“What are you doing to go green?”
Venue operators and owners get some form of this question more and more often today. The reason behind this is that environmental consciousness and the desire to adopt sustainable practices are spreading quickly.
Many of the MICE industry’s biggest players are adapting to this trend and green practices are gaining traction among them.
But now, Radisson Meetings has decided to take things to a new level. Recently, they announced their carbon negative meetings initiative across all their properties in the EMEA region.
We wanted to know more about this first-of-its-kind initiative. For this, we had a chat about it with Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications at Radisson Hotel Group.
Here’s what we learned about how this initiative works, its inception, and the partner organisations Radisson Hotel Group has brought on board.
How meetings at Radisson Hotels become carbon negative
Taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment is an established goal at Radisson Hotel Group. Since the launch of the 100% Carbon Neutral Meetings program, the Group has offset over 30,300 tons of CO2 at no cost to its clients, which is the equivalent to removing more than 6,500 fuel driven cars off the road.
Now, with the MICE segment recovering, the group has pledged to up the ante at its 400 EMEA properties. As part of the Carbon Negative. Planet Positive initiative, all meetings booked between 18 October 2021 and 31 January 2022 and taking place before 31st March 2022 will be carbon negative.
Yes, you read that right: carbon negative.
Here’s how this is going to work:
Step 1: Reduction of the carbon footprint from at the core
To reduce their carbon footprint Radisson Hotels have implemented:
- Sustainable practices to reduce the footprint of each hotel: this includes moving away from single-use waste plastics, reducing food waste, and implementing technology to curb energy and water use.
- Use of renewable energy where possible: this means working with suppliers of green electricity or even generating energy on-site via solar panels, for example.
- Green new-builds: new hotels offer the largest chance for emission reduction through modern construction techniques and design. Some of the newest additions to Radisson Hotel Group’s portfolio like the Radisson Collection Hotel, Magdalena Plaza Sevilla, are certified green hotels
Step 2: Offsetting carbon emissions
Since not all emissions can be avoided, Radisson Hotels take the following steps.
- Determining emissions of each meeting: using the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative’s (HCMI) methodology to get a science-based measurement of an event’s carbon footprint.
- Going carbon negative: the team partners with First Climate, to then offset the CO2 emissions for each meeting through environmental and social projects which are Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recognized. For Radisson Hotel Group, it is important that they offset carbon emissions according to the highest quality standards and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The offsetting is done automatically, with zero cost to the client.
We're proud to work with First Climate and appreciate their transparency regarding the projects and their progress. We’ve chosen to support initiatives in three of our major operating regions, including Africa, the Americas, and Asia. What’s exciting about these programs is that they go beyond being beneficial for the environment. They incorporate social elements in line with the UN’s SDG goals and have a lasting positive impact on the respective communities,” Inge goes on to say.
Making climate-conscious meetings easy for clients
Taking extra measures to reduce the impact of their business travel and events programs is top of the agenda for the world’s largest organisations. They expect their venue partners to do the same by adopting more sustainable practices.
“Our hotels receive on a daily-basis questions regarding our sustainability practices and green certifications. Many of our clients have even announced that by 2025 they will only collaborate with venue partners who have science-based sustainability targets in place. With the “Carbon Negative. Planet Positive.” initiative we aim to boost the support offered to clients with achieving their sustainability goals for their meetings and events. We also want to be a more attractive partner by making it easy to choose the environmentally friendly solution,” Inge Huijbrechts says.
Cvent’s Supplier Network makes it easy for planners to find venues that match their criteria. This goes beyond aspects like venue size and service offerings and also includes a property’s sustainability practices. By featuring their initiatives prominently on their profile, Radisson Hotels can increase their visibility and attract business from environmentally conscious clients.
We all know that the time to act is now. Seeing initiatives like Radisson Hotel Group’s Carbon Negative. Planet Positive creates hope that our industry is on the right track.
Now, over to you: what are you doing to go green?
Next up, discover actionable tips and real-life examples of how hotels can operate more sustainably and accommodate green meetings in a world with COVID-19 restrictions.