PALMA, SPAIN—Combatting climate change is one of the biggest challenges on the global agenda, a priority for the travel industry, and one of the key drivers of the Meliá Hotels International Sustainability Master Plan, which includes public commitments made within the framework of the Paris 2015 COP21 agreement and including an objective of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2035.
The company has been named the Most Sustainable Hotel Company in the World this year, achieving the highest score in the global travel industry in the latest Corporate Sustainability Assessment by SAM thanks to its performance and commitment to social and economic progress and its key role in combatting climate change. In addition, digitalization, start-up partnerships and the need to offer options to increasingly environmentally-aware and committed customers has led Meliá to offer its MeliáRewards members the opportunity of getting directly involved in its efforts.
In doing so, Meliá has the support of Climatetrade, a Spanish start-up that has become an international leader in environmental blockchain, allowing companies to offset GHG emissions online in a very simple and direct way. After signing the agreement, Francisco Benedito, CEO of Climatetrade, commented that “climate change affects us all, and we aim to be part of the solution. Becoming carbon neutral is a big step towards that aim, and blockchain is an excellent tool for helping companies make progress in achieving their goals.”
Program Begins First Quarter 2020
From 1Q 2020, MeliáRewards members will be able to redeem points in exchange for internationally certified carbon credits and use them to support a choice of sustainable projects which help develop, protect and conserve natural ecosystems. Both the carbon credits and projects are certified under the highest standards of the UN CDM Registry and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
Meliá Hotels International thus becomes the first hotel company in the world to offer loyalty program members the chance to become directly involved by acquiring carbon credits to assign to certified projects. In the words of Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President & CEO of Meliá, “We have often been pioneers in the application of technology and innovation in the hotel industry and our aim is to continue to do so in our contribution to protecting the natural environment. That’s why we see the blockchain application as an excellent way of making further progress with our environmental commitments and we would invite our loyal customers and the hotel industry in general to continue to support efforts to protect our planet.”
The project reinforces the company’s commitment to combatting climate change, along with other initiatives such as the use of science-based targets (SBTi) to calculate its carbon footprint, the optimization of resource management and energy use, the monitoring of hotel facilities and the acquisition of renewable energy with a guarantee of origin since 2014, among others. All these initiatives aim to encourage more ambitious emission reduction targets in the business world and hasten the transition to a low-carbon economy.