Planting green ideas

Global Hotel Alliance has launched a 200-hotel strong Green Collection to highlight hotels taking action to protect people and planet


Every Green Collection property has to attain at least one certification from a globally recognised environmental organisation, with EarthCheck, Green Growth 2050, Green Key and Green Globe among the 15 leading certification bodies represented, and each requiring hotels to meet the highest international standards for sustainability initiatives and performance, with regular third-party audits conducted to retain certification.

Green Collection accounts for almost one-quarter (24 per cent) of the GHA Discovery portfolio and represents half of its brands, from mid-scale to high-end. In the Middle East and North Africa, Green Collection properties account for half of the GHA Discovery’s portfolio, while in Africa and Asia, it accounts for 37 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively.


Little by little, whether it be legislation or consumer led, or just doing the right thing, or GHA having the marketing spend to give them a reason, many of our hotels are going to have to adopt sustainability practices anyway. So, it’s better to start now
– Chris Hartley



“Across GHA’s 800 properties from 40 brands, located in 100 countries around the globe, there are some world-class examples of practices and initiatives with a positive environmental and social impact, and we are incredibly proud of these efforts, which we celebrate with the launch of Green Collection,” GHA CEO Chris Hartley says.

“In 2019, when we did our original research, quite a lot had pointed towards sustainability being a key factor in customer choice. It was starting to influence the way travellers looked at brands and even the way they chose locations or destinations - so it’s not just individual hotels, but also what the location’s attitude is to sustainable travel that matters.

“We’re getting to a point now where business travel could be hurt by the sustainability drive, because people are questioning need to travel for meetings, wondering if a zoom call would do the job instead. On the other hand, people do need to travel for these meetings. So, companies are going to choose brands that are committed to sustainability goals – there is a clear incentive – by creating a Green Collection, you’re also creating a reason for corporate and business customers to choose your hotel.

“A lot of hotels, depending on their region, are now going to be forced into tracking their carbon footprint and then doing something to counteract it. Little by little, whether it be legislation or consumed led, or just doing the right thing, or GHA having the marketing spend to give them a reason, many of our hotels are going to have to adopt sustainability practices anyway. So, it’s better to start now.

“I think it would be great if in five years from now, every single hotel was adopting one of those commitments - the corporate market will ignore you if you don’t practice sustainability.”

With 69 per cent of travellers actively seeking sustainable travel options in 2023, according to a recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, Green Collection meets this accelerating demand, empowering the 24 million members of the GHA Discovery loyalty programme to make conscious and responsible travel choices.

GHA had a record month in January in terms of revenue performance. February was also a record month, in that it was the best February GHA has had. March, a typically strong business travel month has not bounced back at the same scale, suggesting that business travel hasn’t really recovered, , Hartley tells TTN.

“As we get into Q2, things are looking up. The European summer will be very strong, as we haven’t had a really strong European summer yet. But then obviously, there are a lot of warning signs in the global economy.

“I said at the beginning of this year that we had enough fuel in our hospitality tank to get us through any recession in 2023 but when you see what’s been happening in the banking sector, it kind of makes you nervous.”