Highgate Hotels has released its first environmental, social and governance (ESG) report based on its 2020 data. Highgate is a hotel investment and management company and is one of the first hospitality management companies to publish such a report. Highlights in the report include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 170,000 megawatt-hour drop in energy use. Highgate’s Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is the first hotel in Hawaii to be certified by the Legacy Reforestation Initiative. Highgate has over 500 hotels in its portfolio, with over 200 of them being powered by renewable energy sources. Highgate’s commitment to ESG has included establishing a Corporate Highgate Inclusion Council to promote diversity and inclusivity among its workforce. Alongside this, the Highgate Charitable Foundation has raised over $7.5 million.
Evolving the company culture has helped Highgate make a meaningful difference and ensure that efforts are not only ‘greenwashing’. ESG efforts will be a key differentiator for Highgate because it has an impact on ROI. Moreover, Highgate has already seen the importance of ESG efforts in terms of customers’ demands. Highgate’s sustainability efforts are to encourage other companies in the hotel industry to follow suit and shift their businesses. The report aims to provide visibility into all relevant carbon emissions reporting categories and, in future reports, to transition its supply chain carbon emissions reporting from spend-based estimates to actual emissions data from suppliers.
Speaking to Hotel News Now, CEO Arash Azarbarzin said Highgate prioritises ESG, which plays an integral role in the company’s operation. The report aims to inspire other companies to follow suit and shift their businesses in the way Highgate has. Highgate’s ESG efforts across its portfolio are centred around biodiversity protection, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations installations, third-party green certifications, best-in-industry energy, water and waste performance metrics, 100% LED lighting, smart thermostats, and 100% associate completion of unconscious bias and human trafficking awareness training.