The hospitality sector employs at least 10% of the world’s workforce, serving as a cornerstone of many national economies and providing employment and prosperity for millions of people from diverse backgrounds. Meanwhile, 40% of all food produced globally is lost each year, with the hospitality sector estimated to contribute to around 30% of this waste.

The question then is how can the profitability of hospitality businesses be more inclusive of those across the whole value chain? And how can the industry as a whole embrace pathways that make the food systems that nourish us more sustainable for our planet?

Click below to download our full report outlining potential solutions for these challenges, or read on for a summary of the key takeaways, including invaluable insights from:

  • Alexander Smalls: Acclaimed chef, author, and restaurateur

  • Anahita Dhondy: Celebrity chef and author

  • Conor Spacey: Chef and Culinary Director of Foodspace Ireland

  • Paul Newnham: Executive Director at SDG2 Advocacy Hub

  • Nichola Beskine-Taylor: Partner at TGP International

Human Hospitality White Paper Report Cover Image

Download the Full Report



When considering the supply chain of global food systems, the demographic and geographical reach of the hospitality industry illustrates how vast its potential for influence is.

A quick glance at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations shows that the hospitality industry touches nearly every single one of them. Consider, for instance, the following goals:

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Not only do all these goals require strong collaborative efforts to be achieved, but taken together they represent the industry’s vast potential and powerful reach to drive meaningful action in limiting the catastrophic effects of climate change.



Before hospitality can be fully harnessed as a catalyst for sustainable and positive change, there are significant industry issues to resolve that need to form part of the discussion, such as the current barriers to entry to the industry, poor skills development for lower wage workers (SDG 10), high proportion of inequality (SDG 5 & 10) and business failure rates.

“By equipping individuals with the resources and knowledge necessary to innovate and implement sustainable solutions, we can foster financial independence and support communities, ultimately driving positive economic growth.” - Nichola Beskine-Taylor, Partner at TGP International

The way forward therefore must answer two key questions: how can we change these situations for current and future generations, and how do we make that change inclusive.


To achieve enduring benefits across generations, it’s essential to equip today’s hospitality workforce with the necessary knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to shape a brighter future for the industry. Key strategies should prioritise support for current industry leaders while also nurturing emerging talents during their early stages, fostering sustainable, long-term careers.

“All of us have ideas. It’s just about implementing them. You know, as people in the industry and as businesspeople, when you share those ideas with your partners, they suddenly get very excited because your food waste will go down and you’re going to create something new too.” - Anahita Dhondy, celebrity chef and author

Crucially, the necessary drive for change must extend beyond the kitchen or front-of-house to encompass the entire hospitality ecosystem. As an agency founded on a diverse spectrum of talent spanning F&B advisory, design, operations, and beyond, we understand the vast array of opportunities available for individuals to learn, evolve, and flourish. 



The perception that hospitality is not a sustainable and long-term career needs to change urgently if the industry aims to become truly sustainable in alignment with the UN SDGs.

We know already that the hospitality industry can proactively attract talent from disadvantaged backgrounds through initiatives like chef incubation programs, providing

aspiring chefs with access to training, mentorship, and resources to develop their culinary skills. As Alexandar Smalls puts it -

“We have to create pathways for people to get to the places we want them to be.”

It is only by offering tangible opportunities for hands-on experience and professional development that these programs can empower individuals from marginalised communities to pursue careers in the culinary arts, fostering diversity and inclusion.

Exploring Strategies for Food Waste Reduction

The strategies for reducing food waste and its resultant impact on carbon emissions are widely divergent. Some of the most powerful, and creative, solutions discussed included creating new destinations for the bulk of this so-called “waste”, such as distributing perfectly good food to non-profits and homeless agencies.

What ties together these possibilities is the fact that chefs and restaurant owners have a large part to play in bringing these ideas to reality, as well as an understanding that this cannot be achieved with a one-dimensional view of the industry and an oversimplified definition of sustainability—we must look at this from all different perspectives.

There is consensus that the industry therefore needs to rally together to educate all layers of society through multiple hospitality touch points, in order to create the necessary environments that can change minds and help people reimagine their relationship to food.



The activity of gently nudging customers to really think about what they are consuming and how it found its way to the table may seem brave, but there is also a “service” element that is provided through this process as well.

“If we go back and change everything that’s happening in the food system now and showcase what a sustainable food system is – in a lot of cases that actually would mean not giving the customers everything that they want but telling them the story as to why [it is not there].” - Conor Spacey, chef and Culinary Director at Foodspace Ireland

The challenge, no doubt, is balancing priorities and offering information and knowledge that doesn’t have to take away the taste and fond memories from the dining experience.


In seeking sustainable solutions, the hospitality industry can find a wellspring of wisdom in the traditions of indigenous communities. Embracing ancestral culinary techniques, such as fermenting, drying, and preserving foods, may enable hotels and restaurants to optimise ingredient use and minimise waste, for instance.

Moreover, a shift towards locally sourced and seasonally available ingredients echoes the age-old practices of indigenous cultures deeply attuned to their ecosystems, reducing carbon emissions and bolstering local economies.

Integral to this paradigm shift is the engagement with indigenous communities themselves. Learning from their traditional knowledge and practices regarding food and waste management fosters mutual understanding and respect. Initiatives that place importance on such things as food origins and local communities not only enrich the hospitality landscape but also pave the way for inclusive, sustainable practices rooted in shared values.



TGP recognises the need to contribute to this movement and tap into the potential that already exists, while understanding that continuous learning is also essential. In our pursuit, we emphasise that people and providing them with lifechanging opportunities and support is fundamental to infusing sustainability and inclusivity into the hospitality sector.

We believe this commitment to people and inclusivity is where the industry can show it truly has “heart”, illustrating to the world that these things matter and should be prioritised in the way the industry operates.

Looking forward, TGP International sees that by sharing our experience and support, we can inspire others in the hospitality sector to adopt similar approaches. Our initiative strives not only to champion inclusivity and human-focused sustainability as a concept, but also to equip hospitality businesses like our own with the tools, knowledge, and collaborative networks necessary for long-term profitability, job security, and, ultimately, transformation into sustainable enterprises.

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