Ovolo Hotels is launching an industry-leading sustainability initiative, which promises to Do Good, Feel Good, with concrete actions that will further cement its reputation as a hotel group with purpose.
Following its vegetarian pledge, Plant’d, a commitment to conscious cuisine that is great for the planet, the hotel collection has announced a new ‘Green Perk’, where a tree will be planted for every direct booking in association with Eden Reforestation Projects.
Ovolo Group CEO, Dave Baswal, has always been a Champion of Change, but the effects of the pandemic deepened his desire to be a force for good.
“At Ovolo, sustainability has for a long time been part of our DNA, and we want to encourage our guests, teams, suppliers, and investors to Do Good, Feel Good,” he said.
“Our commitments go beyond environmental indicators and include issues such as celebrating diversity and inclusion, supporting children and schools, sourcing locally and building hotels that give back to their communities in a meaningful way.
“We want to make better choices for ourselves and the planet and play our part in ensuring a better future for all.”
Key highlights of Ovolo’s commitment include two key pillars (planet and people) and a range of actions under each.
Ovolo was the first international hotel group to introduce vegetarian and plant-based cuisine across many of its hotels, and new research confirms that a diet low in meat consumption is one of the best things you can do for the planet.
Livestock alone accounts for more than 14 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and a vegan diet could cut those emissions by 70 per cent.
A recent study found that widespread adoption of a vegan diet could help avoid more than 8 million deaths by 2050, while dramatically reducing the possibility of devastating extreme weather events, which are being seen around the world in greater frequency.
Planting trees is also one of the greatest things for the environment, so from 1 November Ovolo is partnering with Eden Reforestation Projects, an NGO that works with local communities to restore their environment and economy by planting sustainable trees that provide food, income, and shelter, while mitigating the impacts of climate change and carbon emissions.
One of the most vulnerable communities when it comes to climate change and the impacts of Covid is the Nepalese, so Ovolo has chosen to plant trees in Nepal to reduce the impact of soil erosion, floods, and landslides, which have a detrimental effect on farmlands and homes.
As one of the least developed countries in the world, around 30 per cent of Nepalese live in multidimensional poverty.
Ovolo’s founder and executive chairman, Girish Jhunjhnuwala’s wanted this initiative to align with other SDGs and have the most impact given that half the people in the Nepalese reforestation workforce are women.
“Ovolo is committed to supporting the empowerment of women not just in our workforce but in the world at large, so this was an important consideration for us,” Girish said.
Whenever guests book directly with Ovolo, they will receive a message after their stay to show them where their tree has been planted and information on the impact on the environment planting this tree has, so that they can continue to feel a connection to the land, long after they have gone home.
In the spirit of transparency and a continual effort to improve its sustainability credentials, Ovolo has committed to producing an annual report, verified by a third-party auditor, so that guests, staff and investors know exactly what the group is doing to not just leave behind a lighter footprint, but actually contribute positively to the world.
“Transparency and alignment with initiatives and sustainability development goals is key for us, we don’t just want to talk the talk, but we want to be held accountable to walk the walk too,” Baswal concluded.