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Red Clay launches sustainability, ESG tourism leadership webinar series

Red Clay launches sustainability, ESG tourism leadership webinar series

In its desire for the sustainable transformation of the tourism industry and to integrate sustainability thinking in the hospitality and tourism industry, Red Clay, a specialist hospitality and tourism consultancy practice launched its sustainability and ESG tourism leadership webinar series on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

The first session on design, funding, and investment practices interrogated the factors that influence design, investment and financing considerations that drive what is eventually built, the materials used and how these materials play a part in the user experience and long-term performance of the structures economically, environmentally and socially.

Adun Okupe, Principal Advisor at Red Clay and convener of the series, explained the need to address some of the challenges in the multi-layered and multi-disciplinary nature of the industry, and the role a sustainability mindset can contribute to tourism development.

Okupe has worked on the tourism strategies and master plans for several states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Ekiti and Edo States, and shared that investors are increasingly requiring evidence of sustainability thinking in the type of tourism projects that are funded.

Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, the Chief Commercial Officer at Mixta Africa, and a speaker at the event, explained the market trends for developments that integrate living, working and playing, which means real estate developments are increasingly having hospitality asset classes as part of their portfolio.
She shared that sustainability influences the viability of projects, in terms of the physical structure, as well as the market performance.

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Investors and infrastructure financiers are looking at the sustainability considerations and ESG metrics in the projects they fund, even as developing economies seek to address the challenge of building sustainable communities.
Dipo Adebo of DAA Architects who recently worked on the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja explained that for the international and regional hotel management brands, ESG and sustainability are requirements to meet the international standards, including the design and materials used in hotel construction.

One of the challenges faced is the localisation of supply chains. A possible solution was for local manufacturers and construction workers to be upskilled and empowered to meet these standards, whilst remaining competitive, given the prohibitive costs of local manufacturing.

He highlighted the need for proper documentation, design documentation, planning approvals for buildings, structural integrity tests for building projects, and the responsibility developers have in the quality of materials and builders used.

He shared the need for regular inspections by key agencies to ensure the buildings are structurally sound, in the wake of the recent building collapses in Lagos State.

Godson Ikiebey, a sustainability consultant and speaker at the webinar highlighted the need for a comprehensive framework for sustainability reporting in the hospitality and tourism industry, together with the required capacity building and awareness creation, to ensure key stakeholders can work together towards a more sustainable future for Nigerians.

Overall, the hospitality, tourism and real estate industry is rapidly evolving, and as investment and consumer trends change, there will be a need for innovative solutions that address the need for more sustainable communities.
“The next webinar in the series will look at cybersecurity and consumer protection, and how ESG and sustainability thinking can address these security challenges for the hospitality and tourism industry,” Adun said.