The story of GREEN Hospitality began in the autumn of 2018, when Soap Cycling, Asia’s first and largest youth-led soap recycling charity, had the idea of creating a globally-focused network to help the hospitality industry correct course. “As an organisation working closely with the hospitality industry, we realised that while it is a driver for exponential economic growth, such growth, without a comprehensive industry-wide focus on sustainability, will continue to take significant toll on the environment and the wellbeing of local communities,” said Justen Li, Chairman of Soap Cycling. “We wanted to help our hotel partners make more informed, sustainability-driven decisions in their business operations, and that’s really how GREEN Hospitality started.”
The GREEN Hospitality Conference
With the help of HKU students at the impact-based higher-education course, Impact Lab, the idea of GREEN Hospitality was born: it would be a globally focused network that strives to address all aspects of sustainability in the hospitality industry by connecting various stakeholders.
GREEN Hospitality’s first initiative, the inaugural GREEN Hospitality Conference, was held on 26 April 2019, at the Cordis Hotel, with the support of the Sustainable Development Fund, the HKU Business School, and Foundation for Shared Impact. The full-day event was curated to include panel discussions and interactive workshops on issues ranging from waste reduction to food traceability and exploitative recruitment practices and solutions.
Today, GREEN Hospitality Conference is still the first event of its kind in Hong Kong, convening experts, stakeholders, academics, and social impact leaders passionately driving sustainable development in the hospitality industry. The opportunities for connection, cross-sector collaboration, and knowledge exchange it offers made it all the more important and relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the hospitality and tourism industries are among the hardest hit.