Sustainability Redefined: Hotels Leading the Charge for a Greener Tomorrow. An Insightful Conversation with Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney's Hotel Manager.


In a world where sustainability is no longer just a buzzword but a necessity, hotels are taking on a pivotal role in redefining what it means to be eco-friendly. Beyond merely reducing carbon footprints, the commitment to sustainability now encompasses ethical business practices, community engagement, and a profound dedication to both the planet and its people.

Photo: Oswin Ribeiro – Hotel Manager at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Oswin Ribeiro, the Hotel Manager of Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, to delve into their hotel's remarkable sustainability journey.

The Dual Pillars of Sustainability:

Mr. Ribeiro began by emphasizing the dual pillars of sustainability - the planet and people. Traditionally, sustainability focused on eco-friendly practices. However, in the modern hotel context, it extends far beyond environmental measures, embracing ethical sourcing, community engagement, fostering inclusivity, and partnerships with charitable organizations, leading to a more comprehensive scope of sustainability efforts within the hotel industry.

"At Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, sustainability isn't just about being eco-friendly; it's about being socially responsible and deeply connected to our community. Sustainability for us is about more than reducing our carbon footprint; it's about making a positive impact on our community and setting an example for responsible hospitality" he explained.

Balancing Luxury with Sustainability:

In the realm of five-star hotels, achieving a seamless integration of luxury and sustainability has become an art form that establishments are increasingly mastering. According to Oswin, hotels must adeptly weave green initiatives into their operations without compromising the guest experience. Incorporating brand standards serves as a foundational step, guiding the cause through product and service enhancements. From the incorporation of eco-friendly materials in construction and furnishings to the implementation of energy-efficient technologies, these establishments are redefining luxury by wholeheartedly embracing sustainable initiatives. High-end dining experiences often showcase locally sourced, organic ingredients, contributing to community support and a reduced carbon footprint.

"Sustainability should be noticeable in its execution but not overpowering in its messaging. It's about integrating changes while maintaining our standards of luxury," notes Oswin.

In the past decade, new hotels have been purposefully designed with sustainability in mind, encompassing not only eco-friendly building materials but also operational efficiency and a commitment to green initiatives. These pioneering hotels are setting a new standard for the future, unequivocally proving that luxury and sustainability can coexist harmoniously.

Photo: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney building

Guests' Role in Sustainability:

We delved into the pivotal role guests play in the sustainability equation. According to Mr. Ribeiro, guests are integral to the journey towards sustainability: "Guests are increasingly seeking out hotels committed to sustainability. They're conscious of their impact and actively contribute to our sustainability efforts,". From simple acts like reusing towels to participating in donation programs, guests become partners in this collective endeavour. The hotel has the initiative to encourage guests’ participation by rewarding bonus points to those who choose to opt out of housekeeping on multiple night stays.

Photo: Housekeeping makes an enormous contribution to the hotel's sustainability practices.

Post-COVID Resurgence and the 12-Step Verification Process: The post-COVID era has propelled a resurgence in hotel business but also heightened awareness of environmental practices. Mr. Ribeiro also highlighted the challenge of monitoring sustainability and introduced the 12-step verification process initiated by the WTTC, in collaboration with industry leaders like the Radisson Hotel Group. The twelve-step verification process involves the following:


  1. Measure & reduce energy use
  2. Measure & reduce water use
  3. Identify and reduce waste
  4. Measure and reduce carbon emissions.


  1. Linen reuse program
  2. Green cleaning products
  3. Vegetarian options
  4. No SUP straw & stirrers
  5. Replace single use plastic bottles
  6. Replace single use plastic mini toiletries.


  1. Community benefit
  2. Reduce inequalities

"This structured process ensures hotels can track and monitor sustainability, setting the stage for deeper and more comprehensive sustainable practices," he stated.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney's Commitment:

At the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, we have been verified for 10 of the 12 initiatives for the Hotel Sustainability Basics and are striving for all 12 in the second of the three-year timeline, it puts us in a very premier league of businesses that feel proud of achieving this status. Our Responsible practises are driven by a Radisson Blu committee that is made up of cross section of the staff and leadership. This passion is driven at all levels and celebrated more than any other achievement. Together we organise and conduct an average of at least 24 different initiatives that assist the environment and community at large, these are done either by donating personal time for the homeless, to raising funds for Childrens Charity, planting trees, saving Koala’s, donating blood and many more.

Photo: Radisson Blu Sydney team visited Gunawirra to hand over the donation from the Gala Dinner.

In 2023, Radisson Blu Sydney continued its commitment to environmentally friendly practices by introducing Electric Vehicle charging stations in our car park. Additionally, we installed water-saving shower heads to minimize water wastage and replaced single-use water bottles in all guest rooms with refillable alternatives. Moreover, the hotel proudly hosted a successful fundraising Gala Dinner in support of Gunawirra - a community-led organisation that works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families, children, and communities, raising a total of over $60,000.

Sustainability is central to the hotel operations, driven by their steadfast belief in 'Yes, I can.' Recognizing the significance of every moment in the context of sustainability, they are committed to making a positive impact.

“Sustainability in hotels is no longer a checkbox; it's a dynamic commitment that goes beyond environmental considerations. As hotels redefine luxury in an eco-conscious era, they pave the way for a greener and more socially responsible tomorrow.”


In conclusion, sustainability in hotels has evolved into a dynamic commitment that transcends environmental considerations. As hotels redefine luxury in an eco-conscious era, they pave the way for a greener and more socially responsible tomorrow. Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney stands as a shining example of this profound dedication to sustainability, proving that every moment indeed matters in the pursuit of a better world.


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