ITP helps kick off Responsible Business Week 2014

ITP hosts one of the daily sessions which can help hoteliers

ITP hosts one of the daily sessions which can help hoteliers

The International Tourism Partnership is bringing together speakers from several of its member companies to discuss how collaboration with competitors can reap rewards - particularly in sustainability.

Helping to kick off Business in the Community's Responsible Business Week, the online debate at 12.00pm on Monday 31st March will bring together Michelle Naggar, Director, Global Citizenship, Starwood Hotels and Resorts; Marta Martin, VP Corporate Responsibility, NH Hoteles with Debbie Coulter, Head of Programmes, Ethical Trading Initiative and ITP's own Stephen Farrant and Fran Hughes.

The panel will debate online the successes, as well as some of the pitfalls and challenges businesses face in a competitive but increasingly constrained world. Whilst companies may look to differentiate themselves from competitors through sustainable activities, many of today’s social and environmental challenges are too big for one company to tackle alone.

This is why ITP sees eighteen international hotel companies working together to reduce environmental impacts on a global scale. In particular their collaboration helped implement the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) which is  an agreed upon common methodology for measuring carbon emissions. Now, over 17,000 hotels worldwide have adopted HCMI and are using it to reduce their carbon footprints.

Like-minded businesses can join the debate online and pose their questions to the panel about the challenges and benefits of working with competitors to impact a shared goal.

Throughout the week a range of sessions could be of particular interest to hoteliers. On Tuesday a session on International Disaster Relief aims to help businesses switch from reactive to proactive. On Wednesday a session on Responsible Investment asks what would make investors buy into corporate responsibility? Thursday includes a session asking how can companies create social value, and on Friday - and throughout the week - a session on Generation Talent helps businesses see the ways they can unlock opportunities for young people.

These and dozens of other sessions are taking place across the country, hoping to inspire and equip businesses to do more to meet the world’s most pressing challenges, and in doing so, help them see they will unlock innovation and opportunity and therefore demonstrate the positive impact of business in society.

To find out more, download the Responsible Business Week brochure which details all the sessions, speakers, events and in particular the core two-day event taking place at The Barbican in London on 1st and 2nd April.

Additionally during the week there will be the chance to examine the hottest innovations creating new markets, transforming existing ones and encouraging co-creation for the good of people and planet, as you help debate the question: Is business brave enough to innovate for the sustainability challenge? Responsible Business Week will also be exploring what it takes to create a working culture that fosters brave and responsible decision-making.

Sessions at the Barbican are open to BITC members - and non-members and are free to attend - but thanks to  ITP being one of BITC's programmes, all our members are now also honorary members of BITC.

There are loads of ways to get involved.

Choose from the content and conversation of interest and benefit to you in your day job, and of value to your company by registering for your free full-day pass for events at The Barbican on 1 and 2 April 2014.

Several sessions are taking place online so you won't even have to leave your desk, but it's a great time to really think about - and start acting on - all the ways you can make your hospitality business more sustainable.



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