(Posted 23rd March 2023)
UAE-based Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, has launched its Green Collection, bringing under one umbrella nearly 200 hotels, resorts and palaces operated by GHA hotel brands that are demonstrating their commitment to protecting people and the planet.
Every Green Collection property has attained at least one certification from a globally recognised environmental organisation, with EarthCheck, Green Growth 2050, Green Key and Green Globe among the 15 leading certification bodies represented, and each requiring hotels to meet the highest international standards for sustainability initiatives and performance, with regular third-party audits conducted to retain certification.
Achieving certification demonstrates a hotel’s long-term pledge to upholding these standards, with each Green Collection property being a pioneer of practices that preserve the natural environment and benefit local communities in the destinations where they operate.
“Across GHA’s 800 properties from 40 brands, located in 100 countries around the globe, there are some world-class examples of practices and initiatives with a positive environmental and social impact, and we are incredibly proud of these efforts, which we celebrate with the launch of Green Collection,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley before adding: “It also helps travellers, including the 24 million members of our GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, to make more informed travel decisions based on their values and priorities, which today include hotel sustainability credentials and treading as lightly as possible in the destinations they visit.”
“By launching Green Collection, we are reiterating our alignment to the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), which guide the development of the hospitality industry for a more sustainable future,” Hartley added.
With 69% of travellers actively seeking sustainable travel options in 2023, according to a recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, Green Collection meets this accelerating demand, empowering the 24 million members of the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme to make conscious and responsible travel choices. In 2022, members demonstrated their preference for Green Collection hotels, which contributed to 32% in stays, 39% in nights, 47% in room revenue and 49% in total revenue.
Green Collection accounts for almost one-quarter (24%) of the GHA DISCOVERY portfolio and represents half of its brands, from mid-scale to high-end, including Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Avani Hotels & Resorts, Capella Hotels & Resorts, Corinthia Hotels, Elewana Collection, GLO Hotels, JA Resorts & Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, Marco Polo Hotels, NH Hotels, NH Collection, nhow, Niccolo Hotels, Oaks Hotels Resorts & Suites, Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts, Patina Hotels & Resorts, PARKROYAL COLLECTION, PARKROYAL, Sukhothai Hotels & Resorts, Outrigger Resorts & Hotels and The Set Collection.
From city hotels to beach resorts, the collection is geographically diverse and is present in 44 countries and 112 destinations, spanning every region. In the Middle East and North Africa, Green Collection properties account for half of the GHA DISCOVERY’s portfolio, while in Africa and Asia, it account for 37% and 36%, respectively.
Countries with the highest density of Green Collection hotels are the Netherlands with 31 properties (97% of GHA hotels in that country); Thailand with 16 hotels (52%); the UAE with 15 hotels (52%); China with 13 hotels (31%); Kenya with 10 hotels (77%); and Belgium and Argentina with 7 hotels (54% and 50%, respectively).
Many GHA brands have achieved certification for every property in their portfolio or are well on their way to attaining this goal, with examples including Elewana Collection, GLO Hotels, JA Resorts & Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, Capella Hotels & Resorts and Outrigger Resorts.
Properties in the Green Collection are taking action in line with Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) guidelines, which encompass the implementation of effective sustainable planning; maximising social and economic benefits for local communities; enhancing the cultural heritage of destinations where they operate; and reducing negative environmental impact.
To celebrate the launch of the Green Collection, GHA DISCOVERY is giving back to the causes important to members and its hotel brands. For every Green Collection hotel booking made on www.ghadiscovery.com or the GHA DISCOVERY mobile app before the end of April 2023 and completed by 31st July 2023, GHA will donate US$5 to the charities it supports as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, which includes Environmental Protection, Healthcare & Wellbeing, Children & Youth Programmes, and Animal Welfare.
“Social awareness and environmental sustainability are core values that GHA has embraced since its inception. Our overarching philosophy is to treat people and the planet with the utmost respect, creating a more resilient, equal, and sustainable global ecosystem, and the efforts of our Green Collection properties are a testament to this,” continued Hartley.
“We are committed to ensuring GHA remains a favourite global brand in hospitality, not only trusted for the high-quality products and services we offer to our hotel brands and GHA DISCOVERY members, but the responsible approach we take to delivering them. The launch of Green Collection and our donation contribution are the first of many philanthropic elements we have planned in 2023, aligned to what customers and stakeholders now value most“, he concluded.
Examples of Green Collection Hotels’ sustainability efforts:
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore is the country’s first ‘garden-in-a-hotel’, home to 2,400 trees, shrubs and groundcovers, which serve as natural air purifiers. Featuring 210 solar panels, an urban farm that supplies its spa and restaurants, an in-room filtered water system, and a double-glazed glass roof, the waste and energy reduction gains are significant. Some 51,300 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions were prevented by rejuvenating instead of rebuilding the hotel, so it received a BCA Green Mark Gold certification upon opening in 2020.
Every property in the Avani Hotels & Resorts portfolio must hold an independently audited Green Growth 2050 certification. As part of the brand’s effort to become a Net Zero Carbon organisation by 2050, it is introducing science-based targets for energy, carbon and water intensity, as well as pledging to cut organic waste to landfills in half in the next eight years. Avani has pledged to reduce the usage of single-use plastic by 75% by 2024, and every nature-based property will support long-term habitat or species conservation by 2023. Avani Palm View Dubai Hotel & Suites and Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel have both been awarded the prestigious Green Growth 2050 certification for their sustainability practices, with Avani Palm View Dubai receiving Green Growth’s Platinum certification in recognition of its water and energy conservation programmes; aluminium-can, glass and cooking oil recycling; tree planting; and green public transport awareness campaign.
More than 36 Anantara properties globally have been awarded Green Growth 2050 certification based on GSTC-recognised hotel industry standards. Awards received by Anantara recognise excellence in human rights, child protection, employee protection, community development, environmental stewardship, and tourism ethics and sustainability. A few examples include Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort preserving the coral reefs protecting its beaches, and the marine life in the island’s lagoon, by initiating the Coral Adoption Programme, encouraging guests to take part by planting coral in a reef nursery, while The Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand, supports the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, providing a home for elephants, mahouts and their families.
Kempinski Hotels aims to measure 100% of energy emissions across all properties by the end of this year and has set out to fully implement science-based targets for emissions reductions aligned with the Paris Agreement by the end of next year. The luxury hospitality firm is rolling out the EarthCheck Certified programme across its portfolio, with participating hotels actively monitoring and reporting the environmental and social impacts from their operations, including energy and water consumption, carbon footprint, waste generation, community engagement and more. Economic concerns addressed by EarthCheck include employment conditions, support for the local economy, use of fair-trade goods and services, and recognition of the seasonality of revenue streams. GHA’s Green Collection features 14 Kempinski hotels that are EarthCheck certified in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts was the first hospitality company in the state of Hawai‘i to commit to earning the prestigious Green Seal sustainability certification for its hotels and resorts, as well as the first hospitality brand to pursue the certification outside of the United States. Green Seal is the gold standard of global health and environmental leadership, and Outrigger has implemented science-based standards at properties including Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, Castaway Island, Fiji and Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.
Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel has been recognised as a sustainability leader with EarthCheck Gold Certified status, meeting performance targets regarding greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, social and cultural engagement, waste management and more. Recent initiatives include the restaurant serving sustainable dishes.
JA Resorts & Hotels is a leading pioneer on sustainable initiatives in the GCC region’s hospitality arena. Green practices include saving more than five million pieces of single-use plastic through on-property water bottling plants, composting food waste into soil residue which is then used in bio-farms across the Emirates, amongst other sustainability measures.
For more information on Green Collection, including the full list of globally recognised certifying bodies, and examples of how GHA hotel brands are making a difference, visit www.ghadiscovery.com/explore-green-collection.
For more information on GHA and its loyalty programme, visit Global Hotel Alliance and GHA DISCOVERY.
GHA DISCOVERY is complimentary to join, and travellers can sign up online or download the GHA DISCOVERY app and register on their mobile phones. Travellers can also connect with GHA DISCOVERY on Instagram and Facebook.