Ahead of World Tourism Day, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, along with other leading global hotel groups in the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), reached a consensus on the goals for a sustainable hotel industry.
The ITP today announced these four goals, which are in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and focused on carbon, water, youth employment, and human rights.
"We are very proud to support the first ever industry-wide global commitment to sustainability," said Federico J. González, President & CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group and Chairman of the Global Steering Committee of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. "Since we launched our Responsible Business program over 15 years ago, Carlson Rezidor has made enormous progress in its commitment to sustainability - this has led to us being named one of world's most ethical companies every year since 2010."
"By committing to the ITP industry goals, we are stepping up our efforts to become even more sustainable as a company and as an industry," González continued. "You can count on us at Carlson Rezidor to make your stay both memorable and responsible."
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The ITP goals are a carefully constructed and practically achievable response to four of the core sustainability issues impacting responsible hospitality providers globally. At a glance, they include:
- CARBON: Embracing science-based targets, and encourage the wider industry to join in reducing emissions at scale.
- WATER: Embedding water stewardship programs to reduce the number of people affected by water scarcity, improving water-use efficiency and contributing to improved hygiene and sanitation for communities around the globe.
- YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: Collectively impacting one million young people through employability programs by 2030, thereby doubling the industry's current impact on tackling youth unemployment.
- HUMAN RIGHTS: Raising awareness of human rights risks, embedding human rights into corporate governance, and addressing risks arising in the labor supply chain and during hotel construction.
The launch recognizes the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, which calls on the industry to coordinate to tackle issues and share best practices. ITP is an official 'Friend' of the initiative.
With its award-winning Responsible Business program, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is already significantly contributing to the ITP goals:
- CARBON: Carlson Rezidor is committed to finding energy solutions which lessen our impact on the environment while balancing the need for 100% guest satisfaction. Participating hotels support this commitment through investment in environmentally-friendly technology, use of renewable energy, and achieving operational efficiencies. In EMEA, Carlson Rezidor hotels have reduced energy consumption by 25% since 2011 and our Asia-Pacific hotels have achieved over 21% energy savings since 2009.
- WATER: Addressing the challenge of managing global water resources and providing everyone with access to clean drinking water are top priorities for Carlson Rezidor. Our hotels - especially those in water-stressed areas - have minimized water consumption by installing water-saving technologies and engaging guests and employees in water-saving activities. Our EMEA hotels have reduced water consumption by 29% since 2007.
Blu Planet, the water-focused program of Radisson Blu hotels, recently won the IMEX Sustainability award for helping provide safe drinking water to over 15,000 children in water-stressed communities. Carlson Rezidor is a signatory of the UN CEO Water Mandate since 2015.
- YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: At Carlson Rezidor 'we grow talent, talent grows us'. Over 40% of our talent employed is under 30 years of age*. Through the Youth Career Initiative and other similar programs we train and serve as mentors to underprivileged young people. Park Inn by Radisson hotels run a program called 'Adding Color to Lives', which allows us to mentor at-risk youth in their local communities and help them gain skills to increase their job prospects. Adding Color to Lives was recognized for excellence and innovation by the UN World Tourism Organization.
* EMEA data
- HUMAN RIGHTS: At Carlson Rezidor we believe diversity makes us richer. One example of this can be seen at The Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore, winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business award, where 30% of the employees are deaf. In the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we have employed the first native Saudi female hotel General Manager. Carlson Rezidor hotels have a longstanding legacy in working to prevent sexual exploitation and human trafficking, in particular of children, and have followed the requirements of The Code since 2004. The Code (thecode.org) is an industry-driven initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
In 2016, Rezidor was one of the first hospitality companies to publish its Modern Slavery Statement (see our Responsible Business report on www.responsiblebusiness.rezidor.com)
In a written endorsement, Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said: "For 25 years the hotel industry under ITP's leadership has advanced sustainable tourism; developing tools and resources for hotels and lodgings around the world, sharing knowledge and working together for a more responsible future. ITP's Goals are the next step to ensure continued sustainable development in our sector, setting clear aims for 2030, and bringing the hotel sector together to align with the Global Goals."
Wolfgang M. Neumann, ITP Governing Council Chair and industry thought-leader, commented: "We have agreed on a total of four core Goals, with two addressing environmental issues (climate and water), and two supporting the people who work in the hotel industry and its supply chain. This even balance between planet and people reflects the passions and dedication of ITP members to make a real and lasting difference to a broad range of issues against which commitments can be agreed.
"ITP believes that the hotel industry can be a force for good and make a positive contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and to the COP21 climate agreements. Our vision for 2030 is for sustainable growth and a fairer future for all. We understand that bigger impacts can be achieved faster through the industry working together at scale; for this reason we invite other hotel companies to join with us in our commitment to these four critical goals."
Fran Hughes, ITP Director, commented: "This cross-industry alignment to a single set of Goals is a fantastic achievement for the International Tourism Partnership. It is also a reflection of the increasing importance that the hospitality industry attaches to sustainability issues. As we move into the second half of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, business leaders have put competition to one side to create an ambitious vision for the future and a rallying call to the whole industry. By working together, I feel certain that these businesses will create a more sustainable future for the entire hospitality industry."