The company hopes that European funds will be used to support a project that would further the transition towards a more sustainable management model, key to the regeneration of the travel industry, the biggest driver of the Spanish economy.
It also aims to create a prototype for a carbon-neutral hotel that will define the hotel industry of the future
After the Government of Spain announced a public process to identify projects to which to allocate European Recovery Funds, Meliá Hotels International revealed the third of the projects it has submitted to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
This third project is focused on the transformation and recovery of the travel industry, an industry which is a key driver of the Spanish economy and which is currently experiencing the most critical moment in its history due to the Covid-19 crisis. The project aims to help combat climate change and move forward in the decarbonisation of the hotel industry, an initiative that would have a direct impact on one of the four transformation areas defined by the Spanish government for the distribution of funds: “Ecological Transition".
The project would also contribute positively to improving the competitiveness and sustainability of Spanish industry, to territorial and social cohesion and to digital transformation, three fundamental factors for the economic and social reconstruction that the country faces after Covid-19.
Specifically, the project presented to the Ministry aims to accelerate the transformation of hotel management (and its entire value chain) towards a more sustainable and responsible business model, something in which Meliá has been working with a strategic focus for more than a decade, integrating environmental, social and good governance (ESG) criteria into its business DNA.
With a proposed investment of almost €129 million, the company hopes to give a definitive boost to its decarbonisation strategy and reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 environmental footprint to zero while also reducing scope 3 emissions, with digitalisation and innovation being the key drivers of the change.
The project revolves around 5 key areas: reducing our carbon footprint, promoting a circular economy, reinforcing our sustainable management model, developing an environmental management and control system, and designing an impact measurement model.
Meliá Serengeti Lodge
Among other initiatives aimed at achieving carbon neutrality, projects also include the creation of a prototype for a sustainable hotel that will define the hotel industry of the future. To this end, Meliá is committed to transforming one of its hotels in the iconic Biosphere Reserve of Menorca, while also helping boost the island's positioning as a sustainable travel destination.
At present, almost 60% of the electrical energy consumed by Meliá hotels worldwide is renewable energy, with the figure rising to 100% in Spain. In addition, the company has already reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 15%. In 2020, Meliá was named by the Wall Street Journal the seventh best company in the world in sustainable management, and also has extensive experience in developing sustainability projects. In recent years it has integrated sustainable criteria into its hotel design and construction model, it has certified its environmental management model, implemented new technologies in the measurement of waste and in the management and control of consumption, among other projects.
As Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá, explains, “we do not aspire to be among the largest companies in the world, but we do aspire to being a good company for the world, and that means we have to manage the resources within our reach in a sustainable way, guaranteeing a balance between our growth, environmental protection and social welfare".
After analysing and evaluating all the proposals received, the Spanish Government will define the areas of interest for future calls for aid for strategic projects, which will be presented in March.