Friday, 22nd September 2023

Red Clay unveils sustainability, ESG in hospitality, tourism sector

By Maria Diamond
03 June 2023   |   3:22 am
Red Clay, a specialist hospitality and tourism consultancy firm, launched its sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) tourism leadership webinar series during the week.

Adun Okupe

Red Clay, a specialist hospitality and tourism consultancy firm, launched its sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) tourism leadership webinar series during the week.

The first session on design, funding, and investment practices interrogated the factors that influence design, investment and financing considerations that drive what is eventually built, the materials used and how the materials play a part in the user experience and long-term performance of the structures economically, environmentally and socially.

In his remarks, the Principal Advisor at Red Clay and convener of the series, Dr. Adun Okupe, explained the need to address some of the challenges in the multi-layered and multi-disciplinary nature of the industry, and the role a sustainability mindset can play in tourism development.

Okupe, who has worked on tourism strategies and master plans for several states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Ekiti and Edo, noted that investors are increasingly requiring evidence of sustainability thinking in the type of tourism projects that are funded.

“The next webinar in the series will look at cybersecurity and consumer protection, and how ESG and sustainability thinking can address these security challenges for the hospitality and tourism industry.”

The Chief Commercial Officer at Mixta Africa, Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, who is one of the speakers at the event, said the market trends for developments that integrate living, working and playing, which means real estate developments, were increasingly having hospitality asset classes as part of their portfolio.

She shared that sustainability influences the viability of projects in terms of the physical structure, as well as the market performance.

Investors and infrastructure financiers are looking at the sustainability considerations and ESG metrics in the projects they fund, even as developing economies seek to address the challenge of building sustainable communities.

Dipo Adebo of DAA Architects, who recently worked on the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja explained that for the international and regional hotel management brands, ESG and sustainability are requirements to meet the international standards, including the design and materials used in hotel construction.

“One of the challenges faced is the localisation of supply chains. A possible solution was for local manufacturers and construction workers to be upskilled and empowered to meet these standards, whilst remaining competitive, given the prohibitive costs of local manufacturing,” he said.

Adebo highlighted the need for proper documentation, design documentation, planning approvals for buildings, structural integrity tests for building projects, and the responsibility developers have in the quality of materials and builders used.

He shared the need for regular inspections by key agencies to ensure the buildings are structurally sound, in the wake of the recent building collapses in Lagos State.

Sustainability Consultant and speaker at the webinar, Godson Ikiebey, highlighted the need for a comprehensive framework for sustainability reporting in the hospitality and tourism industry, together with the required capacity building and awareness creation. This is to ensure key stakeholders can work together towards a more sustainable future for Nigerians.

Overall, the hospitality, tourism and real estate industry is rapidly evolving, and as investment and consumer trends change, there will be a need for innovative solutions that address the need for more sustainable communities.

In this article