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How should hotels report on sustainability?

Published 29 June 2024

Creating a sustainability report for a hotel can be challenging because it requires presenting an often vast amount of data in an easily understandable format. The report should disclose the hotel’s existing policies, objectives, and goals related to sustainability, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Following best practice guidelines can simplify the sustainability reporting process for hotels and independent businesses, making it more accessible and manageable.

Our guide on sustainability reporting best practice highlights core focus areas, as well as key KPIs to consider and frameworks to choose from for a consistent approach to reporting.

Sustainability reporting

10 steps to consider when it comes to reporting best practice

 

Let Weeva help you understand what should be included to ensure effectiveness and relevance:

 

  1. Define Reporting Scope: Decide on the scope of sustainability reporting, including the areas of your hotel operations and performance to be covered in the report. This can include environmental impacts, social initiatives and governance practices.
  2. Select Reporting Framework: Choose a recognised sustainability reporting framework to guide the reporting process. Common frameworks include the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Global Sustainability Tourism Council (GSTC), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Consider the most relevant framework based on the hotel’s industry, size, and sustainability priorities.
  3. Set Clear Objectives and Targets: Establish clear objectives and targets for sustainability reporting. Define specific metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress towards sustainability goals.
  4. Collect Data: Gather relevant data on sustainability performance across all areas of operations. This may involve tracking energy and water consumption, waste generation and recycling rates, greenhouse gas emissions, employee diversity and satisfaction, community outreach activities, and supply chain sustainability. A sustainability data management platform can help collate data, with bespoke dashboards and pre-defined templates to make reporting easier and more efficient.
  5. Engage Stakeholders: Involve internal and external stakeholders in the reporting process. Speak with hotel management, employees, guests, suppliers, local communities, and industry associations to gather insights, feedback, and stakeholder perspectives on sustainability issues.
  6. Prepare Sustainability Report: Collate data and analysis into a comprehensive sustainability report. Structure the report in line with the chosen reporting framework, covering performance indicators, progress towards targets, and additional notable achievements. Include case studies and examples to provide context and illustrate the impact your business is making.
  7. Ensure Transparency and Accuracy: Ensure transparency in reporting by providing accurate, reliable, and verifiable data. Clearly disclose methodologies, data sources, and any limitations associated with the reported information.
  8. Communicate Effectively: Use language that’s easy to understand and include visuals to effectively communicate potentially complex information. Tailor the report’s messaging and content to engage different stakeholders, including investors, guests, employees, and local communities. It’s also worth considering multimedia formats, such as infographics, videos, and interactive online platforms, to enhance engagement.
  9. Share and Promote: Distribute the sustainability report widely through multiple channels, including the hotel’s website, social media, press releases, and direct communications. Engage with media outlets, industry publications, and sustainability networks to amplify the reach and impact of the report.
  10. Monitor and Review: Continuously monitor and review your sustainability performance and progress towards targets, using insights from the reporting process to identify areas for improvement. This insight will help you adjust strategies and set new sustainability goals for future reporting cycles.
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