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Hospitality of the Future: Sustainable Design



With hotels currently contributing around 1% of global emissions, the industry would require a radical shift to to meet the goals set out by the Paris Climate Accord, with a 66% reduction needed by 2030, and 90% reduction by 2050!


The big brand hoteliers are responding by commitments:

  • Hilton - aiming to reduce their emissions by 75% by 2030 via the ‘Watts, Water & Waste’ program. They have a platform called LightStay which tracks, analysis’s and reports their ESG metrics

  • Accor - by placing nature at the Centre of their properties through Planet 21, they have committed to sustainable development

  • Radisson - committed to be Net Zero by 2050


Opportunities for lessons to further green the industry exist with both immediate impact and longer-term planned initiatives, across the building life cycle. Some initiatives that I particularly appreciate:

  1. Banning single-use disposable items - mini-shampoos, tooth-brush kits, and bottled water can be done away with. In NYC such bans are on track to take effort, and California implemented ban that phases out single-use plastics.

  2. Construction - offsite-modular construction (eg CitizenM) reduces embodied Carbon by ~65%, reduced waste by ~2%, and speeds up the delivery program.

  3. Indoor agriculture - vertical agriculture is said to use 90% less water, reduces the need for pesticides, and reduces carbon footprint by reducing the distance of freight.


As you’re planning your travel whether for pleasure or work, it pays to ask your accommodation about their green credentials. Not only will it be a reminder to them that their customers care, but you might be surprised by what you discover.

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