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How Hotel Staff Influence its Environmental and Social Profile


Stephen Farrant, a speaker at the marcus evans EMEA Hospitality Summit 2013, on why staff engagement in a hotel business matters.

Interview with: Stephen Farrant, Director, International Tourism Partnership


“Enhancing the sustainability of your hotel business will give you a competitive advantage if you do it right. That starts with staff engagement and seeing it as a question of continual improvement,” says Stephen Farrant, Director, International Tourism Partnership. “Hospitality is a people business. It is about interactions between people on the ground. That is where the brand promise is delivered. Staff engagement is critical for finding innovative solutions,” he goes on to say.

A speaker at the marcus evans EMEA Hospitality Summit 2013, in Montreux, Switzerland, 11 - 13 November, Farrant talks about the market for environmentally and socially responsible products and services in the hotel and tourism industry, and how hotels can gain a competitive advantage by better engaging staff.

What is the market potential for environmentally responsible products and services in the tourism and hospitality industry? Will this be a long-term trend?

It is absolutely the beginning of a long-term trend. We are already seeing signs of that, particularly in the corporate marketplace. In the B2B procurement market, major companies, organisations and national governments are beginning to factor environmental and social impact into their commercial decision-making criteria.

If a company has to report on its carbon footprint, it will consider how and where it hosts conferences and where its employees stay on business travel. The International Tourism Partnership, working with the World Travel and Tourism Council, has brought all the leading hotel companies together to design and deliver a consistent and standardised way of measuring and reporting the carbon impact of overnight stays, conferences and events. Corporate customers today are asking for credible, consistent and comparable information on carbon, energy, water, waste, and a range of other environmental and social metrics.

What is the business case for “going green”? How can hotels ensure a profitable outcome?

Effective utilisation of scare resources brings about cost efficiencies and savings, especially as some resources become more expensive. However, the bigger argument is about building a competitive advantage to drive revenue. Companies that are genuinely acting in a responsible manner will see higher valuations, as the financial and investment community’s focus on ESG parameters begins to directly impact them.

The competition for talent, the ability to recruit and retain the brightest and most motivated staff is another reason. The company’s ability to speak credibly about its sustainability credentials will increasingly make a difference.

Companies can only deliver profitability over the medium-term if they are also delivering a responsible approach to business, environmentally and socially. The revenue generating opportunities come from the enhanced perception of the company, making customers feel good and by retaining the very best staff.

Why is staff engagement critical?

Staff must be motivated and productive in this business. They must be happy to turn up for work every day.

Sustainability is a journey of continual improvement and finding new solutions to challenges. Staff must be engaged and motivated to help deliver on that. Ultimately, sustainability will not be achieved through grand strategies that are cooked up at the head office, but by the workforce on the ground. They must be motivated to deliver the brand promise and customer experience.
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager

Contact: Jennifer Keljik, marketing manager
Tel: +1 312.540.3000 x6592

About the EMEA Hospitality Summit 2013

This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 11 - 13 November 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on crafting a distinctive guest experience, driving ROI, adopting the latest design trends and integrating green building strategies.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings.


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