WTTC introduces sustainability guidelines for hotels

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a set of 12 criteria it recommends hotels implement to drive responsible and sustainable tourism practices. 

Called Hotel Sustainability Basics, WTTC said it is an industry-backed initiative to enable accommodation providers worldwide, regardless of their size, “to begin their sustainability journey.”

The criteria includes measuring and reducing energy, water, waste and carbon emissions; replacing items such as plastic water bottles and mini toiletry bottles; using green cleaning products; offering vegetarian food options; and benefitting the local community. 

The program includes a verification system if the hotels meet eight of the 12 criteria in the first year and demonstrate their commitment to working toward all 12 of the criteria by year three. In partnership with Green Key and SGS, an online verification system will allow hotels to provide evidence and ensure they are following the program.

“The initiative is a response to the sector’s need for a baseline for hotels and other tourist lodgings to introduce the exacting sustainability standards,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC CEO. “Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but need a step-by-step guide that is scientifically verifiable.”

WTTC said that the Basics program emerged as a result of “clear demand from a group of influential global hotel brands.” Six international hotel brands, collectively representing tens of thousands of properties, have joined as inaugural partners: Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Meliá Hotels International, Meininger and Radisson Hotel Group. 

Radisson Hotel Group, for example, has committed to implement Hotel Sustainability Basics in all its 1,100 hotels by 2025. 

“It will encourage all accommodation providers to begin their sustainability journeys and meet the fundamental standards required of our sector,” WTTC said in a statement. “It serves as a stepping-stone to more complex sustainability schemes and to achieve greater sustainability across the industry.”

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