Role of hospitality sector in driving sustainability for a green future

Role of hospitality sector in driving sustainability for a green future

Hospitality is one such industry that can have a sizable impact on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Improving sustainability is a challenge that every individual, organisation and nation faces on a daily basis. If we are to achieve or even get close to achieving the UN's 17 Sustainable Goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, then we need more sustainability specialists across more industries using their expertise to make a difference.

Hospitality is one such industry that can have a sizable impact on achieving those 17 goals. Currently contributing 10% of the world's GDP and employing 1 in 10 people around the world, hospitality is positioned to lead the way in sustainable practices. This is why, at Les Roches, we have launched our Sustainability Specialization, which can be taken in the final year of our Bachelor's at the Crans-Montana campus, from September 2022.

Studying Sustainability as a specialization opens graduates up to a raft of diverse and international career pathways, in hospitality and beyond. Indeed, from roles and remuneration, to job satisfaction and changing the world, there are many reasons to study sustainability. Here's the top 7 as I see it…

To gain an understanding of the environmental issues facing our planet

A Sustainability specialization provides a student with a comprehensive overview of the many complex environmental challenges we face, from climate change and deforestation, to water scarcity. By understanding these problems and the potential solutions, a young professional will be better equipped to make a positive difference in the world.

One of the most important things a student will learn from studying sustainability is how our everyday actions can have a significant impact on the environment. From the food we eat and the clothes we wear, to the products we buy and the way we travel, everything we do has an environmental footprint. By understanding the link between our actions and the environment, we can make more informed choices that help to protect our planet.

To develop skills for a sustainable future

As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, there will be increasing demand for people with the skills and knowledge to make it happen. A sustainability specialization provides an individual with the tools needed to build a career in this rapidly growing field, whether they want to work in environmental policy, sustainable business, or green technology.

Through the Bachelor's Specialization at Les Roches Crans-Montana, students acquire the tools and knowledge to deliver a more sustainable approach to hospitality, tourism and the experience economy.

As they enter the working world, they possess an understanding of corporate governance and the evolving demands of customers and other key stakeholders.

Sustainability is a financially rewarding career

The sustainability job market is fast-growing, and it's no wonder. As well as the societal and legislative pressures on businesses to become more sustainable, there are bottom line benefits too.

Gain transferable skills for any pathway

The skills learned through studying sustainability, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork, are highly sought-after by employers in all sectors. Whatever career you ultimately choose, your sustainability studies will give you a valuable head start. Indeed, many companies require that their C level executives have an education related to sustainability, or at least have some sort of experience in that field.

On the Les Roches Bachelor's, leading up to the final year specialization, students learn how a hospitality business works from the inside out. The immersive curriculum covers critical operational functions, marketing and sales, and accounting and financial management. Our teaching also focuses on the soft skills that distinguish the most effective managers. The result is a rounded business education complete with real-world experience acquired through internships.

Learn about other cultures and how they live sustainably

Sustainability is not just about environmental issues – it's also about social and economic justice. When you study sustainability, you will learn about the different ways that people around the world are working to build more sustainable societies. This can broaden your horizons and help you to develop a greater understanding and respect for other cultures.

This is particularly relevant to the Les Roches Crans-Montana study experience, where students can expect to be immersed in a multicultural environment. Typically there are around 100 nationalities on campus at any given time and it's not usual for classes of around 20 students to be made up of 15+ different nationalities. At Les Roches, cross-cultural development, new perspectives and exposure to the diversity of the world is part of the learning journey.

Sustainability is a fulfilling career

A career in sustainability is not only important work, but can also be extremely rewarding. Many sustainability professionals report feeling a strong sense of satisfaction from their job. As well as being able to take action on a daily basis to fight the issues we collectively face, fulfillment also comes from being able to pretty much work in any country due to the high demand for specialists worldwide.

Additionally, sustainability careers tend to be very versatile. Professionals in this field can work in a variety of industries, including government, healthcare, education, and business. This means that there are many different opportunities available throughout the career of a sustainability specialist, which keeps their work interesting and aligned to their personal ambitions.

Be part of the solution

Possibly above all, students that choose to study a sustainability specialization are also choosing to be part of the solution to the environmental challenges our planet is facing. Every day, every person, business and government is making decisions that affect the environment. By becoming a specialist in sustainability, we can help those entities make more informed choices that help to create a better future for us all.

At Les Roches, the new Bachelor's specialization in sustainability, available from September 2022, is designed to equip students to successfully deliver the solutions we and our planet need. As the first graduates head out into the world, the managerial skills and expertise they take with them will empower them to be agents of positive change, in hospitality and beyond.

(The author is the Executive Academic Dean at Les Roches Crans-Montana)

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