|Tourism market leaders move to EarthCheck.|
Monday, 1st March 2010
Source : EC3 Global
A shift occurred when leaders in the sustainable travel and tourism industry moved to EarthCheck, the next generation in benchmarking and certification.
Among them were hospitality giants such as InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), Carlson Asia Pacific, Sandals Resorts International, Langham, Banyan Tree, Alila, Six Senses and Dusit.
Their decision will be keenly watched by others in the industry who are monitoring the impact of the emerging carbon economy and taking note of how new legislation is likely to impact on margins.
The EarthCheck Program was jointly developed by the Australian Government funded Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) and Brisbane-based company EC3 Global. It responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management.
With the tightening of regulations, new emissions trading schemes, and the implementation of mandatory reporting, producing Greenhouse Gas (GHG)emissions now comes at a very real cost to business. If left unchecked, the price can easily run into the millions of dollars and exposure to risk could balloon to debilitating levels.
“With legislative changes and increasing reporting requirements, it’s all a matter of risk,” states the corporate responsibility director of IHG’s Australasian operations, Frank Hubbard. “From our perspective, we see EC3 Global’s products and services as scientifically validated and useful solutions. The ongoing investment in the EC3 Global business, and the fact that it is trusted by the biggest in the trade, makes it a provider and partner we prefer to bet on.”
Hubbard’s sentiments are echoed across the Caribbean, where Sandals Resorts International has also selected EarthCheck as the most technologically advanced yet practical and realistic standard science based environmental standard.
“As the leading all-Inclusive accommodation provider in the Caribbean championing the charge of sustainability, we are happy to have EarthCheck as the engine behind our programs,” explains Wayne Cummings, Director of Business Processes & Administration at Sandals Resorts International. “Moving forward with its own branding and criteria under EarthCheck, we expect continued improvement in the offerings and effectiveness to the tourism industry with renewed credibility and focus.”
Asian properties are highly evolved when it comes to sustainable practices, and how to balance guest expectations with forward-thinking corporate philosophies. When Banyan Tree made the decision to upgrade the software and technology they use to measure, monitor and manage their operations, they had to be certain that the guests experience would in no way be compromised.
“We feel that EarthCheck is the most stringent and relevant benchmarking tool for us to first measure our performance, then systematically take actions for improvement,” says Michael Kwee of Banyan Tree Global Foundation Limited. “The robust system and strength of the underlying research have given us the confidence to entrust EarthCheck to provide us with accurate measures and benchmark intelligence.”
The timely introduction of the EarthCheck Program, in addition to Scopes 1, 2 and 3 reporting, is a welcome tool for all operators.
“EarthCheck will enable our clients to independently calculate their Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions,” explains Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. “The Program provides a framework to help increase operational efficiencies, maximise the impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and minimise environmental footprints. These are all things that are now expected of market leaders and verifiable proof is often required by many organisations prior to booking conferences and making group reservations.”
Although some managers continue to view the greening of business as merely a marketing strategy, for the more savvy operators the paradigm shift represents a welcome opportunity to streamline, maximize efficiencies and use science to make a direct (positive) impact on the triple bottom line.
“EC3 Global continues to gain significant traction in the travel and tourism industry and has become a leading authority on sustainability,” says Nicholas Blake from the Hong Kong offices of Langham Hotels. “Having the ability to access international trends in sustainable tourism and then extrapolate these findings into proven industry metrics provides customers peace of mind and an approach that’s consistent with leading international authorities.”
EC3 Global has built a solid reputation as an international environmental management and certification company with more than 1000 clients in over 60 countries. As such, developments at EC3 Global are likely to have a flow-on effect for National Park agencies, community organizations, Government regulators and leading hotel and travel groups across the globe.