Although the hospitality sector is responsible for only about 1% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, it needs to cut its emission levels given the strong growth in tourism expected for the years to come. Improved energy efficiency should also result in lower operating costs.

One Planet - Handle with Care

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia

Sectors of activity
Energy, Tourism

Type of initiative
Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

Start date

Shared by

Virginia Fernandez-Trapa

Programme Officer/ Sustaiable Development of Tourism


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Sustainability has become for all sectors alike a duty of care and even a responsibility to sustain future generations, which brings us together. As far as its environmental footprint is concerned, the hospitality industry has been considering three main pillars: the reduction of food waste, the development of energy efficiency and sustainable energy and last but not least the reduction of the use of water. This initiative aims to help hospitality businesses raise their energy efficiency and use more sustainable energy sources.


HOTREC & its Members have been taking actions to meet these goals through awareness raising campaigns and participation to projects, e.g. neZEH, the European initiative Nearly Zero Energy Hotels aimed to accelerate the rate of large-scale renovations of existing hotels into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). Most recently, in the framework of the circular economy, HOTREC developed guidelines to reduce food waste and develop food donations together with the European Federation of Food Banks and the support of METRO.

Today, considering that building account for nearly 40% of greenhouses gas emissions, HOTREC is happy to present and commit on a voluntary basis to measures and best practices aimed at improving energy efficiency in the hospitality sector, and promoting the use of sustainable energy.

Impact and Results

To achieve this goal and make sustainable tourism a reality, HOTREC has brought together UNWTO, SMEunited, EUROCOMMERCE, NECSTouR, EuroAce, the Alliance To Save Energy, METRO AG, the European Tourism Association and ETC to sign a charter thus demonstrating that only a multi-stakeholder approach can be part of the answer. We are thankful to our many project partners for their support and we look forward to keep building a better and sustainable Europe. This partnership and the guidance provided in this brochure are meant to help hospiality businesses to raise their energy efficiency, and reduce their carbon footprint.