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Unlocking Competitive Advantage: How Credible Sustainability Storytelling Drives Success for Hoteliers

MAY 06, 2024


By Gabriel Tan - Global SDG Pioneer for Circular Economy


Image by Marcel Strauß

Key Takeaways:

Hoteliers are embracing the power of credible sustainability storytelling to create a competitive edge

  • Demand from Corporates and Governments: Transparent and verifiable sustainable practices are a priority for corporate and government clients.​

  • Skepticism Regarding Commercial Certifications: Clients may doubt the validity of certain certifications as controversies mounting.

  • Partner's Credibility is Key: Association with Credible Partners becoming more important than ever.




Today is an era where sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have, hoteliers who embrace credible sustainability storytelling can achieve a significant competitive edge. Increasingly corporate customers and governments demand transparent and impactful sustainability efforts, making authentic communication about your hotel’s environmentally friendly initiatives essential for success. Here's how hoteliers can leverage credible sustainability storytelling to stay ahead of the competition.

5 Key Demand Corporate Customers and Governments:

  • Credible Sustainability Efforts: Transparent and verifiable sustainable practices are a priority for corporate and government clients. Demonstrate your hotel's authentic commitment to environmentally friendly operations.

  • Sustainability Impact: Clients want to see tangible results from your sustainability initiatives. Clearly communicate your hotel's measurable contributions to environmental and social goals.

  • Credible Sustainability Partners: Aligning with respected sustainability partners enhances your hotel's reputation and builds trust with clients seeking reliable, impactful collaborations.

  • Participation in Global Initiatives: Being part of recognized global sustainability initiatives signals your commitment to larger, collective efforts. It boosts your hotel's credibility and global standing.

  • Credible Sustainability Plan: A well-documented plan showcasing your long-term sustainability strategy demonstrates foresight and responsibility, attracting corporate and government partnerships.














3 Key Challenges Hoteliers Face:

  • Skepticism Regarding Commercial Certifications: Many certifications became box ticking exercises without solid fundamental principles resulting in clients doubting the validity of these certifications. Combat this skepticism by being transparent about your journey and the standards you uphold.

  • Confusion Due to Competing Standards: The proliferation of sustainability standards can cause confusion. Clearly explain your hotel’s adherence to fundamental sustainability principles to instill confidence.

  • Difficulty Getting Team Buy-In: Without obtaining buy-in from your team, starting and sustaining sustainability initiatives can be challenging. Engage and educate employees from the get go on the benefits of sustainable practices to foster long term alignment and create ongoing engagement to instill a sense of pride and purpose.













5 Critical Ingredients for Successful Sustainability Storytelling:

  • Long-Term Track Record: Demonstrate a history of sustained commitment to environmentally friendly practices. Showcase how your hotel has evolved and improved its sustainability efforts over time. If you are just starting out, look for partners with long term sustainability track record that you can leverage on.

  • Association with Sustainability Authorities: Partnering with respected entities like the United Nations lends credibility and authenticity to your sustainability initiatives and storytelling. While doing so may be possible for every hotels, you can also look for partners that are actively supporting United Nations initiatives so as to align your initiatives with the Global Goals.

  • Impact-Focused Communication: Highlight the real-world impact of your sustainability efforts. Use data and case studies to showcase the positive changes your hotel is making.

  • Participation in Global Initiatives: Being part of global sustainability efforts amplifies your hotel's impact and strengthens your storytelling by showcasing your participation in broader change.

  • Scalable and Replicable Initiatives: Share how your sustainability practices can be scaled and replicated in different markets, demonstrating their adaptability and potential for widespread positive change.



















In summary, by embracing credible sustainability storytelling and incorporating these critical ingredients, hoteliers can not only meet the demands of corporate and government clients but also position themselves as leaders in the industry. This strategic approach fosters stronger partnerships, drives guest loyalty, and secures long-term success. It’s time to unlock the power of authentic sustainability storytelling and transform your hotel’s competitive advantage through Credible Sustainability Partnership.

If you would like to learn more about any of the topics discussed above, please do not hesitate to contact our experts. Our team is ready to assist you and provide further insights. We are dedicated to helping your hotel stay ahead and achieve better performance through credible and sustainable practices.

3 in 5 worry that they may be working with partners of questionable sustainability credentials

38% are not sure that they can continue to meet the evolving demand of green corporates and governments

GUAVA Research, Sustainability and Key Trends Study, Jan-Mar 2024; N=50 hotels in APAC

More than 50% are confused about which sustainability standard/solution to adopt


2 in 3 are concerned that their employees are spending too much time ticking the box and missing the big picture

GUAVA Research, Sustainability and Key Trends Study, Jan-Mar 2024; N=50 hotels in APAC

Rear businessman in front of crossroad and signpost arrows shows two different courses, le

88% view long term track record of being involved in UN-led initiatives as a key indicator of partner's credibility and capability

GUAVA Research, Sustainability and Key Trends Study, Jan-Mar 2024; N=50 hotels in APAC



Gabriel Tan

Global SDG Pioneer for Circular Economy

  • LinkedIn

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