Delegates from 18 hotel operators, owners and architecture firms gathered in London on 8 February for a lunch briefing event at the Savoy to discuss profitable and sustainable hotel building in Europe.

The event, titled “Active Hotel Brands: Developing profitable green hotels in major European cities”, was hosted by the Hotel Management International Dining Club in partnership with Iris Ceramica Group, with three presentations followed by lunch and discussion moderated by HMI Monica Palmas

Jonathan Sheard, senior vice president of development at Accor Hotels UK & Ireland, spoke to the gathering about Accor’s sustainable development initiatives, including a breakdown of the green design techniques used in Accor’s new Novotel flagship in Canary Wharf, which opened on February 13th. He stressed the need for “new innovations, rather than relying on historic action plans.”

P-J Gilbert, project director for design, construction and engineering EAME at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, followed with a presentation on his holistic, “green from the ground up” approach to hotel design. Professor Claudia L Bianchi of the University of Milan concluded with an explanation of the science behind Iris Ceramica’s eco-friendly Active Clean Air and Antibacterial Ceramic tiles.

Over lunch, the attendees discussed their ideal European cities for green hotel builds. They included representatives of IHG, Dorchester Collection, Rocco Forte Hotels, Jupiter Hotels, and Foster + Partners.

Hotel Management International event founder Monica Palmas said: "What an amazing event we had. Now, more than ever, it's important for the hotel industry to lead the way in sustainable development. I hope our speakers and the discussion provided our guests with some useful ideas to respond to that challenge, and we are already working on the next event."