Hospitality firms lay out five-year plan to become net-positive

A coalition of businesses in the hospitality sector has outlined a new five-year programme to “go beyond” net-zero by creating a Net-Positive Pathway that gives back more than it takes to destinations and communities.

Hospitality firms lay out five-year plan to become net-positive

The SHA states that the strategy provides a “clear and robust vision, mission,” accompanied by goals for the Alliance that will “serve as a reference point” for the entire sector

Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA), which represents more than 50,000 hotels, have today (16 May) unveiled a five-year pathway to net-positive for the sector.

The new global commitment aims to transform the sector through a number of initiatives and new sustainability metrics that re-evaluates how organisations view the impact they have on the planet and people.

By 2028 the Alliance aims to convince all major private and public sector leaders of the economic opportunity of a net-positive transition, get businesses to embed net-positive into corporate strategies and pioneer nature and people-orientated solutions.

Members will also advocate for policy reforms and partner to demonstrate what a net-positive philosophy can look like.

The Net-Positive Pathway was led by the SHA’s chief executive Glenn Mandziuk, who spent the last 12 months working with donor members, external partners and systems change consultancy Systemiq to develop the key aims.

“I am delighted the industry has come together to back our shared vision to go beyond net zero. We look forward to implementing our five-year strategy which includes bold initiatives such as the Net Positive Hospitality Academy and standardised metrics for the industry,” Mandziuk said.

“This strategy can drive large-scale, tangible change, creating net positive leadership. Our environment and communities will undoubtedly benefit from this strategy, and I foresee a prosperous and contributory future for the global hospitality sector.”

In business terms, net-positive refers to approaches and strategies in which a company puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than it takes out.

The SHA states that the strategy provides a “clear and robust vision, mission,” accompanied by goals for the Alliance that will “serve as a reference point” for the entire sector.

The Strategy is focused on four key pillars: People, Planet, Place and Prosperity. SHA members will work collaboratively to develop and harmonise net-positive metrics and KPIs that help to streamline reporting and develop innovative, practical and scalable solutions, tools and resources.

The SHA will also implement a benchmarking process to track progress on the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality and facilitate industry dialogue to develop standardised definitions and reporting requirements.

In addition, the SHA will promote knowledge sharing through new digital communication tools and hosting bi-annual Summits and Regional Roundtables to align members with a vision while leveraging each other’s strengths and resources necessary for catalytic action.

A series of “Hospitality High Ambition Movers” will also be selected from SHA members to drive the shift to net-positive through new partnerships, trials and strategies.

The SHA has more than tripled in size in a year, which is a market signal that the industry is seeing the need to embrace sustainability.

The Office of National Statistics found that 37.4% of businesses operating in the accommodation and hospitality are experiencing skilled labour shortages, which is far higher than construction (25%) or transport (16%), for example. The SHA believes that net-zero targets and ambitious delivery plans can help attract talent to the sector.

The net-positive movement is slowly picking up traction. Late last year, for example, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched a set of guidelines for businesses looking to deliver a net-positive impact on nature, co-developed with the input of 60 firms with a combined value of more than $2trn.

edie is currently running a series of reports looking at how key sectors in the UK economy can decarbonise in alignment with the national net-zero target, while also looking at the net-positive benefits they can create along the way. You can view each report here, with a new hospitality-focused report set to be published shortly.

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