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Kanika Jhunjhnuwala appointed Chief Sustainability Officer at Sudima Hotels’ Management Group

Kanika Jhunjhnuwala
Images by Sudima Hotels’ Management Group

Hind Management, the company behind Sudima Hotels, has appointed experienced ESG professional Kanika Jhunjhnuwala to the role of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). Previously Hind Management’s Executive Director – Sustainability and Environment, she has led delivery of the group’s sustainable strategies and governance since 2019.  

Ms Jhunjhnuwala has lived in Asia, the Americas and New Zealand and applies a global lens to implementation of sustainable hospitality and tourism. Under her leadership, Sudima Hotels and Hind Management have become award-winning industry leaders in sustainability, environmental care and community support. Ms Jhunjhnuwala has a background in physics and environmental engineering and has undertaken environmental economic academic research.

Sudima Hotels is an early adopter in the sustainability space and has established itself as an industry leader in sustainable hospitality and tourism. For over a decade, Hind Management has set benchmarks that range from Toitū certifications through to being the first in its sector nationally to partner with BNZ on a sustainability-linked loan in 2022.

The $100 million+ incentive-based loan – with sustainability performance targets and ambitious KPIs – allows for even further investment in market-leading environmental, social and governance initiatives, while adding accountability and transparency to stated targets. The group is into year three of successful headway against the KPIs, which cover reducing emissions, improving accessibility, lifting cultural competency and improving the sustainability of their supply chain with a focus on reducing plastic.

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The CSO appointment of Ms Jhunjhnuwala comes as Hind Management steps up its efforts to help lead the New Zealand hospitality industry in ESG. Ms Jhunjhnuwala recently launched The Hotel Industry Sustainability Group, enabling hotels to participate in and collaborate on sustainability. The group’s activities include knowledge-sharing, efforts to create a hotel-specific emissions benchmark with the goal of reducing emissions in the long run, and serving as a touchpoint for sustainability within the hotel sector.

Ms Jhunjhnuwala sees the CSO title as reflecting a deepening responsibility to influence and inspire the hospitality and tourism sector to raise its sustainability performance.

“For me this title is a continuation, and it really signals the group’s forward trajectory. We have shown others in the sector what is possible, and our goal is to lead the way in regenerative hospitality and leave the world in a better position that when we started.

“We are mindful that meaningful change demands action at a sector level. I’m calling on my peers to work in unison. My new remit includes increased advocacy for change at a sector level, nationally and internationally.”

As part of the group’s broader focus, Ms Jhunjhnuwala is expanding her team. In June she appointed Sammy Barker to the role of Sustainability Specialist.

Mr Barker recently completed a Master of Global Studies at the University of Auckland, with a dissertation on sustainable urban development and urban planning. He holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental management and protection from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. His project experience ranges from river watershed analysis and farm to store life cycle analysis in California through to recent support to Auckland Transport with data analysis for the Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan.

“Sustainability and environmental science is the area I’m most passionate about,” he says, “especially in the corporate sphere because that’s where I think someone in my role can make a difference. I’m really excited about this challenge and everything that comes with it.”

Hind Management’s Chief People Officer Phillipa Gimmillaro says: “Sustainability underpins Sudima Hotels’ business model. These appointments reflect this as our ESG framework and strategy build their positive impact. We are delighted to appoint Kanika to the CSO role and warmly welcome Sammy to the Hind Management and Sudima Hotels family.”

Tags: Chief Sustainability Officer, Sudima Hotels' Management Group

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