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Travel & Tourism companies 20% cleaner than 2005, commit to 50% CO2 cuts by 2035

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Many of the world’s biggest Travel & Tourism companies have improved their carbon efficiency by 20% in the last ten years and are on course to cut CO2 emissions by 50% by 2035, according to a major new report released today.

Travel & Tourism 2015; Connecting Global Climate Action”, published by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), outlines the preparedness of the sector for climate change alleviation measures and demonstrates the progress that has been made by the world’s leading airlines, airports, hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies and technology companies in the last decade.

The report concludes that the world’s biggest Travel & Tourism companies, as represented by the Members of WTTC, are:

– 20% more carbon efficient today than they were in 2005

– On course to cut CO2 emissions by 50% from 2005 to 2035

– On course to reach the target of 25% reduction by 2020

In 2009, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) publishedLeading the Challenge on Climate Change, which identified key themes and action areas required to meet the target of reducing our 2035 carbon emissions by 50% based on 2005 levels. In the run up to the COP21 climate change talks in Paris at the end of this year, WTTC has reviewed progress against these themes to determine how the sector can build on this progress to respond effectively to the challenges of the future.

The initiatives and progress made to date have reduced carbon emissions to the point where WTTC Member companies are 20% less carbon-intense now than they were in 2005, closely approaching the interim target of 25% intensity reduction in 2020 set in 2009. The progress in reducing carbon intensity can be attributed to several actions across each of the themes identified in 2009:

1) Accountability and Responsibility. The sector has made strong progress against this theme, particularly in admitting to the challenge of tackling climate change and setting out plans to address and measure it.  Various methodologies for calculating and measuring carbon usage have been developed and more and more companies are engaging with global frameworks for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting such as GRI and CDP.

2) Local community sustainable growth and capacity building. WTTC members actively demonstrate on-the-ground action in the form of community engagement, charitable contributions, disaster relief, or conservation efforts. Several WTTC Member programmes address deforestation in particular, while others focus on wider biodiversity protection such as preserving coral reefs, hosting bee colonies on rooftops, managing waste, or ensuring sustainable sourcing.

3) Educating customers and stakeholders. Most Travel & Tourism companies now have branded sustainability programs, and these often include customer engagement programs

4) Greening supply chains. Most WTTC members now have formidable supplier screening and supply chain engagement programs and have developed practical tools to help procurement from local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of this.

5) Innovation, capital investment and infrastructure. Similar to ESG reporting being the primary step towards accountability and responsibility now, so were the use of operational environmental management systems and green certification schemes our focus in 2009. Most WTTC Member companies have achieved green certification of some type.

The report also outlines the five priority areas to support the overall target of halving emissions by 2035:

1) Integrating Climate Change and related issues into Business Strategy by disclosing climate change issues in mainstream financial reporting, utilising recognised frameworks and collaborating to harmonise the approach for disclosure within our industries. Commitments will stem from securing leadership from board governance and senior executives.

2) Supporting the Global Transition to a Low Carbon Economy by joining in the leading practice of establishing an internal price of carbon, focusing on renewables for new investments, seeking low carbon financing mechanisms, contributing to local economies with carbon mitigation, and catalysing the economies of scale to create a virtuous circle.

3) Strengthening Local Resilience by recognising the value that local natural and cultural heritage has for Travel & Tourism, enhancing the assessment of our operations and forging partnerships to build resilience against climate risks, reducing local drivers of climate change.

4) Promoting the Value of Responsible Travel by giving travellers the tools to be responsible travellers, encouraging participation in our initiatives, and offering new experiences tied directly to low carbon solutions. We will extend these tools to our business travellers who play an integral role in increasing ESG information from Travel & Tourism companies.

5) Engaging Across the Value Chain by focussing efforts on the biggest opportunities found across the entire value chain to reduce carbon emissions through mechanisms such as supplier screening and local procurement. Furthermore, Travel & Tourism is in a unique position to build consumer awareness of the world’s key supply chain threats by engaging travellers to link the destinations they visit with the issues back home in their own purchasing decisions as consumers and professionals.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “In 2015, Travel & Tourism is forecast to contribute almost 10% of world GDP and 1 in 11 of all jobs on the planet. The strength of the sector is due to continue for the next decade at almost 4% per annum. With such robust growth, Travel & Tourism’s relationship to climate change becomes critical.

“Much has changed in the six years since we published “Leading the Challenge on Climate Change” to support the global climate talks backing international agreements. While the sector has grown, added more jobs and contributed billions of dollars to economies all over the world, we have seen real commitment to sustainability from business as companies innovate and collaborate with others to reduce their overall impacts. WTTC Members are investing heavily in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, are protecting valuable ecosystems and have been building awareness of their actions among stakeholders and customers. The majority of WTTC Members are publicly disclosing their efforts through various means of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting.

“Per passenger, per room, per rental, per transaction, and per unit of revenue, we now serve global travellers 20% more efficiently than in 2005 and are contributing to our goal of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035.

“The next 20 years will be characterised by our sector fully integrating climate change and related issues into business strategy, supporting the global transition to a low carbon economy, strengthening resilience at a local level against climate risks, promoting the value of responsible travel, and greening entire supply chains.

“To reach these long term goals, much still needs to be done across Travel & Tourism and other sectors, but we now have a common understanding and are ever-closer to agreement on the global actions necessary.”

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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