Amy Brown looks at how big hotel chains are working to align themselves with the Global Goals and the Paris Agreement, setting goals to tackle water scarcity, carbon emissions, human rights and youth employment

The estimated $550bn global hotel and hospitality sector is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. And with some 17.2 million rooms booked each year, it is also one of the most impactful.

Tourism contributes about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and those are set to grow by 130% by 2035, according to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) warns that the hotel industry must reduce its carbon emissions per room per year by 66% from 2010 levels by 2030, and 90% by 2050, in order to stay within the limits of the Paris Agreement.  

One of the biggest questions now facing the industry is how to cope with the impacts of climate change

Megan Epler Wood, director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says: “One of the biggest questions now facing the industry is how to cope with the impacts of climate change to ensure there is a transition at the destination level to responsible use of resources.” 

She adds: “That includes development of renewable energy solutions at the regional level, protection of coastal infrastructure from sea-level rise, and protection of ecosystems, which help to buffer the impacts of climate change.”  

Many hoteliers, however,...

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travel industry  sustainable tourism  Carbon emissions  Whitbread  Hyatt  sustainable cotton  climate change  Science Based Targets  Hilton  SDGs  International Tourism Partnership  EP100 

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