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Defining the New Net Zero Normal

Global Senior VP Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications for Radisson Hotel Group
Inge Huijbrechts darkInge Huijbrechts light


Radisson's Global SVP Sustainability Inge Huijbrechts underscores the critical need for sustainability in the hospitality sector, citing Radisson Hotel Group's commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 in response to rising global temperatures. Radisson's approach encompasses green hotel buildings, green energy, and green operations across its global network. The group showcases successful examples of eco-friendly practices, like the construction of green-certified hotels and the adoption of renewable energy sources. Key initiatives include the use of solar panels and thermodynamic solar systems in select hotels. The article also highlights Radisson's efforts in promoting sustainable operations and responsible travel, emphasizing the importance of industry-wide collaboration and innovation to build a sustainable future in hospitality.

The world is closing the year with sad records: Scientists forecast 2023 will be the hottest year ever and report that the world stands already at about 1.2 degrees warming.

For a leading global hotel operator like Radisson Hotel Group, operating across 1,200 hotels in 95 countries, it is crystal clear that we need to move to Net Zero by 2050. We have committed to this goal based on approved science-based targets and are working on 3 levers in our Net Zero transformation: green hotel buildings, green energy and green operations.

Green Hotels means introducing a focus on eco-friendly building practices, including green building-certified hotels. To cooperate with the owners of the hotel assets on the journey to Net Zero, RHG has defined building design guidelines that allow owners to reach the level of the main building ecolabels (LEED, BREEAM and EDGE). Currently we count about 50 green certified flagship hotel buildings globally.

This includes leading examples such as:

  • Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront (South Africa) which was the first hotel awarded 5 Star Green Build in the national scheme.
  • Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel, Stavanger (Norway) is BREEAM Very Good certified, where the refurbishment project has resulted in 35% emissions reduction
  • Radisson Collection Gran Vía Bilbao (Spain) which used to be a historic bank building has obtained the LEED Platinum certification
  • Radisson Hotel Suzhou which earned an EDGE certification based on 22% energy savings, 27% water savings and 28% less embodied energy in materials compared to a national building benchmark.

Green energy is the transition to renewable electricity – installed on site, developed offsite or purchased. We are already running on 100% renewable energy in 70 hotels and have worked on bringing breakthrough solutions to some of our hotels. These include:

  • The Radisson Resort Beitostolen in Norway, which has proven with their recent addition of solar PV panels on the conference center façade that solar energy also makes sense at high latitudes. In winter the snow is even reflecting more light to the panels.
  • The Park Inn Cape Town Foreshore (South Africa) installed the CBD’s first large scale commercial hybrid Photovoltaic & Thermal (PVT) project with a yield of 30% of required energy for hot water
  • Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Tbilisi City Centre (Georgia) is generating an astonishing 328 MWh of electricity per year from their brand-new solar PV system
  • Radisson Blu hotel Dubai Deira Creek (UAE) Innovative, award winning, installation of a thermodynamic solar system uses solar panel blocks and a heat pump for hot water production
  • In India, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bengaluru serves as a remarkable example and operates entirely (100%) on renewable electricity and is entirely self-sufficient in its electricity production.

Green operations means integrating Net Zero habits in our daily operations. Currently we are running the “Move to Zero’ employee engagement campaign where leaders and team members take concrete actions to reduce their carbon footprints.

At the same time, the hotel industry has a tremendous opportunity to drive responsible travel. RHG makes it easy for guests to travel and meet responsibly by offering sustainable value propositions such as 100% carbon neutral meetings, sustainable stays verified by Hotel Sustainability Basics or Ecolabels, and making green travel seamless with 900+ EV chargers in Europe, India and other countries.

We will all need to get used to the New Net Zero Normal – which at first means that we always make Net Zero choices first. To preserve our fantastic industry, tourism and travel companies need to act collectively now and in particular on the following thee points:

  • Deploy all known solutions and best practices – in hotel buildings and operations
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders, such as real estate owners, agree on the goals and measurement frameworks. We should all be using the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality ( and derive the hotel asset’s decarbonization pathway by using the EU supported CRREM methodology (
  • Develop and fund innovative solutions in the industry – together with a coalition of the willing. In this respect, tangible and workable breakthrough solutions were highlighted in the ‘Better Travel and Tourism, Better World’ report (

We can build a sustainable future for our planet, where people travel sustainably, if we stand together and act fast in order to stay, as King Charles III said at the COP28 summit, “stay out of dangerously uncharted territory”.