The ECHA Award is given annually for forward-thinking excellence and ingenuity in environmental protection and sustainability initiatives. In addition to a great looking physical award, winners receive a special logo, article on our website about their initiative, and bragging rights.
Hotels and related business need not be members of the Eco-Conscious Hotel Association to apply.
Just submit an application with pictures or video, and written content about your initiative, at the link below.
While there are certainly straightforward ways hotels can reduce water, energy, and food waste, there are other long-term approaches for those who want to take the next step in their eco-conscious journey. One of these is to utilize renewable energy. Renewable energy is any energy gathered from a renewable source, like sunlight, wind, and geothermal heat. Not only are renewable energy sources very sustainable, but they are also highly sought after for their economic benefits
In the heart of Melbourne, Australia’s, central business district, the boutique Alto Hotel has built sustainability into the property from day one. Originally constructed in 2006, the property has won numerous awards and certifications for sustainable design, operation, and tourism. It is also recognized as Australia’s first carbon-neutral hotel. While building greener initially added an extra AU$450,000 to the already high AU$5 million price tag, the financial and reputational pay-offs have been tremendous.
While we would all like to be more sustainable, and do our part for the planet, sometimes there are barriers getting in the way. The biggest one, of course, is financial.
Even the best intentions need proper guidance. Some type of ad hoc guiding committee is helps keep your eco-conscious efforts on track. Not only does it spread out ESG responsibility across different departments, but it has the added benefit of getting more people involved. That is what truly incorporates eco-consciousness into the fabric of the organization, instead of it being just a top-down mandate to execute.
Eco-effort committees are also valuable for liaising with stakeholders and keeping up-to-date with any governance changes.
The best part about an eco-effort committee is that it’s easy to set up. Don’t overthink the process or bog it down in bureaucracy. Its goal is to make the most eco-conscious organization out there and hold everyone accountable towards that end. Gather people who are passionate about being green from all parts of the business and let them loose. It’s as simple as that.
Europe’s largest hospitality company, the Accor Hotel Group, operates in over 5,100 locations worldwide. Ensuring the dissemination of standard operating procedures across such a large staff and property footprint is no easy task. When it comes to environmental, social, and governance issues, this can be even more complex
Being eco-conscious isn't just a one-time thing. It takes a long-term, sustained focus on continuous improvement. Our measurement of success is based, in fact, on this principle of continuous improvement. So much so that as a requirement for all new and renewing members, we review not just what environmental initiatives you are already taking, but also what is on the agenda for the coming year.
This methodology allows hotels at all levels of the environmentally conscious spectrum to participate in our organization. By joining alone, you take a big step by committing to incorporate eco-conscious thinking into your hotel's operations. Committing to continuous improvement means it doesn't matter whether you are new to sustainability or are one of the world's most mature ESG practitioners, there is space for you with us. Basically, all are welcome!
The goal of the Eco-Conscious Hotel Association is to have as many properties as possible take progressive, calculated steps towards sustainability. We firmly believe it is better to have thousands of hotels reducing their carbon footprint, even if by only 10%, than to have just a handful completely carbon-neutral.
Our strong belief is that we should encourage, not alienate, those looking to do better no matter where they might be starting or what their past might look like. Only through this can we hope to build a better, more sustainable future.
The final pillar of our eco-conscious foundations involves governance. No, this has nothing to do with what happens in seats of power. Instead, governance involves the happenings in your boardrooms and how your business is run. Hopefully, all of this is done with sustainability front of mind.
Governance, as a concept, can be quite broad and often veers towards the academic over practical. You have ideas like net-zero emissions, global disclosure standards, and value-chain restructuring. Although these topics are important, there are far more short-term, practical things to accomplish. This is especially true for smaller operators who may not have the luxury of drawn-out philosophical discussions. The only thing that really matters is how to drive business growth.
At its core, governance is about three broad things: what environmental, social, and governance regulations and frameworks are in place; how are these enforced; and, who is responsible? How can you set up a solid governance framework for your organization? First, it’s critical to understand the regulatory landscape in which you operate. Then, your people have to align on the key indicators needed to meet your sustainability goals. Lastly, having a guiding group, like an eco-committee, can help to keep everyone accountable and things moving forward.
You can't be sustainable if you're not ethical. That's why we've put together our Code of Ethics for members of the Eco-Conscious Hotel Association.
How the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotel Group Collaborates to Solve Critical Social Issues: A Case Study
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotel Group, owners of the five-star Peninsula chain of properties, started their sustainability journey in 2007. Over the past decade-plus, they have developed one of the leading sustainability programs not just in hospitality, but across all industries. Their 2020 Sustainability Report notes that even through the global pandemic the Group has achieved 91% of its ESG goals. These include efforts in human rights, environment, plastics, construction, procurement, and youth empowerment to name a few