both of which are critical to making real sustainability progress, and include both environmental and social aspects. During the review process it became clear that reducing the number of criteria would compromise the robustness of the initiative, by eliminating some key and fundamental actions, but a phased approach has been suggested to allow time for the full set to be implemented. Furthermore, any more would dilute the focus and overwhelm those trying to put them into practice.
It is recognised that the 12 criteria although basic in nature, will still take time and effort to implement particularly in hotels which are starting out on their sustainability journey. For this reason, 8 of the criteria should be in place within the first year of implementation, and the remaining 4 by year three. There is flexibility in terms of which criteria hotels may choose to prioritise for year 1.
The criteria have been developed under the leadership of WTTC and through a working group of 11 hotel companies, with the support of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. They have been reviewed, debated and reworked following several rounds of industry consultation so that they truly represent the common denominator and most transversal sustainability actions across the industry. The working group members include Accor, Barcelo Hotel Group, Huazhu Group Limited including their affiliate Deutsche Hospitality, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group, Meli Hotels International, Minor International, NH Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group.