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) published “Leading 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.”
Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness
Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.
How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature
Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.
While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.
When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness. Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.
4 Practical Ways to Disconnect
If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Switch to a New Phone Plan
It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.
One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.
2. Get Rid of Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).
If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.
3. Create Quiet Hours
If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.
4. Build Community
Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.
As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.
Untether Your Life
If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.
6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move
Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.
6 Tips for a Greener Move
Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.
1. Maximize Each Trip
When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.
If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep
The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.
3. Reuse Moving Boxes
Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.
4. Get Creative With Packing
Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.
5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.
6. Forward Your Mail ASAP
Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.
Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful
Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.
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