UKGBC teams up with industry leader to enhance the sustainability of the built environment in hospitality

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance), the leading network for responsible hospitality, and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), which aims to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment, have announced a co-operation agreement.

This partnership will combine the Alliance’s sector-specific expertise and reach into the hospitality industry with UKGBC’s technical expertise to enable both organisations to enhance the sustainability of new and existing hotel properties.

The built environment is a significant driver of global emissions and is responsible for around a quarter of the UK’s carbon footprint.[1] To deliver on the UK’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050, carbon emissions from this critical sector must be substantially reduced across both the construction and the operation of buildings. With a global hotel construction pipeline of over 2.3 million rooms,[2] minimising hotel construction emissions needs to be a priority for the industry. Additionally, it is estimated that 80% of buildings which will be operational in 2050 have already been built, meaning greater action to decarbonise existing buildings and ensure they are resilient to a changing climate is also essential.[3]

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Through this partnership, the Alliance and the UKGBC will collaborate on research and data sharing, and pilot initiatives and standardisation with an aim to drive green building innovation across the hospitality sector.

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “While a lot of focus is given to reducing our annual operational carbon emissions, it can be easy to overlook the impact our properties have on climate change. Through this partnership we are aiming to increase understanding within the hospitality sector, and encourage the industry to grow sustainably as well as putting sustainability at the heart of all retrofits and refurbishments.”

Mike Clarke, Director of Membership at UKGBC, said: “Decarbonising the built environment is one of the biggest climate challenges facing the UK and indeed the world. Delivering on our net zero targets will require fundamentally changing the way we construct, operate and de-construct our built assets, including those within hospitality. UKGBC is delighted to announce our partnership with the Alliance and we look forward to learning from their sector expertise, as we work together to drive a more sustainability and resilient built environment.”

[1] Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap: A Pathway for the UK Built Environment. UK Green Building Council, 2021, London, UK.

[2] Lodging Econometrics (LE)

[3] UKGBC

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