At the heart of their conversation, Wolfgang and Inge discuss the impact of the global pandemic on the travel and hospitality industry and key learnings on how to respond to changing sustainability dynamics, both from both a planet and people perspective.
Inge highlights how we have really come to see the impact of climate change especially with the catastrophic climate events and natural disasters in recent weeks, including heatwaves, flooding, forest fires and the first climate-change induced famine. She emphasises that climate change is a reality and that we have all realised that there is no vaccine against climate change.
On the positive side, we know from the global pandemic that we can mobilise human effort to solve a crisis and that there is so much that can be done when we come together to tackle this challenge.
Wolfgang reminds us that tourism remains a significant contributor to carbon emissions and that we as an industry need to take real action now, and ensure that organisational purpose and values are firmly ingrained in a company’s DNA and ethos.
It is important for the industry to build on the increasing levels of consumer awareness and their expectations for action and recognise that the work on sustainability will never be done. In doing so it’s vital to encourage action, whether that’s driven by clients, guests, employees, societal groups, investors, governments, or regulatory frameworks.
But how do we make this happen as an industry?
Inge and Wolfgang stress the importance of collaboration and bringing everyone along on the same journey, we can’t do this alone and sustainability shouldn’t be competitive. We are all at different stages when it comes to sustainable development, both from a planet and people perspective, and we need to find a way to develop a pathway together, each take a role in this roadmap, and commit to making it happen.