Kempinski acknowledges that the travel industry must accelerate efforts to mitigate its contribution to climate change and is therefore pleased to have published its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report 2021.
Allowing time to reflect on what makes Kempinski sustainable, what successes have been achieved and where opportunity remains to innovate and improve, has enabled Kempinski to consider, take action and publish this ESG report. Delivering a roadmap that sets out how the company will approach each of the three pillars of ESG with a fully unified approach across the group. Kempinski has been working with professional consultancies and third-party providers on sustainable initiatives for many years but has long sought a more robust and unified approach to ESG across the organisation.
Under the leadership of Bernold Schroeder, Chairman of the Management Board of Kempinski AG and Chief Executive Officer of Kempinski Group, the Sustainability Committee was formed in 2021 to redouble efforts and implement a comprehensive sustainability policy across all subsidiaries of the Group. Having established the governance structure for sustainability efforts across Kempinski and adopted the reporting standards identified by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26, the initial goals were to map internal and external stakeholders, define the metrics used to evaluate internal ESG performance over time, strengthen existing data collection processes and implement new processes where necessary to report on material ESG impacts.
“Striving towards better environmental efficiencies, better social responsibility and better governance is absolutely critical,” says Hadrian Beltrametti Walker, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Interim Company Secretary, Kempinski Hotels S.A. and founder and Team Leader of the Sustainability Committee.
Now that the report has been published, the Committee’s next goal over the coming months is to continue the good trendline towards concrete ESG goals and targets. By the end of 2022, ESG targets will be integrated with the broader corporate strategy, following extensive consultation with stakeholders from across the supply chain.
“A well-defined and target-driven approach to improving ESG impacts leads to a multitude of benefits,” says Beltrametti Walker. “Our objectives are to identify concrete goals and targets pertaining to ESG impacts across the Kempinski constellation and to measure 100% of Kempinski corporate and property emissions for 2023. At the same time, we must ensure that all Kempinski stakeholders, from hotel owners and employees to suppliers and other parties, are fully onboard and understand the environmental, financial and reputational benefits of these targets.”
In order to meet these goals, Kempinski will continue to work with key professional partners to monitor, measure and mitigate ESG risks and enhance ESG opportunities, such as the successful partnership with environmental benchmarking organisation EarthCheck and homegrown philanthropic initiative BE Health. Kempinski also works with a number of third-party providers and supply chain partners on health-focused initiatives around the world. Long-term sustainable cleaning and hygiene product supplier Diversey has launched several initiatives since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, including the Linens for Life Face Mask programme, which makes life-saving face masks from used bed linen. Kempinski has also partnered with Clean the World, an organisation that diverts used hotel soap and amenity bottles from landfill and repurposes them into new soap bars and bottled products that can be distributed to communities in need, shelters and refugee camps.
“In addition to our community outreach initiatives, we have policies and procedures in place that help us provide a workplace that is to the maximum possible extent diverse and inclusive. The diversity, inclusiveness and safety of the working environment is something that is really important at Kempinski,” says Beltrametti Walker. “In 2021, Kempinski was ranked number one in the travel and leisure industry in the Forbes World’s Best Employers List 2021, and that’s an enormous testimony to our people-first approach to being an employer. Ultimately, we want to see full commitment throughout the portfolio,” he explains. “As we know, people tend to associate luxury with excess and with waste, but that is a very old-fashioned view of luxury. Certainly now and even more in the future, luxury is moving towards sustainable luxury. We have to. Not only for the sake of business but for the sake of the planet.”