Project Management of unique Hotels: A look at Sustainability and ESG Criteria

Puedes leer el artículo en español: «Una mirada a la sostenibilidad y los criterio ESG en la industria hotelera»,  publicado en Stakeholders.news

ESG

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The example of the most sustainable hotel in Spain.

Hotel project management investment has shifted its focus towards sustainability, focusing on ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria, which are essential for building a greener and more equitable future. The European taxonomy has been a key catalyst in this process, forcing companies to integrate sustainability principles into their investments and adopt measures to reduce CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement serves as a beacon in this journey, setting clear targets for a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.

The synergy between investment and project management: a path to successful hotels

There must be an alignment between investment and management, sharing values and motivations. This bond allows for a closer connection with the reality of territories and their inhabitants, generating a deeper understanding of the circumstances faced by local communities. Understanding these realities fosters empathy and commitment to populations affected by exclusion, poverty, and lack of opportunities.

The importance of socially responsible companies

Tourists are increasingly leaning towards companies that demonstrate social and environmental responsibility. A Booking.com study reveals that 71% of guests plan to choose more sustainable travel options. This interest is especially noticeable in luxury hotels in environmentally sensitive areas, such as beaches and mountains.

We recently had the opportunity to lead a Hotel Project Management in Menorca, Suites del Lago, which aspires to be the most sustainable in Spain. From its architecture to its current operations, this hotel exemplifies a commitment to sustainability, using local and crafts materials in its construction and decoration.

E-Environmental measures in the hotel sector

The hotel world has identified four crucial environmental pillars on which to base its sustainable strategy: water conservation, improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and waste management. A peculiarity distinguishing hotels from other real estate properties is their continuous operation, running uninterrupted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This feature highlights the importance of investing in advanced technology to manage their internal systems, as this investment translates into continuous savings throughout the day.

A notable example of this commitment to sustainability is the Menorcan Hotel, where we have implemented an extensive and ambitious green decalogue. This sustainable roadmap ranges from recycling practices and circular economy to a resolute choice for renewable energies and advanced home automation. A sign of their commitment is evident even before arriving at the establishment: guests are picked up at the airport by an electric vehicle, emphasizing their eco-friendly mission from the first contact.

To realize its environmental purposes, the hotel has driven various initiatives reflected in its decalogue. Notably, 134 innovative hybrid solar panels were installed with innovative technology capable of heating their pool while producing most of the electricity for the facilities. Additionally, they have implemented an innovative irrigation system that uses gray water recovered from showers and sinks, an excellent example of resource reuse.

A distinctive feature of the hotel is its facade, which is built with an innovative material called KRION® Eco-Active. This material is not only sustainable, but it can also purify the air, adding added value to the establishment in aesthetic terms and in its ecological and health function for guests and the nearby community.

S-Social initiatives in the tourism and hotel project management field

Currently, hotel groups are putting social commitment at the center of their agenda, understanding that sustainability is not limited only to environmental aspects but also encompasses social responsibility. Thus, actions are prioritized that guarantee equity, promote inclusion, and establish ties with suppliers from various backgrounds and communities. In addition to these initiatives, the well-being and safety of guests and employees occupy a prominent place, including implementing training programs that defend and promote human rights.

A tangible reflection of this commitment is the transformation of hiring policies in the sector. Now, efforts are actively made to ensure diversity in the base staff and senior management levels. These practices include local hiring, prioritizing local hiring, boosting the region’s economy, and improving job quality. This is a crucial strategy, especially in places like islands, where the economy can be seasonal and highly dependent on tourism.

Support for Local Trade is also a fundamental pillar for the social development of the hotel’s nearby impact area. Priority is given to buying and consuming in local shops, gastronomy, and leisure spaces. This strategy guarantees these businesses’ viability and adds authenticity and color to the guest experience. In the Menorcan eco-hotel, for example, special relevance is given to local and artisanal food products, such as fish, fruit, eggs, cheese, and wine, all purchased from Menorcan suppliers. Additionally, a supplier provides organic and seasonal vegetables from a garden a short distance from the hotel.

Hotels also actively collaborate with NGOs and local social projects on projects directly impacting communities. A notable initiative of the Menorcan hotel is its alliance with the ecological association «Per la Mar Viva», with which they have developed recycled products, such as the shoe soles of the staff and coasters in restaurants, made from plastics collected on the Menorcan coast.

G- Governance as a pillar for hotels sustainable future

Proper governance is essential to ensure that sustainability initiatives are effective and transparent.

Within its management framework, Suites del Lago has highlighted the importance of diversity in its board of directors, understanding that various perspectives enrich decision-making and reflect a more inclusive approach. Added to this is their strong commitment to transparency, emphasizing the need to clearly and openly report on their ESG practices and progress in these areas.

The case of the mentioned family-owned hotel group is a clear example of these governance practices. The motivation behind their decisions is not based on external or merely economic pressures but on a transcendent conviction that seeks the common good, considering the impact on the environment, society, and the future. This philosophy is reflected in their long-term relationship with contractors and subcontractors, consolidating bonds of trust and mutual responsibility over the years.

When the hotel management proposed we highlight the ESG criteria in all design, construction, and commissioning decisions, we not only faced the requirement as a temporary challenge but created the infrastructure to demonstrate ESG to every tourist who would enter the lobby in the coming years. Next to the reception, the tourist sees through a display the current consumption of the entire complex and the savings it produces as a message of responsible use. Alongside the minimum consumption/maximum comfort monitor, a showcase offers for sale menorquinas shoes made from recycled plastic from the coves.

The Mediterranean at your feet!

 

Foto de Google DeepMind

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