Several global hospitality organizations and two global hospitality purchasing organizations have launched the Hospitality Alliance for Responsible Procurement (HARP) to accelerate collaboration on sustainable performance in the industry.
The alliance includes Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, and Radisson Hotel Group, and is joined by hospitality group purchasing organizations, Avendra and Entegra. HARP will use EcoVadis’ sustainability rating methods and improvements platform to assess the hospitality supply chain performance for the industry. The alliance plans to conduct supplier assessments and strengthen supplier engagement rates, overall helping HARP members to implement changes on the top sustainability priorities of the sector.
The HARP founding members have rated more than 2,000 suppliers in founding the initiative, and they plan to expand this number in the near future.
“As companies seek to engage their value chain partners in their sustainability efforts, they realize the complex scope, as well as common challenges, in their own sector,” said Richard Eyram, chief customer officer at EcoVadis. “It is through partnerships and industry-wide collaboration that the hospitality industry can maximize its collective impact. By joining forces, enabling more strategic focus, and sharing best practices, HARP members can focus on positive outcomes that help pave the way towards their sustainability targets.”
As an example, one of Accor’s three focus areas in meeting company climate targets is embracing a sustainable food supply chain. The company aims to supply food from sources that improve biodiversity and promote fair practices for local producers and farmers, and EcoVative’s services may help the company access these suppliers and track their impact.
Lowering Hospitality Emissions Benefits Industry Stakeholders
The travel and tourism industry represents about 9% to 12% of the world’s emissions. The hotel sector alone accounts for about 1% of global emissions, and it is set to increase unless the industry reduces its emissions by 90% per room by 2050.
According to a 2020 report done by the IFC and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, sustainable hotel design offers financial and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. Consumer demand for environmentally conscious travel options has increased, and many are looking for more transparency from hospitality companies to inform their travel decisions. Investment in renewable energy may save companies money on long-term energy supply, and sustainable buildings, including hotels, also save on costs due to improved energy efficiency.
HARP’s focus on the procurement side of hospitality aims to meet the need for sector transparency while encouraging joint sustainability efforts between hospitality companies and suppliers.