Sustainable Supply Chains

Complex global supply chains mean that we often know little about how a product was made, bought or farmed.

What’s the problem?

It is a fact that forced and child labour exist in the supply chain for many goods and services and that many products can have a detrimental impact on the environment. Complex global supply chains mean that we often know little about how a product was made. Newspaper headlines frequently bear testimony to poor working conditions, exploitation and environmental degradation in the process of producing the goods and services we buy.

Why act?

We can’t hide behind the complexity; we need to know more about what we are purchasing. The social and environmental impacts of a hotel stay go well beyond the walls of your property and customers and investors are increasingly seeking reassurance that products and services are responsibly sourced. If exploitation or environmental damage are uncovered in your supply chain, the risks to reputation and profit are real. The hotelier who can demonstrate that they have taken steps to procure ethically may have a strong competitive advantage against one who can’t.

What is ITP doing?

We conducted a high-level risk mapping exercise to identify which products and services in a hotel are highest risk in terms of social and environmental impacts.

The results have enabled us to support members with tailored research and discussion forums on some of the highest risk products and services on an ongoing basis.

Another challenge we see as a global company is driving a responsible sourcing strategy that is globally applicable and locally relevant. Suppliers might not have the ability to offer a product or service globally, so we need to look at opportunities that will meet our overall objectives.

Judy Pines, Director of Strategic Sourcing Sustainability and Special Projects at Hilton Worldwide.

What can I do next?

Commit to responsible purchasing. Our Know How Guide will give you pointers on how to get started. Look at the products and services you purchase, start to ask questions to learn where and how these were produced. Many more ethical products are available through a simple switch to certified brands. Others may require some more work but start with a few key products and work from there. Customers like to know the products they buy are responsibly sourced so share your stories with them.