Preferred Hotel Group creates portfolio that goes Beyond Green — Ted Turner Reserves
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Preferred Hotel Group creates portfolio that goes Beyond Green

Beyond GreenPreferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide networks, has unveiled Beyond Green, a global portfolio of sustainably minded hotels, resorts and alternative lodging concepts.

The Beyond Green network makes its debut with two dozen founding member properties, including Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo in New Mexico, Ireland’s Ashford Castle, the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and AndBeyond’s Bateleur Camp in Kenya, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia and Mnemba Island in Tanzania, among others.

According to Preferred, Beyond Green members are selected based on an ability to deliver on three core brand pillars, including commitment to environmental practices “that go beyond the basics,” efforts to protect natural and cultural heritage and contributions to the social and economic well-being of local communities.

Some Beyond Green properties will be dual-branded within the Preferred Hotel Group portfolio. The Post Ranch Inn in California’s Big Sur, for instance, will remain a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts network while also joining the Beyond Green portfolio.

The Beyond Green network launch builds on Preferred Hotel Group’s acquisition of sustainable tourism services and consulting firm Beyond Green Travel earlier this year. Beyond Green Travel, helmed by founder and president Costas Christ, operates alongside PHG Consulting, Preferred’s global travel and tourism marketing and consulting agency.

“[The question] was, how do you elevate beyond basic sustainability?” said Preferred Hotel Group CEO Lindsey Ueberroth. “There’s sustainability, and then there’s sustainable tourism, which is a longer-term vision. People want to raise the bar.”

Lindsey Ueberroth

Lindsey Ueberroth

In addition to Beyond Green’s brand pillars, member properties are required to fulfill a checklist of more than 50 sustainability indicators, many of which closely align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Along with environmental sustainability measures like the reduction of single-use plastics, the criteria also include, for example, a commitment to equality in hiring and career advancement.

“Sustainability has traditionally been about ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,'” said Christ. “We don’t want to shortchange that, because that’s important. But there’s no question that sustainable tourism has evolved. The U.N. sustainability goals

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key things such as gender equality, fair work and fair pay.”

According to Christ, Beyond Green aims to grow its ranks to around 100 properties over the next two years, with Preferred planning to kick off a consumer-awareness campaign around the new brand’s launch in early 2021.

Meanwhile, Preferred’s Ueberroth reports that early demand among hotel operators has been stronger than expected, with the company “far exceeding” the number of Beyond Green founding members it initially expected to have at launch.

“Obviously, we’re in a period now where every hotel and organization is watching every line item, and that’s been a challenge,” said Ueberroth. “But at the same time, the commitment of the hotels that want to be a part of this has been tremendous. Some people kind of hunker down during crises, but we thought this was the perfect time to focus our energies on innovation.”