Green Insights

The first in a series of articles featuring insights and updates from tourism and industry leaders, experts and IHF members.

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Building a strong, sustainable future for Ireland's tourism industry
Irish hoteliers are working with our industry partners to develop sustainable resources for our sector and reduce our environmental impact.
Elaina Fitzgerald kane
IHF President

Sustainability is one of the defining issues of our time with wide-ranging implications for society and for every sector of our economy.

In addressing today’s environmental challenges, we all have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the natural environment. This is a guiding principal for the Irish Hotels Federation as we work ever more closely with our industry partners to ensure Irish tourism continues to prosper through sustainable, long-term development.

Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest indigenous industries and makes an enormous contribution to the country’s economic well-being. Prior to Covid, our industry supported 260,000 jobs and generated over €9.2 billion in revenues each year.

As we focus on re-opening our industry and recovering lost ground, tourism will have a vital role to play in creating a more balanced economy by spreading employment opportunities and prosperity throughout the entire country, helping to sustain the local communities in which we operate.

We are well-placed as an industry to lead the way in the coming years by embracing sustainable practices that put the environment at the heart of our tourism offering. Needless to say, this presents both opportunities and challenges which will shape our sector significantly over the coming years and decades.

We are committed in the IHF to making sustainability an integral part of the DNA of our sector and supporting Irish hotels and guesthouses to achieve their sustainability goals.

Our new IHF Green platform is part of a collaborative effort with our industry partners that brings together practical tools, guidance and best practice across a range of priority areas to assist businesses rise to the challenge by:

As you explore these resources, you will find immediate steps as well as longer-term initiatives that you can take to reduce your impact on the environment as part of a wider sustainability plan for your business. Active engagement with employees and suppliers is key, as is good communication with customers – many of whom are increasingly alert to issues around sustainable tourism and the need to safeguard the environment.

As a first step, I would encourage you to consider signing up to the national Pledge on Plastic Packaging, which we support to help Ireland achieve its environmental targets. Resources to assist you in this area include our Tips for Eliminating Single-Use Plastics in hotels.

I would also encourage you to tell us about the sustainability initiatives you have implemented, your successes and any tips you may have that could work for other businesses in our sector. Please get in touch and share your story. We can all learn from each other.

I would recommend signing up for our regular IHF Green updates with expert insights, details of upcoming resources, case studies and examples of international and Irish best practice.

Finally, I would like to thank our industry partners who we are working with to further develop sustainability resources for the sector. These include Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, EPA, SEAI, Bord Bia, Repak, Irish Water, ITIC & Hotrec. Their support and commitment to sustainability underpins this IHF Green initiative and is a firm foundation for us to collectively deliver a lasting, positive impact for Irish tourism and our environment.

Embracing sustainability is key to the future success of our industry.

Irish Hotels Federation working with