A platform of trust

A platform of trust

Covid-19 has shown it: The hospitality industry has no lobby. Not worldwide. This must not happen again in the course of climate protection policy. The solution for the climate can therefore only be: Collaboration! Teamwork! Inge Huijbrechts from the Radisson Hotel Group, Willem van der Zee from Pandox and Glenn Mandziuk from the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA) will analyse the power of the industry and its pain points at the HITT Think Tank. Only three weeks to go until the HITT in Berlin (26/27 June)! By the way, most of our 14 experts will be on board for two days – a novelty and proof of their confidence in this high-profile event.

Inge Huijbrechts: In trust is the key. / Photo: Jean-Yves Limet

Politics does not understand the hotel industry and not perceive it. Unfortunately, the fragmented industry with its special properties cannot be explained on a beer mat. Even property owners – despite the shared experiences in Corona – still find it difficult to approach their hotel partners and work with them to design sustainable buildings, efficient building controls and cost-saving operating concepts. “The beauty of sustainability is that there is no competition because we are all committed to the planet.”

This dictum, phrased this way or that, is true and it calls for movers & shakers to sit down at a round table, across all industry and segment boundaries. What to do?

Build a platform of trust

“We as an industry need a trusted platform, it’s key,” said Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior VP for Sustainability and Safety at Radisson Hotel Group (RHG); among other things, she develops the sustainability programmes at the group’s 1,100+ hotels in 95 countries. And she is thinking of a kind of lobby network in which, for example, investors and hoteliers shake hands. The beginnings are there, but everything would have to happen faster. Why aren’t there more sustainable buildings yet? she asks.

Glenn Mandziuk: Connect! / Photo: private

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the London-based SHA for a year now, also calls on everyone to address the issue at high speed. He himself has stepped on the gas in the past months and multiplied the number of members: according to the website, there are 36 today, all companies from business, politics and even the supply chain. Airlines, hotels, property owners, destination managers, suppliers, producers – they all need to get out of their silos! Glenn Mandziuk sees a lot of disconnect in this group alone.

Willem van der Zee, Director Operations Belgium for the investment company Pandox, which specialises in hotels, misses a few others among those who could form the network pro hospitality and pro sustainability: e.g. the universities and hotel management schools. They train the leaders of tomorrow, but still have far too little knowledge about sustainability themselves.


Unlock the natural potential

The magic word is collaboration. We are not writing this for the first time, nor will it be the last. The discussion in our briefing with these three insiders and sustainability experts alone already showed that everyone needs to communicate and motivate each stakeholder much more in order to highlight the good potential that hotels already live “naturally”:

Professional hosts have always cared about the well-being of their staff, their guests and neighbours. Many hoteliers have been sourcing green electricity for years, maintain beehives on hotel roofs and herbs in the garden, take children on edutainment excursions, no longer offer oysters on their menus but buy sausage and fruit around the corner, and and and… Why does no one know this – and why can’t this power be bundled?

Willem van der Zee: Who trains the leaders in sustainability? / Photo: private

In the last session of our one-and-a-half-day think tank in three weeks’ time, again we expect a lively discussion between the impulse generators and the guests. The limited number of participants and the uncomplicated interaction in the belly of the ship are the best prerequisites for making HITT a “trustworthy platform” – and for taking off from here in terms of collaboration! Welcome on board! / map


The HITT Plea for Collaboration
on Tuesday, 27 June 2023, at 3.30 pm at the HITT Think Tank

Impulse 6: Teamwork – the only route to success
How the industry can better collaborate: Act together and speak with one voice to suppliers, industry partners, governments and legislators. This session aims to surface where collaboration is working well, where it needs to improve.

Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Sustainability and Security, Radisson Hotel Group, A leading hotel group with a strong focus on sustainability, with nine hotel brands, more than 1,100 hotels in operation and under development in 95+ countries.

Willem van der Zee, Director of Operations Belgium, Pandox, A Swedish listed and internationally leading owner-operator with 157 hotels (35,500 rooms) in 15 countries.

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, An organisation uniquely representing the sustainable-committed hospitality industry, including 22 world-leading hotel companies and 35 supply chain and strategic partners, with a combined reach of over 50,000 properties.


Copyright teaser image: pixabay spacentity