Helping the planet and shareholders sustainably – HITT speaker Wolfgang Neumann: Hospitality leaders in duty to act

Helping the planet and shareholders sustainably – HITT speaker Wolfgang Neumann: Hospitality leaders in duty to act

Munich (July 23, 2021). A sustainable approach helps the planet, but also the shareholders! Natural disasters cost insurance companies $42bn in the first half of 2021, a ten-year high, according to Aon, Germany’s largest insurance broker. Wolfgang M. Neumann adds: Don’t just talk positively about sustainability, act! “Leaders need to embed this new culture,” says the former hotel CEO. At the HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT) on 14 September, he explains how hospitality leaders can achieve this.

Extreme weather events cost even more than money – namely human lives. A relatively small flood in two small German regions caused over 170 deaths and billions in damage. Even the drinking water supply in one valley has been interrupted. Dramatic figures and pictures from rich Germany went around the world last week. “As for our planet, we have run out of time and we need to act NOW!” urges Wolfgang Neumann. “The ESG journey is accelerating and no longer can businesses purely focus on profits. Leaders need to create the WHY and the PURPOSE and the culture!”.
Die Roadmap and the team

Neumann was CEO of Radisson and Arabella Hospitality for six years and previously gained global experience in management positions at Hilton for 24 years. Since 2014, he has been helping hotel groups in the Sustainable Hotel Alliance (SHA) to find their way through the sustainability jungle. “Good talk is no longer enough. It takes a clear Roadmap to realise the ambitions: Take stock, set goals, diligent execute against them and measure progress.” The heads at the top should not push these issues off to the team, but assign specific tasks and engage everyone in direct reporting.

Wolfgang M. Neumann. / Photo: SHA

ESG, Environmental Social Governance, means the evaluation of corporate social responsibility. In other words, it is the voluntary contribution of business to sustainable development that goes beyond the legal requirements.
The SHA and the IFC (World Bank) prove in their “Business Case for Sustainable Hotels” that a sustainable approach creates added value across the entire value chain and helps the planet, but also the shareholders. Neumann: “It is very clear that the investments will bring returns.”

“The HITT will provide numerous examples of how technology is an enabler to make our path to sustainability easier and more cost effective. Innovation now makes it easier to invest in this area while reducing costs, optimising processes to increase productivity with improved economies of scale,” he encourages. “If we don’t act now, it will only mean higher costs, taxes and penalties in a world of increasingly scarce resources.” Other speakers at HITT will delve into this too.

But pressure is also coming from another, serious side: the younger generation is increasingly impatient and expects a real commitment to sustainability from employers.

Collaboration is KEY and has to happen on two levels:

Addressing the challenge across all touchpoints, from design and construction to operations. All parties in the multi-layered value chain need to be involved (investors, owners, brands, operators).
We need to leverage each other’s knowledge, experience and resources. You are not alone in meeting the challenge.

In the end, it is up to individuals and leaders to make it happen. “Responsible Hospitality for a better world!” Wolfgang Neumann and the SHA contribute as a platform. The alliance uses collective power to make a difference locally and globally. 13 leading hotel groups with 30,000 hotels present a quarter of the rooms across the whole industry, including Deutsche Hospitality, Dorint, Four Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt IHG, Marriott, Radisson, Scandic and Wyndham.

“Sustainability is not a competitive field, that’s the good thing about it. It simply concerns us all.” Wolfgang Neumann sits on various supervisory boards today and is pleased to see that private equity companies in particular are now insisting on sustainable strategies.

He himself is a respected leader, committed mentor for the next generation of hospitality professionals and a sharp analyst. Look forward to clear, concrete, sustainable thoughts! / map

JOIN the expert:
Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chairman, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
on Day 2 of the HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT): 14 September at 15.30 h (CET).

HIS HITT IMPULSE: Make it happen! Leadership & Collaboration. Why sustainability begins in the boardroom and inspires staff and locals.

Find his VITA here.

The big topic of the HospitalityInside Think Tank 2021:

The Decade of Action: How Sustainability leads the agenda,
how Digitalisation enables it.

And here you go directly to the registration!

HITT, the HospitalityInside Think Tank 2021
on 13/14 September in Munich,
LIVE in a relaxed co-working space and VIRTUAL,
in English language.


Logos: companies / Top photo: unsplash Jehyun Sung