Sustainability in The Hospitality Industry – Part 4


Being in the recruitment business we have been equally affected with the slowdown in hospitality business activity and understand the difficulties and financial suffering many people and companies are experiencing.

At this difficult time, it is easy to forget the other important issues that will shape the future of our industry. Climate change and environmental sustainability are two such pressing matters that will play an increasingly important part in our long-term success and survival. This business slowdown should be an ideal time to reflect and begin to put in place strong guiding principles and directions, but will our industry grasp the opportunity?

To date, the most we seem to get are competing press releases from companies eliminating straws, outlawing disposable plastic bottles or other similar low impact ideas.

There are endless talkfests featuring “industry leaders” on these issues, but sadly, all it ever seems to be is talk… Where are the big ideas that can reshape the industry?

During a recent Google search on the subject, it is clear that many people have opinions on the direction the industry should take, but suddenly everything has gone quiet. The talk is all about post Covid and how to make the world a better and safer place, but surely we should include a plan for environmental sustainability in any recovery program for the good of human survival.

Of course, it costs money to make major change and create and implement environmental programs, but when the next set of financial results is apparently more important than the consequences of inaction that will not be felt for 20 years, it is little wonder that change is slow.

I have no idea how much money it would require to move the industry to a sustainable level, as this has far reaching implications for society, over and above the interests of our little hospitality sector.

Our parents’ generation, post-world war, rebuilt entire countries with their hard work, taxes and embracing their freedom. It certainly had a massive cost but planted the seeds for the much-improved standard of living most now enjoy today.

It is perhaps naïve to think that companies driven by profit can think, plan and implement major change.

 Similarly, with so many in Gen X and Y caught up in their self-absorbed, materialistic lives or have ‘tuned out’ due to increasing volumes of fake news via social media, how can the message get through? You would think that a global pandemic might be the ideal time, but let’s see…

So where to from here?

What we need is real leadership. Governments need to start looking further than the next election cycle and all people that believe in something need to ensure their politicians are embracing the future for their children.

For once, let’s forget our differences, ignore political and religious intolerance and dogma and embrace science and facts. Let’s remember we are all the same and depend on mother nature and the earth for our survival.

Let’s stop the talking and get started.

Let’s go past straws, plastic coffee cups and water bottles and the twice-weekly linen change to something more substantial.

To use a current slogan, We are all in this together, let’s remember that…

About the author


Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit and The Elite Hotelier


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