Biodiversity showcase at IHS 2023

Having exhibited for the first time at the Independent Hotel Show in 2022, we were delighted to be invited back this year to join forces with other experts on the ESG Hub.  

We had a power team of specialists, ready to talk all things sustainability with hoteliers and suppliers to the hospitality industry.  

mission : net zero at IHS 2023

Pictured above are just a few of the experts who we had the pleasure of sharing the ESG exhibition stand with; from left to right: 

Specifically, we discussed biodiversity loss and what hotels can do to protect biodiversity in and around their establishments, alongside our partners; Urban Planters and Knight’s Beekeeping. We were approached by hoteliers looking for inspiration on what they can do to support local biodiversity and, if you’ve worked with us before, you’ll know this is a subject we’re passionate about and continue to champion our hotel Green Teams on.  

How can hotels support biodiversity? 

There are many initiatives that can be implemented, whether you’re a rural hotel with acres of green space, or an urban hotel that has a few windowsills with planters, or a city centre hotel with nothing but the roof or an internal courtyard. Nature is all around us and can be supported with minimal effort even in tight spaces. Insect hotels, bird boxes, bat boxes, sedum roofs, introducing additional planting to shelter and support wildlife – just a few ideas we discussed with proactive delegates.  

 

Biodiversity loss and protection were our key theme this year

 

Conversations in full flow on the second day at the ESG Hub

We’ve saved some downloadable biodiversity focused resources on our website here which we encourage you to bookmark and review. 

A few sustainable suppliers which caught our eye and we enjoyed conversations with: 

 

  • Kalinko - sustainable choice homeware from Myanmar
  • British Heart Foundation provide a fast, professional and environmentally friendly solution for your unwanted hotel furniture
  • Oxwash – carbon neutral laundry service
  • Aileen Williamson - Carbon Literacy Training for hospitality businesses (view our case study here  

We were also privileged enough to be invited to speak on a panel discussion with Hitesh Patel from Planet Mark and Emma Whitlock from Green Key, mediated by Sarah Duncan, author of The Sustainable Business Book. The panel was called “E: Environmental – where on earth to begin with accreditation?” With so many eco-labels available to hospitality businesses, we reviewed some of the key players, including; Green Tourism, B-Corp Earth Check and of course Green Key and Planet Mark. Highlights from this discussion were;  

✅ There isn’t one accreditation that fits all businesses, investigate the options and start with what works best for your brand and team  

✅ You can’t manage what you aren’t measuring! When starting your ESG journey, it’s a good idea to capture data for your consumption (energy, water) and waste output. Where possible also measure your carbon footprint. This will give you baseline for Year 1 and allow you to set manageable targets for reduction.  

✅ Establish a “Green Team” and an environmental leader for your business who will champion the green journey. Through breaking down accreditation into manageable tasks, this will help push you forward and you’ll find it begin to spread organically throughout daily operations and across departments

Sarah Duncan, Louise Carr-Merino, Emma Whitlock and Hitesh Patel panel discussion: “E: Environmental – where on earth to begin with accreditation?”

 

“Once again, The Independent Hotel Show delivered an opportunity for hoteliers and suppliers to the industry to come together in central London and opened the doors for conversations and demonstrations showcasing the brilliance of hospitality. Within such a widespread industry, we also have an obligation to ensure we are working more responsibly and that the impact on our natural world and wellbeing of our teams are being considered as core strategy. With this in mind, having the ESG Hub and team of experts on hand to offer guidance and direction and the panel discussions to delve deeper into key areas of the green journeys for hotels was invaluable.  Delighted to have been a part of it!” 

Louise Carr-Merino, Senior Sustainability Advisor, mission : net zero 

 

Green Key and Clean the World highlighted some key facts around waste in hotels, showcasing some of the plastic waste that’s generated from toiletries and how that can be recycled and repurposed.

 

While Silent Night shone the spotlight on mattresses – with 4.75 million going to landfill or being incinerated each year. That’s a staggering figure and we should all take a moment to reflect on that and think on how we can each make small changes that will be part of a larger reduction of waste and consumption.

 

Louise & Emma. One of the best parts of live events is the interactions you have and the personal connections, something that is less frequent with the rise in digital communication and remote working.

Key takeaway from the event: 

🗣️ Seek advice! Much like you would consult a lawyer for legal advice or an accountant for financial advice, when looking to kick start or reboot your ESG journey, there are plenty of experts on hand. By engaging with an expert like our team at mission : net zero, we will be able to offer advice, guidance and encouragement to supercharge your green journey.  

 Thank you to everyone who we had the pleasure of meeting and talking with at the ESG Hub – we’re looking forward to sustainability and ESG remaining a key focus for the hospitality industry in 2024.  

If you’d like to discuss your sustainability commitments with us, please drop us a message via our contact page. 

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