Discover our Sustainability Parameters and learn more about each of them.
When establishments promote local businesses, they help them financially and support them morally.
Though tourism's impact is different depending on location, specific studies indicate its valuable impact. In Tanzania local communities believe to a high degree that tourism revenue in their area supports education in the community, food security, livestock services, and conservation. While in Fiji, roughly half of income from tourism is spent outside of accommodation rates (2, 3).
1. Melita, A., Medlinger, S. 2013. The Impact of Tourism Revenue on the Local Communities’ Livelihood: A Case Study of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. Journal of Service Science and Management, 2013, 6, 117-126.2. https://www.rbf.gov.fj/statistics/nsdp/ 3. https://fhta.com.fj/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fijian-Tourism-2021.pdf
Restaurants and cafés can promote and help preserve local culture by including local dishes in their menu.
By choosing to eat and drink in places where local dishes are on the menu, you get a better sense of the local culture, as well as learn about the traditions, significance, and symbolism they have placed on food. And maybe a chance to engage with the chef on how to cook it at home.
Buying local products is a way for you to support local businesses and culture, as well as a learning opportunity.
The potential positive impact of buying local has many layers. Local economic returns, local taxes, supporting local jobs, wages and benefits, fighting local inequality (1)
Reusable food packaging and cups produce up to 75% less GHG emissions than single-use packaging if used enough times.
Reusable plastic packaging used 50 times, in combination with a plastic bag used 25 times produces 63% less GHG emissions than those associated with single-use packaging and bags (1). When used 140 times, reusable steel cups produce 75% less GHG emissions than those associated with disposable cups (2).
1. Camps-Posino, L., Batlle-Bayer, L., Bala, A., Song, G., Qian, H., Aldaco, R., Xifré, R. and Fullana-i-Palmer, P., 2021. Potential climate benefits of reusable packaging in food delivery services. A Chinese case study. Science of The Total Environment, 794, p.148570.
2. Changwichan, K. and Gheewala, S., 2020. Choice of materials for takeaway beverage cups towards a circular economy. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 22, pp.34-44.
If you use a glass bottle multiple times instead of single-use plastic bottles, you can reduce GHG emissions by 70%.
An average EU citizen consumes the equivalent of 236 0.5 L plastic bottles in bottled water each year (1). The use of a glass bottle for its lifetime corresponds to 70% fewer GHG emissions than using multiple single-use plastic bottles (2). A 0.5 L glass bottle should be used 3 or more times for its environmental impact to be lower than that of a single-use plastic bottle (2).
1. Statista. 2020. Bottled water consumption per capita Europe 2019 | Statista. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/455422/bottled-water-consumption-in-europe-per-capita/.
2. University of Utrecht, Reloop, 2020. Executive summary: Reusable VS single-use packaging – A review of environmental impact. Zero Waste Europe.
If there are automated light controls and sensors, the business might use up to 38% less electricity for lighting.
In commercial buildings, controlling lighting based on occupancy and daylight sensors leads to savings of 24% and 31% of the total lighting energy. Combinations of various lighting control systems leads to savings of 38% of the total lighting energy (1). The share of energy used for lighting in commercial buildings can be as high as 40% of the total energy use (2).
1. Williams, A., Atkinson, B., Garbesi, K., Page, E. and Rubinstein, F., 2012. Lighting Controls in Commercial Buildings. LEUKOS, 8(3), pp.161-180.
2. Lowry, G., 2016. Energy saving claims for lighting controls in commercial buildings. Energy and Buildings, 133, pp.489-497.
A water-efficient toilet can help save up to 85 L of water daily compared to older, less efficient models.
Replacing an older (11 L) flush toilet with a newer, efficient toilet (4 L or 4.5/3 L dual flush) can save 85 L of water per day for public toilets, such as those in restaurants or museums, or 26 L of water per day for private toilets, such as those in hotel rooms (1,2).
1. Benito, P., Mudgal, S., Dias, D., Jean-Baptiste, V., Kong, M., Inman, D. and Muro, M., 2009. Water Efficiency Standard. Bio Intelligence Service and Cranfield University.
2. Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, 2014. Developing an evidence base on flushing toilets and urinals : preliminary report. Key findings. Publications Office.
You have a smaller climate change impact if you use a sturdier bag 2-9 times instead of lighter, single-use ones.
Reusable plastic bags (PET, PP) can have a lower climate change impact than single-use light plastic bags when reused at least 2 - 9 times (1-3). Countries and businesses implementing a levy on single-use plastic bags have been able to reduce their use by up to 90% (4).
1. Bisinella, V., Albizzati, P., Fruergaard Astrup, T. and Damgaard, A., 2018. Life Cycle Assessment of grocery carrier bags. [online] The Danish Environmental Protection Agency. Available at: https://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publications/2018/02/978-87-93614-73-4.pdf.
2. Greene, J., 2011. Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable and Single-use Plastic Bags in California. [online] California State University Chico Research Foundation. Available at: https://plasticsparadox.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Life-Cycle-Assessment-of-Reusable-and-Single-use-Plastic-Bags-in-California.pdf.
3. ECOBILAN, 2004. Évaluation des impacts environnementaux des sacs de caisse Carrefour Analyse du cycle de vie de sacs de caisse en plastique, papier et matériau biodégradable. [online] Available at: https://www.econologie.com/file/environnement/Rapport_sacs_plastiques_carrefour_post_revue_critique.pdf.
4. Gómez, I. and Escobar, A., 2022. The dilemma of plastic bags and their substitutes: A review on LCA studies. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 30, pp.107-116.
Hotels can save up to 9 L of water and up to 0.9 kWh of energy per guest daily if they encourage towel reuse.
According to data from hotels in Europe, each guest produces 2 kg of laundry per day (1). This can be reduced by 15%, or 0.3 kg (2) through messages encouraging towel reuse in rooms, corresponding to 6-9 L of daily water savings and 0.6 to 0.9kWh of daily energy savings per guest (1).
1. Bohdanowicz, P. and Martinac, I., 2007. Determinants and benchmarking of resource consumption in hotels—Case study of Hilton International and Scandic in Europe. Energy and Buildings, 39(1), pp.82-95.
2. Bohner, G. and Schlüter, L., 2014. A Room with a Viewpoint Revisited: Descriptive Norms and Hotel Guests' Towel Reuse Behavior. PLoS ONE, 9(8), p.e104086.
Hotels can reduce the waste sent to landfills by 1.5kg per guest daily, if they place recycling bins in rooms.
Hotels in the EU have been able to reduce the amount of waste produced by guests by up to 76% (1) by placing waste sorting bins in rooms, corresponding to an average of 1.5 kg (2) less waste send to the landfill per guest per day.
1. URBAN-WASTE, 2019. M10 - Waste sorting in hotel rooms. 2. European Commission, 2013. Best Environmental Management Practice in the Tourism Sector 6: Waste and Waste Water Management in Tourist Accommodation.
Heating, cooling, ventilation, and AC are responsible for around 50% of the total energy used by hotels.
On average, 31% of the total energy used in hotels in the EU is for heating and 15% is used for cooling (1). European hotels have an average annual energy consumption of 305 - 330 kWh per m2 (2).
1. European Commission, 2013. Best Environmental Management Practice in the Tourism Sector 7: Minimising Energy Use in Tourist Accommodation. [online] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/takeagreenstep/pdf/BEMP-7-FINAL.pdf.
2. Hotel Energy Solutions, 2011. Analysis on Energy Use by European Hotels: Online Survey and Desk Research. [online] Hotel Energy Solutions project publications. Available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284414970.
Every time you opt out of room cleaning, you help save 35 L of water, 100 ml of chemicals and 1.5 kWh of energy.
For every room not cleaned, a hotel saves 35 L of water, 100 ml of chemicals and 1.5 kWh of energy. Offering the choice to opt out of room cleaning has led to up to 28% of occupied rooms not requiring cleaning, corresponding to 980 L of water, 2.8 L of chemicals and 42 kWh of energy per 100 days of room occupancy. (1)
1. Knezevic Cvelbar, L., Grün, B. and Dolnicar, S., 2019. “To Clean or Not to Clean?” Reducing Daily Routine Hotel Room Cleaning by Letting Tourists Answer This Question for Themselves. Journal of Travel Research, 60(1), pp.220-229.
If you choose a vegan patty instead of a beef one, you can help reduce GHG emissions by 89% and water use by 99.9%
From production to the seller, a 113g vegan burger patty based on pea protein can correspond 89% fewer GHG emissions, 46% less energy use, 92% less land use and 99.95% less water use than an equivalent beef patty (1).
Organic farming can lead up to 30% higher / more species diversity than conventional methods, as it benefits biodiversity.
Organic farming leads up to a 30% higher species diversity and organic fields can support up to 105% more plant species than conventional farmland (3). Organic food production in the EU can only make use of a limited range of protective and fertilizing substances (4). Unfortunately, research remains inconclusive as to the GHG emissions of organic versus conventional farming(5).
1. Sanders, J., 2013. : Evaluation of the EU legislation on organic farming. Braunschweig: Thünen Institute of Farm Economics. [online] Thünen Institute of Farm Economics. Available at: https://orgprints.org/id/eprint/28713/1/Final_StudyReport_(BlackWhite).pdf.
2. REGULATION (EU) 2018/848 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007., Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32018R0848&from=EN#d1e32-56-1.
3. Tuomisto, H., Hodge, I., Riordan, P. and Macdonald, D., 2012. Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research. Journal of Environmental Management, 112, pp.309-320.
To make a new cotton t-shirt, factories use 3.9 MJ of energy, and it has an eco-footprint of 5.4 m2.
A t-shirt weighs around 0.15 kg (1). The production of a new cotton t-shirt uses as much as 3.9 MJ of energy, produces 0.9 g of CO2 and has an ecological footprint of 5.4 m (2).
1. Ramp T-Shirts. 2022. How much does a t shirt weigh?. [online] Available at: https://ramptshirts.com/blog/2017/06/13/how-much-does-a-t-shirt-weigh/.
2. Cherrett, N., Barrett, J., Clemett, A., Chadwick, M. and Chadwick, M., 2005. Ecological Footprint and Water Analysis of Cotton, Hemp and Polyester. Report prepared for and reviewed by BioRegional Development Group and World Wide Fund for Nature - Cymru. [online] Stockholm Environment Institute. Available at: https://mediamanager.sei.org/documents/Publications/SEI-Report-EcologicalFootprintAndWaterAnalysisOfCottonHempAndPolyester-2005.pdf
A pair of jeans produced with organic and recycled cotton can mean 74% less CO2 and 93% less water than a standard one.
From production to distribution to stores, a new, industry-standard pair of jeans can produce 23 kg of CO2 and use 7000 L of water. A pair of jeans using organic and recycled cotton can produce only 6.1 kg of CO2 and use 477 L of water. (1)
1. Vicaria, L., 2021. MUD Jeans Life Cycle Analysis 2020. [online] MUD Jeans. Available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c3qij7hdc9bmfrs/MUD%20LCA%202020_High%20.pdf?dl=0
Vegan or cruelty-free items are not common, but as consumers we can make a difference by demanding more from global and local brands.
As much as 88% of 50 largest cosmetics companies fund animal testing (1), but the cruelty-free market is expected to grow between 4 to 7% each year through 2030 (2, 3, 4).
Deposit return schemes can lead to return rates of up to 98% for drinks containers and 72% for appliances.
Countries in the EU that have implemented deposit return schemes for beverage containers have achieved return rates of up to 98% (1), as opposed to, for example, 45% in New Zealand without such schemes (2). A deposit return scheme for white appliances in the Netherlands would lead to an increase in recycling rates of 29%, from 42% to 71% (3).
1. Schneider, J., Karigl, B., Reisinger, H., Oliva, J., Süßenbacher, E. and Read, B., 2011. A European Refunding Scheme for Drinks Containers. [online] European Parliament, Directorate General for External Policies. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2011/457065/IPOL-AFET_NT(2011)457065_EN.pdf.
2. New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. 2022. Further information on the Container Return Scheme proposal. [online] Available at: https://environment.govt.nz/what-government-is-doing/areas-of-work/waste/container-return-scheme-reducing-waste-landfill/further-information-on-the-container-return-scheme/.
3. Linderhof, V., Oosterhuis, F., van Beukering, P. and Bartelings, H., 2019. Effectiveness of deposit-refund systems for household waste in the Netherlands: Applying a partial equilibrium model. Journal of Environmental Management, 232, pp.842-850.
Accredited sustainability certifications are a clear sign that the company has started their sustainable journey.
Certification is defined as a voluntary, third-party assessment, through an audit, of a company, based on a standard. There are a vide selection of certifications in the market, a business can choose to be certify from. In tourism some of the most common are GreenKey, Swan Lable, B Corp.
The companies that work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are more resilient and able to capitalize on a range of positive impacts.
The SDGs represent a major opportunity for businesses to shape, steer, communicate and report their strategies, goals and activities, allowing them to capitalize on a range of benefits from sustainable action. These include new revenue, employer attractiveness, increased supply chain resilience, increased investor interests, and ensuring regulatory compliance (1).
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