Hospitality sector set for green revolution

The UK’s Net Zero 2050 commitment and Build Back Greener agenda set out ambitious goals for sustainable growth. The hotel and hospitality sectors are responding by pledging to cut emissions, switch to sustainable sourcing and embrace energy efficiency. Yet as operators try to balance green growth with post-pandemic recovery, the real challenge will be moving from target setting to strategic delivery.


Businesses in every sector are experiencing growing pressure to put sustainability at the heart of their operation. Be it changing consumer sentiment, brand reputation, or increased regulation, the business case for net zero is a no brainer. Increasingly operators are waking up to the fact that balancing the needs of profit, people and planet go hand in hand with driving efficiencies, cutting costs, and developing more resilient business models.


Many of the world’s biggest hotel chains are busy promoting their green credentials, whilst hospitality brands are addressing how sustainability can be embedded in the journey from farm to fork.


They are also collaborating to share experience and best practice. For instance, the run-up to COP26, membership bodies UK Hospitality and the Zero Carbon Forum unveiled a sector roadmap identifying the quickest and most cost-effective route to carbon neutrality.


The roadmap outlines trends, shines a light on carbon hotspots and identifies practical steps for setting and delivering on net zero goals. It states an intention to reach a 90% reduction in operational emissions of 57% – 78% and reductions in supply chain emissions by 2040. It is an admirable ambition, but businesses will need a lot of support delivering on their commitment.


Measuring the scope

The first step is to benchmark emissions and monitor progress in reducing levels. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard splits emissions reporting into three categories. Scope 1 encompasses all direct emissions produced by a business, including fuel and heating emissions on site and via company vehicles. Scope 2 covers indirect operational emissions from activities carried out off-site but consumed by the named business.


Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions offer the lowest hanging fruit for businesses wanting to make in-roads to net zero. Operators across the hotel and hospitality sectors are drawing up plans to cut carbon footprints by taking action on their own doorstep. Be it switching to renewable energy, fitting water saving devices or refillable toiletry bottles.


However, addressing Scope 3 emissions can be more challenging, especially in sectors with complex value chains. They cover all other indirect emissions across the supply chain, including purchased goods and services, the production of ingredients, packaging waste, transportation, and distribution.


These account for the majority of an operator’s overall emissions but are more difficult to measure and require a comprehensive approach to sustainability benchmarking, tracking, and reporting. Building sustainable supply chains requires a deep-rooted commitment to the cause and robust structures to ensure all stakeholders share the same ambitions and values. It changes the dynamics of supplier relationships, looking beyond price to consider wider social, environmental, and economic value.


Forming partnerships

Measuring, mapping, and reporting emissions is just part of the journey to net zero. Not all businesses have the in-house resources to draw up effective sustainability strategies and action plans.


At Wylde Connections we are experienced in working with business through every stage of that transformation. We offer a unique blend of sustainability and environmental consultancy, strategic communications and stakeholder engagement, leadership and management development and transformative learning.


March 2022 will see the launch of our web-based application, Enveglas, is a Sustainability Impact Assessment tool providing a detailed analysis of a company’s sustainability credentials, incorporating areas such as ESG (Environment, Social, Governance), supply chain risk management, codes of conduct, and due diligence. Its carbon calculator will help establish a baseline for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 and support reporting using Science Based Targets. Clients can then use dashboards to manage emissions reductions and communicate progress to key stakeholders.


Those businesses who act responsibly and decisively to hit net zero will gain competitive edge and help future proof their organisation. There has never been a better time to put sustainability at the centre of your growth strategy. Find out more about how we can help you embrace a more effective and efficient way of working.

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