Melia Hotels International has submitted an application to the Spanish government, to use European Recovery Funds on a project designed to “help combat climate change and move forward in the decarbonisation of the hotel industry”.

The government intends to allocate the funds through a public process to identify suitable projects, with Melia submitting a plan “focused on the transformation and recovery of the travel industry”.

Melia said that an investment of around €129 million would enable the group to “accelerate the transformation of hotel management (and its entire value chain) towards a more sustainable and responsible business model”… “integrating environmental, social and good governance (ESG) criteria into its business DNA”.

The group intends to use the funds to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 environmental footprint to zero, while also reducing scope 3 emissions, “with digitalisation and innovation being the key drivers of the change”.

The five-year project would include initiatives such as the creation of a prototype for a carbon-neutral hotel, using one of its hotels situated within the Menorca Biosphere Reserve.

“We do not aspire to be among the largest companies in the world, but we do aspire to being a good company for the world,” said Gabriel Escarrer, executive vice president and CEO of Meliá. “And that means we have to manage the resources within our reach in a sustainable way, guaranteeing a balance between our growth, environmental protection and social welfare”.