Sustainability: the return on economic investment is clear and immediate.

Many companies have been working for years on different projects: environmental, socio-cultural... The big difference is that now there is greater awareness in society and more organised strategies have been developed.

This was stated by the participants in the round table debate organised by Hosteltur, "Environmental sustainability: importance as a cross-cutting criteria", as part of the Hotel Updating, the new online meeting launched by this media. The speakers, among whom was the General Secretary of the Responsible Tourism Institute, Patricio Azcárate, highlighted that achieving sustainability objectives requires an investment effort, but they assure that it has an immediate return.

The investment translates into a decrease in energy and water consumption and even less food is wasted. Consequently, "the return can be seen immediately", insisted Bernat Sillaurren, Sustainability Director at H10 Hotels, a chain that uses the Biosphere system for its sustainable alignment with the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs of the United Nations. Sillaurren explained that, among the investments that have been made in his company, the commitment to different renewable energy sources stands out and, "with the rise in costs that we have had, this improvement is even more noticeable", and that "the facilities are very new and are still in the amortisation period", he explained.

But, how to deploy the strategy?

Another aspect in which companies have improved a lot is how to extend this philosophy to employees, suppliers and customers. Nowadays, it is not so complicated because there is greater social awareness, information and educational content that inculcates not only environmental values, but also socio-cultural and sustainability values during training and education periods for the professional world.

In order to work in the same direction, it is important to teach the teams, as well as to train the clients, involving them in the processes and making more responsible decisions. Bernat Sillaurren, who argued that for many of his customers it is already a habit and they take measures to improve issues such as recycling in their own homes, was also in favour of this idea.

Choice criteria

Customers are increasingly aware of the need for sustainability, which does not mean that they are willing to pay more. But the company's commitment to "sustainability is an added value for the customer when choosing a holiday". This is what the director of sustainability at H10 Hotels indicated, identifying this fact as "one more attribute that the client will take into account".