Global sustainability framework
Hotels will be presented with clearly defined ways to reduce environmental impact across four stages.

A new campaign designed to encourage the hotel industry to further improve its environmental footprint has been launched by Crystalbrook Collection.

Launched this week at AHICE in conjunction with a new video and #ResponsibleLuxury hashtag, Crystalbrook Chief Executive, Geoff York, spoke exclusively with HM on the new initiative and how the company continues to play a leading role in eliminating plastic and paper from its guest experience.

WATCH: See Crystalbrook Collection’s new #ResponsibleLuxury video below.

Where do you see Australia in the global sustainability race? Are our hotels leaders in sustainability or are we falling behind other parts of the world?

I think there are some great initiatives happening in sustainability in Australia. We see this daily with many of the partners we work with. With Australian hotels, I believe there is a growing momentum in sustainability. I think the majority of the industry really want to minimise any negative impact on the environment.

What parts of the world have more to do in improving environmental impact and what role can Australia play in influencing that? How is Crystalbrook influencing that?

Education plays an important part globally to improve environmental impact. The more countries are educated the more they can do to help the planet. For Crystalbrook, it’s about letting consumers know they have a choice. When they choose to stay with us, they will be travelling with a lighter footprint.

We’re not saying don’t travel, don’t stay. We want to give our guests confidence that they can travel and stay, and it doesn’t need to have a negative impact on the environment. We believe we can make more difference within the industry when we unite and we encourage other businesses in the industry to join us.

Many of the world’s hotels have now done away with single-use plastic straws.

How does Crystalbrook develop new sustainability measures that it can introduce across its portfolio?

Our approach is centred around collaboration and empowerment. Responsible Luxury is built into our people and culture at every level of the business so that we all have a sense of ownership and pride. We seek out staff members that are drawn to our Responsible Luxury ethos.

Each hotel within the group is tasked to seek out new sustainable opportunities. These are typically then tested within an individual hotel environment. Those with the great impact can then be rolled out company-wide.

According to research, hospitality is responsible for half of the world’s annual plastic production.

What is the biggest thing Australia’s hotels, and indeed their guests, can do to take the next big step towards greener operations?

Start with the little things and see that the little things can make a big difference.

I think we can learn a lot from each other. I think collaborations are key. At Crystalbrook we have over 20 partnerships that we’re learning from every day – whether it’s about recycling, upcycling, minimising food waste, regenerating energy – every business we partner with has something to teach us.

I also think it’s important to look outside the hospitality industry and see what great things are being achieved in industries such as textiles, automotive and FMCG that we can learn from.

Implementing green energy systems can have a significant impact on a hotel’s energy bills.

There are some sobering facts and figures in your #ResponsibleLuxury video. Is your intention to alert the hospitality industry that more needs to be done?

The video isn’t designed to alert the hospitality industry or place judgement. Sustainability is at the core of our brand and is reflected in the personal values of our executive leadership team.

We know from what our guests tell us and from multiple research pieces that travelling with a lighter footprint is increasingly important. We’re putting our hand up and owning the fact that tourism and hospitality does impact the environment. We need to be accountable. We’re saying that as a brand, we aspire to protect the environment and create sustainability experiences that enhance, rather than compromise the guest experience.

This is a journey we are on with our guests. We’re grateful they share these values with us.