Sustainability and Innovation SIG

The SIG Sustainability and Innovations is a platform where members can join forces to devise teaching material, create research connections and collectively brainstorm on the best methods and approaches to re-think and reinvent a hospitality industry which is kind to the environment, healthy to its workers, pleasing to its guests, active in the community, and efficient for the operators and owners.

Our aim is to ensure that sustainability is anchored in the hospitality academic conversation through enhanced cooperation.

Willy Legrand
IU International University of Applied Sciences
[email protected]
Vice Chair
Faranak Memarzadeh
San Jose State University, US

 [email protected]

A Letter from the Chair

Dear ICHRIE SIG Sustainability and Innovations colleagues, 

Thanks again for a focused meeting on Thursday March 2nd.

We did stick to the agenda and there was some wonderful input from colleagues at the meeting. 

As a quick run-down, here are the five points covered:

1. Following a short presentation on the Black swans, Grey rhinos and Pink flamingos (and how this is all linked to actions (or lack thereof) in sustainability (see PPT attached) we discussed the Known-Unknown framework which can help to answer the basic questions: How do you know where to focus your effort and initiatives? (Simply because “Ambiguity is less daunting once it is compartmentalized, risks are not so risky once we assess them; each piece of information instigate changes”.)

2. What’s Cooking in Sustainability in 2023?

Here, five topics that are bound to stick this year:

a.     Net Zero & Energy
        i.  Focus on scope 3, carbon sequestration (natural or via technologies)
b.     Resilience & Adaptation
        i.  Mitigation matters, but climate and biodiversity are grey rhinos - adaptation will matter!
c.     Circular Processes
        i.  Are we getting food waste and plastics under control in this industry?
d.     Biodiversity & Ecosystems
         i.  We monetize nature, how do we give back?
e.     Social Sustainability
         i.  The Doughnut Economics does it best, without a social foundation and social justice, we can barely achieve anything else!

3. We also have a listing of some of the international, sustainability-relevant dates (see PPT) which can be included within a class to discuss a particular topic for example.

4. Conference season is upon us: ICHRIE in Arizona (Adam Carmer has kindly agreed to represent our SIG at the yearly conference if we can get a spot in).  EuroCHRIE conference in Vienna: here the SIG will be represented via a Symposium with the title: From Adaptation to Excellence – Best Practices in Sustainability Teaching – there will be two parts to this symposium led by Malu Boerwinkel, H.G. Parsa and I: Symposium on Teaching Sustainable Development in Hospitality and Tourism
Developing and Using Industry Case Studies pertaining to Sustainable Management

5. Finally, we discussed the possibility to undertake a research based on gathering information on various syllabi around the topic of sustainability in hospitality with the aim to understand how the topics (and which ones) are being addressed using which tools and methodologies. The possibility of alignment could then be explored and learn from an exchange on what works and does not work when developing sustainability courses within hospitality degrees. This is still in the ‘idea’ stage, who has interest in this is welcome to step forward- it would lead to a series of potential good publications as well.

Lastly, one of the world’s largest travel and tourism trade show, the ITB Berlin is over (I had mentioned it at the SIG meeting) and sustainability in tourism and hospitality took center stage. I had the opportunity to organize the convention on Day 3 around Responsible Tourism – without surprise, cooperation is the name of the game to move from intentions to actions in regard to sustainability in hospitality, whether it is about developing reliable and trustworthy carbon calculators or aligning performance metrics and sharing best practices.

With some 90,000 B2B visitors from over 180 countries, the ITB Berlin 2023 hosted over 5,500 exhibitors and ITB Berlin Convention welcomed 400 top speakers for a total of 200 sessions in 18 different theme tracks with sustainability front and center.

Thank you all for attending the SIG meeting, Malu, Adam, Manisha, Faranak, Lisa, Darla & Rai.

For anyone else with any additional suggestions - do not hesitate to drop Faranak and I an email.

We are meeting in Arizona for the ICHRIE Conference – until then, I wish you an excellent continuation.

Greetings from Bonn, Germany & San Jose State University 

Willy                    Faranak 

SIG Chair             SIG Vice-Chair 



I am excited to announce the launch of the 4th edition of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations today! (

Hot off the press!

4th edition of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations (

Extending over 800 pages and 19 chapters, this edition is perhaps the most comprehensive guidebook to creating a sustainable hospitality operation. Highlights of the new edition are:

  • 111 new case studies and info boxes from a vast variety of hospitality players, featuring day-to-day as well as strategic best practices, calculations, and recommendations.
  • Newly designed chapters on Employees; Food Sourcing; F&B Management; Environmental Management Systems and KPIs; ESG, Environmental Accounting and Externalities; Investing and Financing; Stakeholder Relationships; and Challenges of Operating in the Global South
  • Each chapter links to specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and offers multiple in-class activities & projects for lecturers and students

With COP21 and the net zero imperative, 17 SDGs, dwindling global biodiversity levels and advances in ESG reporting, numerous topics are ripe to be explored, explained, and critiqued to stay on top of what matters to future proof the hospitality sector!

For those of you wishing to order a copy, please note that Routledge offers a 20% mid-year-sales discount, at the moment. Once the sale has ended, feel free to make use of our promo discount. CLICK HERE for more information.

Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand

This month on Hospitality Net
Moving the Needle on Sustainability: Cooperation in Hospitality


When Businesses Need to Cooperate…

Cooperation, collaboration, and partnership have mushroomed in the post COVID-21 business environment perhaps as a response that ‘together we are stronger and more resilient’ and possibly since tackling the global polycrisis means ‘joining forces and resources’ in achieving a common goal. In fact, while cooperation, collaboration and partnership all have a slightly different meaning, all involve the willingness to work together towards a common goal.

With this in mind, experts were asked the following:

1.          Are we effectively using cooperation in climate and biodiversity action to drive social change?
2.          What are the possible areas where greater cooperation is needed in the sector to advance sustainability performance?
3.          What are examples of best practices in regard to cooperation in the greater tourism and hospitality sectors? (providing information on the challenge tackled and outcome)

With a special thanks to all contributing experts:
Erin Meezan, Glenn Mandziuk MEDes. MCIP FRSA, Swantje Lehners, Stefan Gössling, Johanna Wagner, Benjamin Lephilibert, Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Elena Cavagnaro, Prof. Dr. Gabriel Laeis, Juliette Van Vleck, Henri Kuokkanen, Marloes Knippenberg, Megan Epler-Wood, Andreas Koch, Arjan van Rheede, Celine Vadam and Maribel Esparcia Pérez



Sustainability and Innovation Resources

SIG Meeting, 17 November 2022




SIG Sponsored Webinar, 30 June 2022:

Sustainability on the Ground: Practices, Education & Resources with Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications at RadissonAnne-Kathrin Zschiegner, Technical Assistance Advisor at The Long Run and/or Delphine Malleret King, Chief Executive Office at The Long Run 


Articles & Research:

Sustainability in

The Best Sustainability Resources: Knowledge for Responsible Hoteliers,

Beyond Hospitality: Should Individuals have a Personal Carbon Allowance?,

Drone Food Delivery is Taking Off, a Press Release from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


The Hotel Yearbook: Sustainable Hospitality 2020Available for Free Download

Social Entrepreneurship in Hospitality: Principles and Strategies for Change, 1st edition, 2020 Routledge

Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations, 3rd edition, 2017 Routledge

Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations, 4th edition, 2022 Routledge


UN World Oceans Day: What are the Oceans Worth? Everything in Hospitality!


World Panel on Sustainability in Hospitality

Hotel Sustainability Basics

Circularity: The sustainable hospitality frontier?

FREE Online Sustainability Courses:

Press Release for The Long Run FREE Online Courses

The Long Run


Circle Economy Presents: The Circularity Gap Report 2021


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