Published on Friday, October 17, 2008

Tourism industry adopts environmental ‘heath check’

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is urging Australian inbound tourism operators to prepare for global changes in supplychain requirements – and to reap bottom line benefits – by measuring their carbon footprint and adopting sustainable practices.

In a partnership announced yesterday, ATEC has put its support behind the just-released Green Globe Lite program – a user-friendly, cost-effective online program that enables businesses to assess their environmental performance.

"With the rapid changes occurring in the global tourism supply and distribution chain, the Australian export tourism industry must move quickly to maintain and grow its competitive position,” said ATEC Managing Director Matt Hingerty.

“Demonstrable environmentally-sustainable practice is now a key discriminating factor for both business investment and consumer purchases."

"Green Globe Lite will enable ATEC members to measure and adopt sustainable practices and policy that will stand up to rigorous scrutiny in the international arena,” Mr Hingerty said.

“It will provide the tools for our members to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in the international marketplace.”

Developed with input from the Australian Hotels Association, Green Globe Lite is specifically designed for accommodation, restaurant and spa operators, visitor information centres and administration offices.

The program’s operational ‘health check’ involves a quantitative assessment of the business’s performance in the areas of energy consumption; CO2 emissions; water consumption and waste production. It also provides guidelines for developing and implementing a sustainability policy.

It meets international standards for carbon-footprint calculation and is backed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the world’s leading tourism research body, which is in turn backed by 17 of Australia’s leading tertiary education institutions and industry bodies.

“The tourism and hospitality industry is facing a challenging future – one in which it will be held accountable for its environmental performance,” said EC3 Global CEO Stewart Moore, who manages the Green Globe programme on behalf of Green Globe Asia-Pacific.

“Green Globe Lite has been developed in answer to industry demand for a user friendly, cost-effective tool to manage environmental performance, which can also lead to significant reductions in resource costs and increased profits.”

A Report by The Mole

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