Pledges To Do Good Pressure mounts to do it better.

Pledges To Do Good


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In November 2021 during COP 26 in Glasgow, over 300 hotel and tourism companies and destinations signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism and pledged their ambitions to significantly reduce emissions and be Net Zero before or by 2050.

The logos of signatories can be viewed HERE and each committed to submit a Climate Action Plan within 12 months that detail their efforts with sufficient detail, committed resources, delivery dates and internal policing. To date, the gap between pledges and rigorous, accountable and transparent action is vast.

Pledges and commitments can be effective if there is a science-backed sustainability certification program with an annual independent audit. In our experience, this is vital to increase engagement with stakeholders, creating a wider team that work to support an Energy Transition Strategy to measure impacts, maximise reduction, offset using high quality certified carbon credits, and communicate with transparency.

Hotels are making big claims about net-zero carbon emissions—but most are focusing on only half of the issue according to a Bloomberg News article published July 19, 2022 – The Hotel Industry’s Carbon Lie, citing the embodied carbon that is often not counted. Embodied carbon is the term that encapsulates all the harmful greenhouse gases emitted during renovation and construction of a building—an outsize part of any project’s footprint.

At this most urgent of times, there is greater expectation for business to lead and do good, address societal problems and demonstrate commitment to a sustainable future with long-term thinking over short-term gain.

The hotel industry has been lagging behind and pressure is mounting to do good and to do it better. We reviewed the Net Zero pledge and actions, or lack of it, of the top 10 largest hotel groups with a room count from the 2021 data of MKG Hospitality.

1) Marriott International

Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 7500 hotels and 1,400,289 rooms in 2021. Its CEO Anthony Capuano pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 on September 22, 2021.

2) Jin Jiang

Jin Jiang Hotels International is the largest hotel group in China and have more hotels than Marriott International, but with a less amount of rooms. It is the second-largest hotel group in the world on room supply operating more than 10,000 hotels with almost 1,100,000 rooms. Since 2019, it also owns Radisson Hotel Group which has more than 1,700 hotels and over 260,000 rooms in operation and under development. Jin Jiang International has NO announcement Net Zero pledge, except for its Radisson brand which committed in March 2022 to be Net Zero by 2050.

3) Hilton Hotels

Hilton Hotels is the third-largest hotel chain in the world with more than 600 hotels were added to its portfolio between 2020 and 2021, with the strongest growth in the US. It operated 1,010,257 rooms in 2021, and also announced its commitment to pave the way to Net Zero with NO date!

4) InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)
IHG is No. 4 worldwide. The growth was only 0.3% between 2020 and 2021. InterContinental Hotel Group has over 6000 hotels and 886,036 rooms in its portfolio. IHG has made NO Net Zero pledge.

5) Wyndham Hotel Group
Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s fifth-largest. This US hotel chain has had a 4.2% decrease in its rooms supply, which makes it the only western hotel chain in the top 10 with a lower amount of rooms compared to last year. In 2021 Wyndham Hotel Group owns 8,941 hotels with 795,909 rooms. Wyndham has made NO Net Zero pledge.

6) Accor Group
Accor Group is a French hotel chain with more than 5000 hotels worldwide and more than 750,000 rooms. Accor Group reaffirms its commitment in November 12, 2021 to reduce 46% emissions by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2050.

7) Huazhu
Huazhu is another Chinese hotel chain operates almost 7000 hotels and has a room supply of 607,137 rooms. Between 2020 and 2021 the room supply growth was 23.2%. Huazhu has made NO Net Zero pledge.

8) Choice Hotels
Recording a global room supply growth of 1.2%, American franchiser Choice Hotels has not moved from its 8th position in the ranking. In 2021 the hotel chain owns 7,147 hotels with a total room supply of 597,977 rooms. Choice hotels operates in over 40 countries all over the world. Choice has made NO Net Zero pledge.

9) OYO

OYO is an Indian hotel chain operating more than 20,000 hotels with 449,000 rooms. Oyo has made NO Net Zero pledge.

10) BTH Hotels

BTH Hotels is Chinese hotel chain rooms supply grew 6.6% between 2020 and 2021. BTH has made NO Net Zero pledge.

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