When plants, birds or insects visibly and tangibly disappear, alarm bells should ring. When landslides bury hotels, the story of the risks has long since begun. However, the hospitality industry can take positive countermeasures right from the start to preserve nature. The wake-up call that Zanetta Sedilekova, a young climate and biodiversity risk advocate, will give at the HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT) in Berlin at the end of June hits home.
“The hospitality industry is exposed to various risks related to loss of biodiversity throughout its life cycle, including planning and construction of resorts, their operational life and eventual decommissioning. But this ‘story of risks’ also has a bright side to it. Being early in this respect is a multiplier of returns in countless ways.”
Zaneta is a Director of climate and biodiversity risk consultancy firm Climate Law Lab in the UK. She has been appointed as a Biodiversity Risk Advisor at the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative, where she carries out research and provides strategic advice on how biodiversity loss can pose a material risk to financial institutions and corporations.
The landslide and the crocodile leather
Who thinks about land clearing and the associated loss of soil quality when a landslide damages hotels and their infrastructure? Who is ultimately responsible for this? Even legislators – with the best of intentions – can wreck hotels that are built on land that is too scarce and can never provide the services needed to operate successfully.
Biodiversity is much much more than insects, bees and trees. For the hospitality industry, it is both an opportunity and a curse – because it demands just as much sensitivity from developers and investors as it does from the entire supply chain. For example, cork provides greater protection against fire than other materials. Why aren’t there more solar panels on the roofs? Shouldn’t shark soup on the menu have been taboo for a long time? Why do expensive cars have to have seats with crocodile leather from the Amazon?
Protecting biodiversity will become mandatory
“In ten years’ time, many aspects that are supposed to protect biodiversity will be legally binding,” says the advocate of intact nature and a humane living space. By then, contracts will also include concrete penalties. How will investors, funds and operators react to all these new aspects?
In Europe, the understanding of biodiversity is far from being as great as it should be; hotels and especially resort properties are being built for half an eternity – and in line with the trend, increasingly in the heart of nature or in remote zones where people want to live in “harmony with nature” without wanting to slim down their luxury standards. / map
The HITT plea for biodiversity:
Zaneta Sedilekova, Director of Climate and Biodiversity Risk, Climate Law Lab, on Tuesday, 27 June 2023, at 9.30am at the HITT Think Tank.
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Copyright teaser image: Pixabay DerWeg