Belu was hydrating speakers on the stage this week at The Independent Hotel Show in Olympia, London. A particularly pertinent session we listened to was ESG*: Building a Sustainable Business Strategy, hosted by Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Consultant. We noted primarily, the importance of hotels working with stakeholders and suppliers to be more sustainable was highlighted by all panellists in the session and below we’ll break down some other key points from the talk. Now seems to be a key moment during this pandemic, akin to post Blue Planet a few years ago when business is realising that there can no longer be lip service to being more sustainable. “It’s not optional, it’s only a matter of time”, Sue Williams quite rightly said.
Will Ashworth, CEO of Watergate Bay Hotel & Another Place talked about how hospitality sits at the heart of community, “We’re in a position to run this agenda, through the supply chain”.Sue Williams, GM of Whatley Manor made the case for sourcing more sustainably being key to reducing carbon footprint, their analysis found that 37% of carbon is sits in their supply chain. At Belu, we’ve been lucky enough to partner with many hospitality businesses over the years who want to do better by people and planet, but we’ve also seen more companies in the past year starting to dial up their ESG efforts which is exciting to see. Key take outs from the session for businesses were:
- ESG initiatives help to bring your team together.
- Research your suppliers, ensure sustainability credentials are evidenced. For example, Belu is annually independently audited to BSI PAS 2060 carbon neutral standard and we publish an impact report every year on our social and environmental impact and challenges.
- Find the right partners to help you – organisations like The Sustainable Restaurant Association, Sustainable Spa association, Earth Check, B Corp and Now Sustainability were mentioned as good organisations to source tools to support sustainability journeys.
“Choose better first, trade with those who get it and think about who is getting your money” Three of the ‘Noble Rules’ shared by The Bull Inn, Totnes
- A quick win is simply change to green energy suppliers.
- Seek external support from professionals, however be aware of companies who are greenwashing.
- Be seen as a people business, today’s graduates are ‘tomorrow’s customers’, James Ghaffari, B Lab cited.
- Due diligence is key, do your research on suppliers, is something coming from China, understand the carbon footprint implications of this.
- Get the WHY right