Door is opening to a hotel room

Hotel Companies 

Are global hotel companies prioritizing meat and dairy reduction as part of their animal welfare and climate action goals?

1/29/2024

Our food systems are broken. Factory farming is the biggest cause of animal suffering worldwide, fuels the climate crisis and drives biodiversity loss. In order to tackle these pivotal global issues, the food industry – including the hotel sector – has to take on its share of responsibility to urgently prioritize sustainability which highlights animal welfare and mitigates the climate crisis.

The FOUR PAWS Hotel Challenge – which is part of the Atlas Challenge food industry ranking series – looked at the objectives and measures of ten of the biggest hotel companies with a presence in the United States, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and South Africa on their meat and dairy reduction strategies, emission reduction goals, animal welfare policies, plant-based product portfolio and marketing strategies. Due to their global influential position, the selected hotel companies can drive positive change amongst not only their guests but within the hotel industry itself. The ranking shows who is on the way to taking responsibility and who is falling behind. 

In addition to FOUR PAWS’ research which was based on publicly available information online including assessing the hotels’ Corporate Sustainability Report, Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance and animal welfare policies, a questionnaire was sent out which also asked whether they are aware of the impact of meat and dairy on animal welfare and the climate, and whether they have measures and goals in place to reduce it.

How Do the Companies of the Most Prominent Hotels Compare?

Accor (4.2 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 4.5 stars

Aims to reduce scope 3 emissions by transitioning towards menus with fewer meat products 

Animal welfare: 3.5 stars

Is committed on Broiler Chicken Welfare Criteria in US & Canada and adopted European Chicken Commitment for broilers in 2019 

Plant-based portfolio: 4.5 stars

Wants to shift eating norms by adding plant-based foods to its menus across the world supported by its partnership with Zrou, a plant-based protein brand, and bring plant-based dishes to the mainstream dining scene 

Hilton (3.5 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 3 stars

Is the only hotel to have joined WRI Cool Food Initiative to reduce climate impact of their food through shifting toward more plant-rich diets 

Animal welfare: 3.5 stars

Aims for group-housed and gestation crate-free pork and continues identifying opportunities with its suppliers to increase this product availability 

Plant-based portfolio: 4 stars

Offers blended burgers (30% of meat replaced by mushrooms) in over 500 hotels in 100 countries and claims to continue increasing plant-based and vegetarian menu items 

Radisson (3.5 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 4 stars

Promotes reducing the use of meat options in regard to their carbon footprint

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, only mentions that it seeks to ensure decent welfare standards for animals that are reared for the ingredients used in the meals served in its hotels

Plant-based portfolio: 5 stars

50% of menu options and 43% of breakfast offerings across all hotels are plant-based and key features of F&B transformation include the constant increase of plant-based products while raising awareness by putting plant-based options higher up on the menu without labeling them as such

Hyatt (3.3 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 3.5 stars

Acknowledges that raising animals is associated with concerns related to both animal welfare and greenhouse gas emissions and aims to limit the amount of animal protein 

Animal welfare: 2.5 stars

Responsible breeds and husbandry for broiler chicken and transition to group-housed and crate-free pork 

Plant-based portfolio: 4 stars

Recent focus area is to add more alternative plant-based proteins like plant-based meats to its menus

Marriott (3.0 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 2 stars

Has scope 3 reduction goal in place and mentions the role of beef in deforestation 

Animal welfare: 3.5 stars

Aims for group-housed and gestation crate-free pork and works with suppliers to remove barriers to responsible pork purchasing such as limited supply and funding for capital investments for farmers

Plant-based portfolio: 3.5 stars

Spreads awareness through e.g. Plant Based Meal and Lesson tours and offers vegan Just Egg + Beyond Breakfast Sausage on breakfast menu of 150 Aloft hotels 

Meliá (2.2 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 1.5 stars

Discloses its food & beverage carbon footprint (28%) of 228 events in two pilot hotels, but plans to offset instead reduce scope 3 emissions 

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, just a general statement that ethical and humane treatment of animals is important to thoughtfully sourcing its food

Plant-based portfolio: 3.5 stars

Offers vegan options in most hotels and raises awareness to consume more plant-based products for Sustainable Gastronomy Day

Best Western (1.5 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 1 star

Has no statement regarding meat/dairy reduction or making connection to climate impact

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, but advocates for a global commitment to sustainably source poultry and promotes humane treatment of all animals

Plant-based portfolio: 2 stars

Larger number of hotels offer vegan breakfast options

Choice (1.3 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 1 star

Has no statement regarding meat/dairy reduction nor making connection to climate impact 

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, but expects suppliers to avoid any animal cruelty and/or mistreatment and to recognize their responsibility for the ethical treatment of animals in their care 

Plant-based portfolio: 1.5 stars

Some hotels have an extended plant-based food portfolio  

IHG (1.3 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 1 star

Has no statement regarding meat/dairy reduction or making connection to climate impact 

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, just generally mention animal welfare in connection to ethical sourcing

Plant-based portfolio: 1.5 stars

Some hotels have an extended plant-based food portfolio

Wyndham (1.3 stars)

Meat and dairy reduction & climate goals: 1 star

Has no reductions goals, because its only starting to report on scope 3 emissions in 2023

Animal welfare: 1.5 stars

Has no concrete policy in place, just mentions animal welfare in a stakeholder/business model matrix

Plant-based portfolio: 1.5 stars

Some hotels have an extended plant-based food portfolio

Legend Hotel Ranking

Disclaimer: FOUR PAWS conducted the research based on publicly available online information between June and September 2023. Any changes that were implemented by the selected hotel companies after this set time frame were not considered. As part of the research and analysis, FOUR PAWS sent a questionnaire to the selected hotel companies for their input, which was only answered by Accor. Hilton and Choice provided some information via e-mail. All the other companies were evaluated solely by FOUR PAWS’ research on publicly available online information.

For more information, click here.

The FOUR PAWS Hotel Challenge

The FOUR PAWS Hotel Challenge

A ranking of leading hotels’ strategies for meat and dairy reduction towards animal welfare and climate mitigation

Did You Know?

  • Food and beverage accounts for 10% of the carbon footprint of global tourism1.
  • The hotel industry must reduce its carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 to stay within the 2˚C threshold agreed at COP212.
  • Plant-rich diets result in 75% less climate-heating emissions, water pollution and land use than meat-rich diets3.
  • Doubling the proportion of vegetarian meals offered increases vegetarian sales by between 41% and 79%4.
  • Animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with at least 16.5%5 of all emissions originating from it.
  • GHG emissions of meat and dairy giants are rising by 3% annually6.
Pigs inside a farm

The Atlas Challenge

Find out more

Source

1. Carbon Footprint of Tourism. Sustainable Travel International. [accessed 2023 Sep 15]. https://sustainabletravel.org/issues/carbon-footprint-tourism/
2. UNFCCC. UN Works with Global Hotel Industry to Reduce Emissions. 2018 Jan 31 [accessed 2023 Sep 15].

3. Scarborough P, Clark M, 
Cobiac L, Papier K, Knuppel A, Lynch J, Harrington R, Key T, Springmann M. Vegans, vegetarians, fish-eaters and meat-eaters in the UK show discrepant environmental impacts. Nature Food. 2023 [accessed 2023 Sep 19];4(7):565–574. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-023-00795-w. doi:10.1038/s43016-023-00795-w
4. Garnett EE, Balmford A, Sandbrook C, Pilling MA, Marteau TM. Impact of increasing vegetarian availability on meal 
selection and sales in cafeterias. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019 [accessed 2023 Sep 21];116(42):20923–20929. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1907207116. doi:10.1073/pnas.1907207116
5. Twine R. Emissions from Animal Agriculture—16.5% Is the New Minimum Figure. 
Sustainability. 2021 [accessed 2023 May 31];13(11):6276. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/11/6276. doi:10.3390/su13116276
6. FAIRR-Protein-Index zeigt, dass die Treibhausgasemissionen von Fleisch- und Molkereiriesen jährlich um über 3 % steigen - 
vegconomist: Das vegane Wirtschaftsmagazin. 2023 [accessed 2023 Nov 8]. https://vegconomist.de/studien-und-zahlen/fairr-index-zeigt-steigende-treibhausgasemissionen/ 

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