Sustainable Development Success Stories

Improving environment performance in the Hotel Industry

Location  Global
Responsible Organisation United Nations Environment Programme, Industry and Environment (UNEP IE) and International Hotels and Restaurants Organisation (IH&RA)

The International Hotels and Restaurants Organisation (IH&RA) is a global network of independent and chain operators, national hotel associations, hospitality suppliers and education centres in the hotel and restaurant industry in 147 countries.

Since 1995 UNEP IE has been invited to judge the IH&RA's annual Green Hotelier Environment Award , and continues to assist IH&RA develop the focus and scope of their award to encourage high standards of environment performance from the applicants. The Green Hotelier is awarded to an independent and corporate hotelier who pioneered environment management in his/her hotel or hospitality establishment.

Issues Addressed Tourism and sustainable development.
Results Achieved
  • Raised awareness and catalysed environmental improvement in the hotel industry.

  • Increased environment management in the hotel industry, both for small independent hotels and the larger international chains, leading to lower resource use and waste output, to the introduction of renewable energy sources and the improvement of operating efficiency and reduction of operating costs.

  • Identified emerging issues that need to be addressed, such as capacity building of national hotel associations and the development of environmental reporting in the hotel industry

  • Case Studies on Environmental Good Practices in Hotels , based on selected applicants to the Green Hotelier Award. They also published jointly How the Hotel and Tourism Industry can Protect the Ozone Layer .

  • UNEP IE and IH&RA, in collaboration with the International Association of Hotel School Directors, are working on the development of an Environmental Teaching Resource Pack for Hospitality Educational Institutes . This project was initiated in response to the findings of a survey on environmental teaching in hotel schools showing that over 90% of hotel schools world-wide did not include an environment curriculum in their syllabus.

Lessons Learned
  • Identify the needs of the hotel industry in environment improvement;

  • Develop practical, user-friendly and therefore effective guides to facilitate environment improvement;

  • Reach a wide audience through the networks of the two organisations.

  • Educate on the importance and benefits of environment management, given the demand of guidance material on the development of environment curricula in hotel schools.


Tour Mirabeau
39-43, quai André-Citroën
75739 Paris Cédex 15 , France
Tel: (33.1) 4437 1450; Fax: (33.1) 4437 1474
E-mail: unepie@unep.fr

251, rue du Faubourg
75010 Paris, France
Tel: (33.1) 4489 9400; Fax: (33.1) 4436 7330
E-mail: infos@ih-ra.com