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Hospitality businesses need to look within to solve the global climate problem: Joceline Noel Favre-Bulle, Director of Operations, Les Roches Global

Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 10:46 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

By Joceline Noel Favre-Bulle, Director of Operations, Les Roches Global Hospitality Management School

Following COP26 in Glasgow, UK, the ShiftIn’ Festival, hosted by Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, brought together students, speakers and panelists to tackle sustainability in hospitality. Numerous aspects of sustainability were discussed, including the internal opportunities every hospitality business has to cut their carbon footprint, presented by three experts with very different specialisms.

Whether he’s helping McDonalds promote McCafe or upskilling the youth of South Africa, Managing Director of Summit and Director of Operations at International Hotel School, Matthew Lambert, schools of Invictus Education, South Africa leading hospitality institution part of the Sommet Education network, along with Les Roches, endorses ‘keeping it simple’ and sees great potential for his KISS framework to help hospitality businesses shift to more sustainable operations, as he explains.

“K is for ‘Keep it simple’, when you keep your problem or opportunity to four words, you become very specific to what you need to address and clear on what you need to achieve. “I is for ‘Improvise’, when tackling a problem, you have to look at what exists out there, then run experiments and improvise to find a solution.

“S is for ‘Subtract’, as human beings, when we look to improve, innovate or make something better, our natural reaction is to add, versus subtract. You have to get back to the problem you need to address; subtract features and focus on the specific challenge you, or those you are looking to help, are facing.

“And the second S is for ‘Scale’, scale is key for any initiative your hospitality business introduces to support sustainability. Your innovation needs to have application to a broad audience, otherwise it effectively just turns into a gimmick”

Buying ourselves more time - the power of procurement

For Laura Turley, Teaching Assistant and PhD Candidate, University of Geneva, and Public Procurement specialist, procurement has the potential to transform a business’ green credentials and embed sustainability within operations and supply chains.

“To make a holistic shift to being a low carbon business, organizations need to mainstream sustainability, which means integrating it into core business, and procurement is a way to achieve this. For example, in 2019, Marriott made Responsible Seafood and Animal Welfare Statements public to communicate its continued commitment to improving seafood procurement practices, including banning the purchasing of specific species by all of its hotels.”

“We must go further, faster”

For Co-Founder of the SUNx Program, SUNx Malta President and former UNWTO Assistant Secretary General, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, there are both industry-wide regulatory actions and internal initiatives that the hospitality industry can take to integrate the sustainable climate goals of the Paris Agreement into every business.

“At SUNx Malta, we have a very distinctive view on the path forward, a seven point action plan, an action plan we are already implementing. We need a dash to zero, not a race, needing net carbon zero by 2030, not 2050. We must go further, faster.”
Youth will lead the way

Professor Limpan is clear on the gravity of the challenge that the hospitality industry, and human race, faces, as well as the fundamental mindset shift required and the generation that can deliver it.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time. We need a Kennedy-type moonshot that places planetary needs way ahead of our own business agendas, personal agendas, geopolitical or tourism agendas. This will be led by young trained strong climate champions around the world, because young people are our primary focal point for climate friendly travel going forward.”

Every hospitality professional, business-owner, investor, shareholder and guest understands the importance of being sustainable, but the challenge is achieving it. For businesses, there are opportunities within existing systems, departments and activities to reduce carbon emissions, leaders just have to take the time to look and begin the shift. Before it's too late.

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