The hospitality industry is known for its exceptional services. Luxury and facilities. The sector is now not only known for creating exceptional experiences for its guests but also for driving positive change. This sector presents unique opportunities and challenges.
Similar to many other industries, the hospitality sector is committed to advancing sustainable practices. But it has faced considerable adversities, particularly due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As it looks ahead, sustainability cost stands as one of the challenges.
In mathematical terms, the hospitality industry contributes approximately 11 per cent of global carbon emissions and it is expected to grow by 85 per cent over the next few years. The growth comes at a cost and it involves a high environmental impact, including increased water usage and the generation of disposable and non-disposable waste. Implication – more emission of carbon footprint.
Balancing luxury with the imperative of sustainability presents an ongoing dilemma. The challenge lies in finding a harmonious path that doesn’t compromise customer satisfaction. Achieving this delicate balance requires a multifaceted approach.
In a recent panel discussion, industry leaders shared their strategies and best practices for addressing various issues, minimising food waste, sustainability initiatives, and inclusive and active engagement with local communities. These collaborative efforts demonstrate the industry’s commitment to making a positive impact while navigating the complexities of luxury and sustainability.
Gaurav Sinha, Hotel Manager, JW Marriot said “Sustainability is not just a path we aspire to explore as an industry, but a responsibility we embrace. Our guests, play a pivotal role alongside with us in giving back to society and preserving our precious natural resources. Through dedicated practices and innovative equipment, we aim to make a meaningful contribution. Tonight, as our conversation unfolds, we look forward to discussing these vital steps towards a brighter, more sustainable future”.
HC Vinayaka, VP Technical, EHS & Sustainability, ITC Hotels, shared strategies for minimizing food waste, from removing dustbins in cafeterias to implementing programs where food is measured every time it is thrown and target food wastage reduction year-by-year plans.
He strongly believes, educating management teams, and fostering a shared commitment to sustainability are the cornerstones to tackling food waste.
Manish Garg, General Manager, Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park, shared inclusive practices, that he led in his organisation. He has taken steps to include specially-abled individuals in the workforce, recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusivity. However, it’s not just about hiring, it’s about fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. This means equipping ourselves and our teams with the skills and understanding needed to work effectively with differently-abled colleagues. It’s about learning sign language, adapting communication methods, and ensuring safety measures are inclusive.
“In my experience, the biggest challenge lies in ongoing training, where we continuously strive to improve our communication and support for our specially-abled team members. In the hotel industry, there are diverse roles, such as operators, where physically challenged individuals can excel. It’s about creating an environment where they not only have a job but also feel valued and motivated to come to work, just like any other team member”, he added.