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Hotel Groups

Rank
Company
Tomorrow’s Value score
1
Accor
55%
2
InterContinental Hotels
43%
3
Marriott
35%
4
Global Hyatt
17%
5
Choice
16%
6
Carlson
15%
7
Hilton
15%
8
Wyndham
13%
9
Starwood
12%
10
Best Western
6%

Overall

The first Tomorrow’s Value Rating of the world’s 10 largest hotel groups shows that most of them are only just beginning to address the wide range of social and environmental challenges facing the sector.

Despite increasing consumer awareness of these issues, the companies generally provide little information on their sustainability efforts and performance, and only a few demonstrate a systematic approach to managing their social and environmental impacts. As a result, they are running reputational risks, and missing out on opportunities for strategic differentiation. Also, many of them are poorly prepared for a future tightening of regulation.

Tourists and businesses have reined in their spending on travel, and the sector is having a tough time that may well carry on for a while. But those that fail to take sustainability seriously now are going to find it even harder in future.

Key findings

1. Accor tops the Tomorrow’s Value Rating of the world’s largest hotel groups
Accor recognises most of the social and environmental challenges facing the sector. It has designed a comprehensive approach to managing them, measures performance, and has even set out performance targets for many issues. It is also exploring innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, for example piloting new energy-saving technologies and buildings, and looking at how it can contribute more to local communities through its value chain.

2. There are three clear leaders, with the rest behind by a wide margin
Accor, InterContinental Hotels (IHG) and Marriot are the three highest-ranking companies. Accor holds a comfortable lead over IHG, which is in turn some way ahead of Marriot. The other companies lag well behind.

3. Most of the big hotel groups trail the rest of the business world
Only three companies seem to see sustainability management as important for protecting and creating commercial value. Others still have a long way to go towards integrating sustainability management within core processes, tracking performance and engaging with stakeholders to identify and address sustainability challenges. At the same time, some hotel groups are risking making unsubstantiated claims of sustainability and responsibility in their marketing.

4. Most hotel groups have noted the big issues, but management approaches are immature
Climate change, employment practices, community welfare, waste and sustainable buildings are the issues recognised most frequently. Evidence of diligent management of these issues, however, is scarce.

5. Other important issues have yet to be recognised
Integration into local cultures, the sustainability of franchisees, the climate change impacts of tourist travel and sex tourism are considered only rarely. These issues cause concern to stakeholders, but less than a quarter of hotel groups respond to that.

6. Good practices are rarely rolled out
While most hotel groups demonstrate some good sustainability management practices, only the leaders have begun rolling these out across the majority of their hotels. For example, sustainable purchasing often only covers a narrow range of products, and green building practices are restricted to a few sites.

7. Cost drives sustainability efforts
Hotel groups are focusing on the cost savings from corporate responsibility efforts (through eco-efficiency). They seem less concerned with reputational risk management or the brand differentiation opportunities that sustainability offers.

8. Stakeholder engagement is lacking
Most hotel groups’ engagement on social and environmental issues is limited to local communities and employees. Customers, NGOs and suppliers are engaged by less than half the companies.

9. Governance is uncertain
Only a small number of companies have transparently assigned clear responsibilities for the management of social and environmental risks to leaders within the company. This gives stakeholders little reason for confidence in their commitment to sustainability.

10. Most large hotel groups don’t report
Only three of the world’s 10 largest hotel companies published a sustainability report. The leading companies in most other sectors are much more likely to report. In fact, ninety-nine of the world’s 100 largest companies are currently producing sustainability reports.

Summary report

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