Home › Founder, Chairman & CEO’s Message
As a hotelier with extensive international experience, I remember when climate change seemed a distant possibility. Hoteliers started to discuss the “green issue” in the early 90’s after the UN published “Our Common Future” (also known as the Bruntland Report), which explained the concept of sustainability as an attempt to create awareness of the disturbing relations between human society and the natural environment.
Here we are twenty-five years later. Climate change has become the defining predicament of our time but the hotel industry is still hesitant to talk about the issues. Our sector prospered as millions travelled. Travel is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry, so you could argue we have contributed in both a positive and negative way to people and planet.
However, as annual temperatures rise and the impact on our planet becomes more evident, we can no longer afford not to make the environment and social responsibility a business priority. Travellers today expect safer, more responsible, sustainable destinations and accommodations. However, our industry is not really clear about what that truly means.
Today, many hotels are doing excellent work in sustainability and obtain credible certifications to reflect their growing compliance and legitimacy, but most still hesitate to be visibly transparent with their guests for a host of reasons. Many hotels believe that sustainability is not yet an important issue to today’s traveller. In many cases, they are right, but that is changing and changing fast. Consumers know that too many companies have prospered at the expense of society and nature. In particular, the next generation of travellers and hotel staff are critically aware that there is a direct link between sustainable business, the environment and people’s lives; and there is no hiding in today’s interconnected and interdependent world.
I believe that a more caring and responsible form of hospitality will gain wide support from travellers and can be commercially successful. There will be increased demand from our guests for sustainable choices and greater expectations for hotels, resorts, cruise ships, train hotels and B&B lodgings to be credibly certified and independently audited. It is crucial that we make sustainability a strategy and operating model, increase our contribution to society and support of our environment, collaborate as an industry, and visibly communicate our actions to our guests and stakeholders. I urge owners and operators in the hospitality industry to move beyond seeing environmental and social challenges as costs, to seeing the potential savings and enormous opportunities to make good things happen.
NOW is legacy project in alliance with inspiring figures and companies from the hospitality industry who are credibly proven to be sustainable. Join us … together let us support the industry we know and love, and drive the fundamental changes we need to help it continue to thrive. It must be NOW!