John Firrell MIH steps down as chairman of Considerate Hoteliers in April, 2017. In this farewell message, he recounts the past 25 years and welcomes the new chairman Professor Graham Miller.
“Earth, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways to sustain thee.” I hope Elizabeth Barrett Browning will forgive me for borrowing words from her sonnets, but somehow, they seem highly appropriate both now and indeed when I first encountered Considerate Hoteliers in 1991, whilst hotelkeeping in London.
In this farewell message as chairman, it might seem more fitting to count the number of introductions to this article I thought about, before deciding on this quote. Having been involved with Considerate Hoteliers for some 25 years – first as a member, then a committee member, secretary, a previous spell as chairman, executive director and then finally chairman again – I have so many wonderful memories to choose from.
When the Considerate Hoteliers Association started out in Westminster, its stable mates were Considerate Restaurants, Theatres and Builders. However, it was the Considerate Hoteliers community that truly embraced its environmental ethos. And I’m delighted that many of those founder members are still with us today – thank you! Over the years, many more hospitality businesses, globally, have been influenced by Considerate Hoteliers purpose and have committed to responsible business practices.
In the hotel industry, we are used to being considerate to our guests – it’s our raison d’etre. But let us also be considerate environmentally, socially and economically. Of course, I am biased but I believe the word considerate encapsulates everything worth caring about. If we are looking for an alternate word to sum up to “green” and even “sustainability”, which are becoming convoluted, then we should look no further than “considerate”.
Considerate Hoteliers is a different organisation today than the one I joined in 1991. Under the leadership of Xenia zu Hohenlohe and Benedetta Cassinelli, since 2012, it has evolved to offer sophisticated, sustainable solutions beyond membership, such as the Con-Serve™ data management system, CSR advisory services and tailor-made workshops. I wish them both every success in the future. They have done a tremendous job!
To the new Chairman, Professor Graham Miller, I pass a baton loaded with a formidable history and my very best wishes. I am sure with his guidance, and ability to positively influence those in the hospitality profession, that both our industry and Considerate Hoteliers wilhttp://consideratehoteliers.com/professor-graham-miller-chairman/l benefit hugely. Considerate has much to look forward to.