Sustainability in Hospitality: 4C Group Hosts the EEA’s Third Symposium

28 May 2024

4C Group hosted the Energy & Environment Alliance (EEA) Symposium for the third time on 26 March 2024 at The Westin London City Hotel. This year marks the third anniversary of the alliance, which brought together 150 delegates focused on transforming hospitality businesses amidst the evolving economic, environmental, social, and governance landscape. 

The Energy & Environment Alliance is a not-for-profit coalition of the hospitality sector, leaders working collaboratively to drive action and stimulate the production and sharing of new knowledge. This aims to reduce carbon emissions within the hospitality industry.  

ESG Strategies 

This year’s symposium was moderated by Dr. Marc Lepere, who leads ESG and Executive Education at King’s Business School. He underscored the importance of considering the overlooked factors of production, land, and labour in addition to capital, which usually receives the bulk of the attention. “In my opinion, we should try and remember to account for all three components: the capital, the land in the form of the environment, and also the biodiversity which we are losing at a significant rate, as well as labour,” he explained.  

Ufi Ibrahim, Founder, of Energy Environment Alliance, emphasised the importance of action and a focus on the ‘how’ to embed ESG into the investment and business decisions to future-proof organisations in an emerging economic, environmental, social, and governance landscape. 

Developing a robust ESG strategy is essential for the long-term success of hospitality businesses. A well-defined ESG strategy not only mitigates risks but also unlocks new opportunities. Mark Versey, CEO of Aviva Investors, highlighted the critical role of top management in driving sustainability commitments. The emphasis was also on ensuring that sustainability transcends being merely a buzzword and becomes a fundamental part of operations across all businesses. 

Circularity in Hospitality 

The concept of a circular economy, aiming to minimise waste and maximise resource efficiency, took centre stage during the symposium. Bryan Oknyansky, Head of Sustainability at Studio Moren, led a workshop on ‘Circularity for Sustainable & Resilient Hotel Buildings’.

He emphasised the importance of embedding circular principles from the design phase itself. “By rethinking how we design and construct hotel buildings, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact throughout their lifecycle,” stated Oknyansky. In this context, Soraiya Salemohamed, ESG Director, 4C Group shared their case study on tackling food waste and the importance of upcycling in hotels. She highlighted the impact of taking small steps that can lead to significant outcomes. One successful example of upcycling was setting up a mini marketplace for the group where team members benefited from the complementary items given away by the 4C hotels, saving them the cost of a skip, and reducing 5,500 kg of CO2 emissions while promoting a culture of upcycling. 

Key Learnings/Outcomes 

The symposium facilitated valuable discussions and collaborations, driving the industry towards a more sustainable future. Key outcomes included: 

  1. Commitment to standardised ESG reporting: Participants acknowledged the need for a harmonised global reporting standard to enable transparent and consistent ESG disclosures across the industry. 
  1. Embrace of circular economy principles: Attendees recognised the potential of the circular economy to drive resource efficiency and reduce waste in the hospitality sector. 


The EEA Sustainability Symposium 2024 catalysed transformative change in the hospitality industry. As an active member of the EEA since its inception in 2022, 4C Group remains eager to continue connecting, collaborating, and learning from the ESG thought leaders in the business. By bringing together key stakeholders and thought leaders, the event facilitated knowledge sharing, collaboration, and a collective commitment to embedding ESG principles into business strategies. As the hospitality industry navigates the evolving economic, environmental, social, and governance landscape, events like these will play a crucial role in driving sustainable practices and ensuring a future-proof hospitality sector. 

About 4C Group 

4C Group manages and develops properties and hotels in key business districts and leisure hot spots across the UK, Middle East, East Africa, and Canada. The company was formed in 2010, building on the foundations of a family property business that stretches back to the 1990s. The group’s mission is to operate sustainably and delight guests and investors, whilst striving to deliver a positive environmental and social impact within local communities.