The immutable Kermit Frog has always lamented, “It’s not easy being green.” And this lament is so easy to identify with if you’re a business traveler or in the business. According to a recent CWT survey, 87% of customers asked last year said they wanted sustainability information provided to their traveling employees at the point of sale. So, as business travel is well and truly taking off again according to industry publication The Beat, pressure on our planet environmentally is back as well.
Right on the heels of World Environment Day on Sunday 5th June 2022, the industry is wondering how we go forward in a more sustainable fashion.
That’s the subject of our latest podcast episode, ‘A green standard in hospitality’ featuring CWT’s Chief Growth Officer Belinda Hindmarsh and Kit Brennan, Co-founder, and Director of award-winning carbon intelligence platform Thrust Carbon.
CWT became the first major global travel management platform to partner with Thrust Carbon to activate point-of-sale emissions data enabling travelers to make the most eco-friendly decision at the time of booking. Brennan had this to offer via a blog post by Emma Woodhouse:
“Sustainability is very focused on airlines…but getting to ‘net zero’ means every part of the travel sector. Looking at the hotel sector you start to see a myriad of things that all need to be worked out in tandem – from construction to food, amenities, single-use plastics and everything in a wider ESG (environmental, social and governance) sense. It’s mind-bogglingly large.”
Three Priorities to Help the Sector Evolve.
Transparency – “It’s one thing if a hotel is measuring its carbon emissions but trying to find out can be difficult if there’s no public sharing,” says Brennan. “We have a lot of magic that happens behind the scenes to put together our hotel sustainability index but without accurate data on a per-property level, it can be difficult. We need to see something happen on an industry body level in a standardised way, and governments will need to step in to demand that hotels publicly share data.”
Inclusivity – “There are measures in place today but it’s voluntary and doesn’t necessarily include everything,” says CWT’s Belinda Hindmarsh. “Indeed, if the wider industry can get even more carbon data then you can really start educating customers at point-of-sale and evolve the discussion. It’s about expanding the methodology and having a system that everyone needs to report into,” adds Kit.
Built-in, not bolted on – “ I don’t think I’ve seen an RFP come through the door in two years where there hasn’t been questions about sustainability,” says Belinda. “Organisations are trying to figure out the sweet spot between cost, wellbeing and greener travel. I was shocked to learn that around 90% of our consulting engagements since Q4 last year were focused on responsible travel, getting the right hotels in the program and the wellbeing and green travel balance. Sustainability needs to be built into the travel program, not seen as a bolt-on.”
For more on evolving sustainability in the hotel sector and what you can do as a traveler listen to ‘A green standard in hospitality.’