- The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, in collaboration with the International Finance Corp., announced plans for a new level of Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, or EDGE, certification at the COP28 summit in Dubai on Dec. 7.
- The new certification will add climate resilience and biodiversity considerations — including the creation of biodiversity management plans and the provision of spaces for native wildlife — to existing considerations such as energy, water and carbon measures.
- The organizations committed to using EDGE and the IFC’s Building Resilience Index as a standard to measure progress toward SHA’s “Net Positive Hospitality” framework, an initiative to ensure that hospitality industry players “put more back into society, the environment and the global economy than they take out.”
EDGE certifications were created to provide “a measurable and credible solution that proves the business case for building green,” according to SHA’s announcement. The IFC’s Building Resilience Index was designed to measure resilience for the building sector and disclose information about a building’s resilience to sector stakeholders.
The adoption of both helps fulfill SHA’s resolution for 2024, which is to harmonize standards, reporting and compliance for buildings and operations.
In a statement, SHA CEO Glenn Mandziuk said the alliance with IFC is “a crucial step towards the industry’s priorities for 2024.” Though details about the new certification are forthcoming, Mandziuk added that it will offer “tangible actions for the hospitality industry to adopt.”
“This will accelerate the hospitality industry's journey towards Net Positive Hospitality, which aims to give back to destinations more than it takes,” he added.
“The hospitality sector is a critical contributor to socio-economic development in low and middle-income countries, providing people with new opportunities, and helping the sector increase climate smart investments will ensure more sustainable and responsible growth,” said Farid Fezoua, global director for health, education, tourism, retail and property at IFC, in a statement.
SHA’s members span over 50,000 hotels across 270 brands, including major players Accor, Choice Hotels International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. SHA members’ properties comprise over 7 million rooms.