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  • Writer's pictureGREEN Hospitality

GREEN Conference 2022: Setting a Roadmap for Green Recovery of the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors


GREEN Conference 2022

Hong Kong, 21 July 2022 For four days from 5 to 8 July, GREEN Hospitality brought together 400 people representing hospitality businesses, start-ups, academia, civil society, the public, and the government, with the aim of facilitating cross-sector collaboration co-creating innovative solutions for the green recovery of the hospitality and tourism sectors in Hong Kong.

(from left) Sindy Wong, Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Invest Hong Kong; Lucia Loposova, Executive Director, GREEN Hospitality; Wendy Lam, Head of Eaton Club

In her opening keynote, Lucia Loposova, Executive Director of GREEN Hospitality, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an estimated 65 million job losses in the travel and tourism sector worldwide. With the sector accounting for one in every 10 jobs around the world, as well as 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it plays a critical role as the catalyst for sustainability. And that is why we are here at GREEN Conference 2022 today: To explore and establish meaningful collaborations and partnerships that can move the needle towards the Hospitality Agenda 2030.”


The Conference is part of GREEN Hospitality’s Green Recovery for the Tourism and Hospitality Industries in Hong Kong Through Technology & Innovation project, with grant support from the Innovation and Technology Fund.


Held in person at Eaton Club Central and live-streamed online, GREEN Conference 2022 was a much-needed in-person event to turn ideas into actions, and jumpstart the green recovery of the hospitality and tourism sectors in Hong Kong.

Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist at the Institute for the Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), delivering her keynote speech on "Recovery and Transition to Sustainable Travel & Hospitality".

Said Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: “Hong Kong needs to rethink what are the kinds of unique experiences travellers can’t get elsewhere – forget ‘eat and shop till you drop’ – make sustainability unforgettable. Government and the hospitality industry must cooperate to create the transformation by by 2030, and GREEN Hospitality can help to facilitate that process.”

Theresa Wu, Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Community Relations), Environmental Protection Department

In validation of GREEN Hospitality’s Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry project, Theresa Wu, Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Community Relations), Environmental Protection Department, said in her keynote speech on the last day of the Conference: “I’m glad to know that GREEN Hospitality is taking the lead in driving sustainability efforts, especially in relation to waste reduction and recycling in preparation for the implementation of the MSW Charging Scheme.”


The high-level panel discussions and interactive and informational workshops throughout the four-day Conference were designed around topical themes pertinent to the hospitality and tourism sectors: Food Technology, Employment and Empowerment, Textile Innovation, Sustainable Tourism and Events, Green Building and Net Zero, Waste Management and Circularity.

Professor Lawal Mohammed Marafa, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, among the audience after delivering his keynote speech on "Tourism & Events Landscape in Hong Kong & the World".

Involving 50 subject matter experts representing 27 sectors, the seven panel discussions and 15 case study sharing shed light on the various sustainability challenges and the innovative solutions that could expedite green recovery for Hong Kong.

Carmen Ng, Director of Sustainability at Langham Hotel Group, a panelist at the discussion on "Journey to Decarbonisation and Net Zero for Hospitality in Hong Kong".

To quote Carmen Ng, Director of Sustainability, Langham Hospitality Group, on decarbonisation: “You just need to start. Langham Hospitality Group launched our ten-year sustainability strategy in 2019, with a goal to reduce carbon intensity by 50% by 2030. While hotels are not required to conduct energy audits, we ordered it to be done for our Hong Kong properties this year. Once we have the audit results, we will better understand how to reduce their carbon emissions. We all must do this together to get on the decarbonisation journey.”


In addition to accelerating action and collaboration, equally important to goal-setting and solution-implementation is to “Keep it simple. Grow infrastructure. Develop habits,” advised Helga Vanthournout, Consultant at ADM Capital Foundation and Eat Without Waste, during her presentation on solutions to a circular economy for plastics.


This was echoed by André Russ, Vice President of Sales & Business Development at EarthCheck: “True sustainability is achieved when a business or a destination focuses on doing ordinary things well, which requires adopting an outcome-driven approach to measuring, monitoring, and managing resource consumption.”

Adrian Chung, General Manager, Proof & Company, presenting his case study, "Introduction to ecoSPIRITS - end single glass in the spirits industry".

Paramount to advancing sustainability is entrepreneurship and innovation, as Adrian Chung, General Manager of Proof & Company, demonstrated through his company’s closed-loop spirits distribution system, ecoSPIRITS.

Jennifer Queen, Bar Director at the Pontiac, a panelist at the panel discussion of "Waste Reduction in the Hospitality Industry".

But great innovations can only succeed in market penetration with the buy-in and sustained support of clients who are willing to take a leap of faith and bear the extra cost, such as The Pontiac, one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars and one of the F&B partners of GREEN Hospitality’s Zero-waste to Landfill for the F&B Industry project. Said Jennifer Queen, Bar Director: “We wanted to join the pilot programme to show that if we can do it, everyone else can do it too. We are okay to be vulnerable and transparent, in order to learn and move forward.”

(from left) Soraya Raccah, Development Manager East and Southeast Asia - EMpower; Mabel Sieh, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Audience Growth, South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd; John Lui, International Brand Director, Pizza Express

On the corporate level, the key to gaining significant ground in the sustainability journey lies in employee empowerment, which can lead to value alignment with the company. Said Mabel Sieh, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Audience Growth, South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.: “Every employee, at some point in their life, is going to ask themselves, ‘What is my purpose in life?’ And every leader can help them answer this question. This is how you can empower your employees.”


Beyond the panel discussions, GREEN Conference 2022 also featured forward-thinking FoodTech startups and their innovative food solutions, as well as trailblazing organisations and individuals in sustainability, who conducted educational and interactive workshops on supply chain transparency, food waste reduction through fermentation, SDG strategies, and water conservation.


“The Conference itself showcases that broad collaboration and knowledge exchange are the crucial first steps to driving a green recovery for the hospitality and tourism sectors in Hong Kong,” said Luciane Zanella, Manager of Partnerships & Projects at GREEN Hospitality. “At GREEN, we are happy to be able to draw upon our rich experience in sharing knowledge, creating alliances and finding solutions to deliver this sustainable event to fast-track sustainability in Hong Kong.”


If you would like to revisit GREEN Conference 2022, check out the image gallery of highlights here.


Impact Numbers at a Glance

  • 250 delegates attended in person

  • 50 speakers and moderators

  • 15 sponsors and partners

  • 12 tasting session partners

  • 27 sectors represented

  • 7 panel discussions

  • 4 workshops

  • 150 people reached via live-streaming

Acknowledgements

GREEN Conference 2022 could not have come to such a fruitful conclusion without our Sponsors and Partners. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to:

Our Sponsors
  • Funding Organisation: The Innovation and Technology Commission

  • Venue Sponsor: Eaton Club

  • Event Sponsor: Invest Hong Kong

Our Content Partners
  • The Mills Fabrica

  • The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Limited (“HKRITA”)

  • Brinc

  • KPMG

  • The Hong Kong Green Building Council Limited

  • ADM Capital Foundation

  • Eat Without Waste

Our Community Partners
  • The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

  • The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

  • The British Consulate-General in Hong Kong

  • CHOMP

  • Foundation for Shared Impact

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