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How to Improve your Hotel or Tourism Business’ Sustainability Performance

Tailored Training Options for hotels, lodgings, resorts,  tour operators, MICE venues and companies – tourism and hospitality brands

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Divine and Right. Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

Based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council -GSTC Industry Criteria and guided by practical insights from leading sustainable tourism experts, the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) offers tailored curriculum based on your company’s specific needs and goals, and help improve your company’s sustainability practices through tangible actions that fulfill the globally recognized standard of sustainability best practices.

GSTC Industry Criteria (GSTC-Industry)

 

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Paradisus Riviera Maya – La Perla and La Esmeralda: a model of eco efficiency and sustainability.

The GSTC Industry Criteria (GSTC-Industry) have been initially created for the accommodation and tour operation sectors, developed through analyses of 4,500 criteria and 60 certifications systems, and with the input of over 2,000 stakeholders. The latest edition of the GSTC-Industry (updated in 2016) includes separate indicators for hotels and for tour operators, and other sub-sectors can be created (e.g. cruise, MICE, aviation, etc.), enhancing the applicability of the standard to the entire tourism industry.

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Architect Arturo Amaya showing the architecture, nature and design, highlighting environmental conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico. 

The GSTC-Industry is a globally recognized set of sustainable tourism principles and performance indicators that can be used by tourism businesses to:

· Guide various sustainable business practices, from product development to supply chain management.

· Assist sustainability training and skills development efforts, helping improve employee sustainability performance.

· Communicate to customers and to the media about sustainable business practices more effectively.

GLOBAL AUTHORITY ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

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GSTC CEO, General Manager, Chairman and Trainers from the Philippines and South Korea.

The GSTC is a UN-endorsed independent organization recognized for our critical role as the global leader in providing guidance for the development and management of sustainability in tourism. Based on our extensive knowledge base, the GSTC STTP offers both global and regional perspectives to help your business achieve your sustainability action goals.

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At Rio Secreto, Riviera Maya multi-awarded natural reserve and ecotourism company. From left: #SustainableRivieraMaya CEO Ms. Beatriz Barreal, Society for Sustainable Tourism President & CEO Ms. Susan Santos de Cardenas and Ms. Kristel Arce, PR Manager of Rio Secreto.

FROM WORDS TO ACTIONS, TO LONG-TERM IMPACTS

The objective of the GSTC STTP is not to offer a one-time exercise of reviewing what should be done; rather, we will work with you towards tangible and meaningful goals, focusing on the long-term benefits of sustainable tourism policies and practices and assisting your business to successfully achieve sustainability performance goals over time.

OVERVIEW: TRAINING AND CERTIFICATES

The GSTC offers tailored training options to meet your organization’s specific needs and to accommodate various learning and capacity building requirements based on the desired training outcomes.

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 ONE OR HALF-DAY SEMINAR

A short small-group session focused on select best practice cases and key sustainable tourism approaches. 

Our half-day seminar is ideal for travel and tourism businesses seeking to better understand what it means to become a sustainable tourism destination. Recommended for managers and team leaders, the seminar covers:

  • Sustainable tourism practices for the sound business growth and development;
  • GSTC Industry Criteria as a framework for your company’s sustainability action plan;
  • Benefits of your sustainability actions – for your staff, stakeholders, and customers; and
  • Practical insights into sustainable tourism business best practices based on real-life examples and lessons.
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Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Hotels – award winning Earth Check certified and GSTC Sustainable Hotel Ambassador

3-DAY INTENSIVE CLASSROOM TRAINING

In-depth training on sustainable tourism standards and best practices, supporting your company’s sustainability strategy and action plan.

 Offered as a 3-day-long intensive and interactive training class, our onsite training sessions offer a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the GSTC Industry Criteria and performance indicators. Incorporating case studies and best practice examples relevant to tourism businesses, the training class provides practical insights that will help you make informed decisions on how to implement sustainability actions, and establish viable plans and strategies for your company.

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Paradisus Riviera Maya – GSTC Sustainable Hotel member, Trip Advisor’s Eco Leader,  Earth Check Certified.

GSTC Expert Trainer 

SUSAN SANTOS DE CÁRDENAS – GSTC Country Representative, The Philippines / GSTC Trainer CEO and President, Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development- SSTDI

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Saying “hola” to the iguana, at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya,  Sustainable Hotel Ambassador of Sustainable Riviera Maya.

See her bio in our Society Stewards Page.

Learn more about the STTP-Industry and our programs or how we can help your hotel/resort/lodging/tourism business implement sustainability best practices.

UNWTO has made it clear that with the predicted growth of tourism (1.8 billion international tourists in 2030), embracing sustainability is not an option, but a necessity. – Luigi Cabrini, Chair, GSTC

 

How Tour Operators Can Take Responsibility

As a link between tourists and service providers, tour operators and activity providers play a significant role in implementing sustainable practices.

Sustainable tourism is looking out for the economic, social and environmental influences – including the visitors, the economic sectors linked to the tourism industry and the host communities.

The question is Whose Responsibility Is It to Educate Travelers?

Tour operators and activity providers can influence their consumers, suppliers and the routes chosen (Tour Operators’ Initiative, 2003)in order to increase the awareness of the responsibilities each party involved should take on to achieve more sustainability in tourism.

When contributing to sustainable tourism, tour operators and activity providers should work to:

  • Make sure that the local community receives full benefits
  • Minimise the negative impacts on the environment
  • Educate tourists about their responsibility

Source: How Tour Operators Can Take Responsibility

Our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI offers Capacity Building and Educational programs for hotels, destinations – LGUs, host communities,  private stakeholders and the grassroots and tour operators with Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria. Training programs for Destinations, Hotels, Tour Operators and Industry in general include Environmental ConservationGood Governance, Climate Resilience. The objective is to address global challenges of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals: poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and climate change. WASTE TO ENERGY solutions are now offered to LGUs for their ecological solidwaste management and renewable energy solutions. For more information and assistance, contact us.

5 Ways Modern Hotels Can Use Renewable Energy

Climate Change Mitigation 101 –  our series on Climate Mitigation for Sustainable Tourism 

Foreword. The tourism industry has a key role to play in confronting the challenges of climate change. There is now a clear understanding that the travel sector can be part of the solution to the global warming crisis, by reducing its green house gas emissions as well as by helping the communities where tourism represents a major economic source to prepare for and adapt to the changing climate. Mitigation in the tourism sector can be achieved by reducing energy use, through changing travel behavior, by improving energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy, carbon offsetting strategies, as well as changes in business practices.  In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, not only the typhoon devastated Estancia, Iloilo but also second man-made disaster, an oil spill from a bunker fuel barge has wrought havoc to the town and its surrounding seas.   In this guest blog post, by Sam Marquit, of Fair Marquit Value, we show how the tourism industry, in particular the hospitality sector, can use renewable energy. 

5 Ways Modern Hotels Can Use Renewable Energy

Companies throughout the world are beginning to use renewable sources of energy. Renewable power, including wind and hydroelectric power, are set to rise by 40 percent over the following five years. Energy Department records already show that renewable energy accounted for 12 percent of United States electricity over the past year. Of this 12%, 5% came from wind and solar sources while 7% was taken from hydroelectric plants. It’s clear that renewable energy is here to stay as more companies embrace it. In this group, the travel industry stands out. Here’s a look at how renewable power is being used by the travel industry to lower operating costs and support a sustainable future.

Daluyon Resort Beach_ZCR & Asean Green Hotel Awardee

Daluyon Beach Resort, Zero Carbon Resorts member and ASEAN Green Hotel Awardee

Solar Energy

The solar energy industry is set to grow to $65 billion by 2016. Today, three-quarters of solar installations in the United States are less than two-and-a-half years old. Hotels of all sizes are quickly taking to this technology. One 16-room boutique hotel, which invested $80,000 in its solar panels, cut its energy bills by 60 percent, or $1,000 per month. Although solar power installations can take as long as a decade to pay for themselves, more hotels are choosing this option.

Green Hotels Best Practices: low impact, efficient energy

Green Hotels Best Practices: low impact efficient energy management & savings

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is ready to double in size as countries around the world embrace it. In Reno, Nevada, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino heats itself with a geothermal aquifer located 4,400 beneath the surface of the desert. As much as 1,200 gallons per minute are heated this way, saving the company about $2 million each year compared it’s previous natural gas heating. For now, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is unique for its sole use of geothermal heating. This area is certainly a hotbed of green innovation especially within the hotel industry. Hotels in the area are continuing to be built and all are green structures.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Travel+Leisure Global Vision Awards Winner

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Travel+Leisure Global Vision Awards Winner

Bio Fuels

Biodiesel is quickly becoming more popular, and the U.S. economy reaped about $4 billion from it in the past year. The Hilton Stockholm Slussen, in Sweden, turns its organic waste into biodiesel at a nearby plant. Increasingly, the biodiesel that results from this and similar projects in Sweden are powering the nation’s vehicles.

Eco Agri Bio Fuel Implements

Eco Agri Bio Fuel Implements

 

Reuse

Waste management is an important issue at hotels, which are increasingly running programs to reuse linens and towels. Guests can choose to dry their towels and keep the same bed linens rather than getting new ones each day. To deal with waste from gardens and kitchens, the Taj Hotel’s Mahal Palace in India is sending waste to biogas plants and even offering facility tours to guests.

Nature's Village Resort, Negros Occidental, ASEAN Green Hotel Awardee

Nature’s Village Resort, Negros Occidental, ASEAN Green Hotel Awardee

Wind Energy

Companies such as Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Company are building billions of dollars worth of wind farms. In Kansas, a hotel was destroyed by a tornado, but its owner rebuilt a greener version of the hotel with wind energy that covers half of its electricity bill each month.

Six Senses Resort Con Dao Vietnam, Multi-awarded Eco Lodge & Sustainable hotel

Six Senses Resort Con Dao Vietnam, Multi-awarded Eco Lodge & Sustainable hotel

Renewable energy sources are becoming popular with consumers and companies around the globe. Hotels, which are major energy consumers, have taken a lead in embracing these new sources of energy. Along with saving money, renewable energy sources boost customer perception of hotels and support a healthier future for everyone.

 

Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated Coron. An opportunity to switch to Renewable Energy.

Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated Coron. An opportunity to switch to Renewable Energy.

Our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. -SSTDI offers Capacity Building and Training programs to public and private stakeholders, host communities and grassroots in sustainable tourism development & stewardship to include Good Governance, Climate Change Mitigation Disaster Preparedness and ManagementWaste to Energy projects are offered to LGUs for their ecological solidwaste management and renewable energy solutions. For more information and assistance, contact us. 

 

 

Green buying and gifts guide

Note: First published in December 2010, we have updated this blog with some news and great green items! Enjoy!

Deck the halls with boughs of holy, fa la lala… ti’s the season of extreme enterprise just like everywhere in the globe. For a non-Christian country, Japan celebrates Christmas to the max, but not for traditional or religious reasons. Not to mention that most Christmas trees and decor are depressing blue color lights, though thankfully have low energy consumption! Singapore inaugurated the Orchard Christmas light up with no less than their President, a national event to herald shopping hoarders.  In the Philippines, they put up the Yuletide trimmings as early as September, to bring the holiday cheers early amidst typhoon time. It’s simply a silly spell of trash and bash for profitable purposes. So before your Christmas becomes just a blur of stress and duress, get guided by these holiday eco ethos and lighten your impact to the environment.

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1. Buy green gifts.  Consider eco-friendly and socially-conscious products and think about impact and environment when buying gifts. Remember the environmental effort and message gives more meaning, so look for a green approach for each gift: i.e. organic products, reusable, recyclable and really useful, like products from Handmade Gallery (photo below.)

Handmade Gallery Useful Gift.

2. Reuse, reduce & recycle. Be creative in practicing these principles: reuse gift wrappers, reduce waste, recycle unused gift items and give them off. These 3Rs in gift giving is not only economical but less stressful!

Echo Store Gift Bag

3. Eco shopping bags. Bring your reusable shopping bags when heading out to your gift buying spree this season and avoid plastic bags abound. Check out these ideas from Echo Store, Serendra, Philippines.

Reusable gift box from Echo Store

Reusable Gift basket from Echo Store

Reusable Gift basket from Echo Store

4. Shop online. Save fuel and energy. Instead of charging out in traffic and lining up kilometric queues in stores, shop online instead! Items purchased online can be delivered straight to your recipient, so it can also cut down effort in personal delivery and again, fuel in driving around to give those gifts!

Save energy, avoid rush crowds, buy online!

5. Cool gift certificates. Instead of buying ordinary gifts, buy something special like a concert ticket, spa certificate, book club or gym trial and the like.  Your friend will think of you as a cool and considerate giver.

Green Gift-GCsBuy Green Gifts for a Cause.

6. Gift of charity. As a great alternative to buying another picture frame, mug or socks for the person who may not need more of the same, give them the gift of charity, a donation to an environmental project or to any other organization for the needy. Donate to these charities or purchase gift cards in their name.

Green gift giving: donate to our environmental conservation & protection educational programs.

 

7. Christmas cards from recycled paper. Thousands of cards each year are bought every yuletide season. Consider the alternative E-greeting card and if you must, buy Christmas cards from recycled paper. Think Amazon Forest and deforestation before you buy that Christmas card.

Macrame Bags made by Aeta Community
Macrame Bags made by Aeta Community

8. Biodegradable wrappers and bows.  Use recycled paper and natural materials instead of plastic or metallic wrappers and bows. Needless to say, they’re easier to dispose and less harmful to the environment. These calls again for creativity: reuse materials, or make the wrapping part of the gift, such as scarves, baskets and or reusable decorative boxes.

9. Re-chargeable batteries. When buying battery operated toys, encourage use of re-chargeable batteries; educate children as early as tots about the proper use of recharging – they’re not only eco friendly but also economical.

Handmade Gallery Holiday Centerpiece

Handmade Gallery Holiday Centerpiece

11. Live or Recycled materials instead of plastic Xmas tree. Purchase a live tree to use as Christmas tree and it doesn’t have to be a traditional fir. Santa will not scold you if you use other foliage as Christmas tree as you can re-plant them in your yard after the holidays. Besides, it serves a natural indoor air purifier. And oh, use natural décor non-plastic, non-hazardous materials and low consumption lights.

12. Avoid wasteful consumptionThink.Eat.Save. as the UNEP campaign goes. Christmas is a garbage fest. Before the gift opening and feasting begins, set up your garbage disposals accordingly – for cans, bottles, paper etc. Again, practice the pre- and post party 3Rs. Remember to be thankful, not wasteful.

Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your footprint Campaign by UNEP.

13. Last but not the least, if you are planning to spend Christmas holidays elswhere, travel green and make your vacation more meaningful with our Green Travel ideas. Support our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. – SSTDI genuine green initiatives, helping grassroot communities.

 

Genuine Green: Social equity & local economic growth, climate change solutions, the grassroots way.

Genuine Green: Social equity & local economic growth, climate change solutions, the grassroots way.

 

Christmas has almost lost its essence due to over- commercialization and excessive hype. Make your Yuletide more meaningful and less stressful. Think outside the gift box a little and you can have greener Holidays that may benefit the environment and humanity. Is your Christmas green? Share your eco holiday season tips, please add them to the comments section!

Our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. -SSTDI offers Capacity Building and Training programs to public and private stakeholders, host communities and grassroots in sustainable tourism development & stewardship to include Good Governance, Climate Change Mitigation Disaster Preparedness and Management. Sustainable Purchasing: Green Supplies & Suppliers Presentation was delivered by Guest Resource person, Ms. Reena Francisco of Echo Store in Coron, Palawan, Philippines during The Coron Initiative – Capacity Building Series in 2013. 

Waste to Energy projects are also offered to LGUs for their ecological solidwaste management and renewable energy solutions. For more information and assistance, contact us. 

 

Photo Credits: Echo Store for the Reusable Gift Packs, Gift Bags & Handmade Gallery for Holiday Centerpiece. 

Party Like There IS Tomorrow – Greening Events and Festivals

Do you know if your event is helping or hurting the environment? Include a Sustainable Events Management with CSR in your next big meeting or feasting! Not only the local host community but also their future generations will thank you for this.

 

APEC BORACAY Funtasea Party

An APEC Philippines 2015 party in Boracay Island hosted by Department of Tourism. When will the tourism and hotel industry start to green their meetings, events and expos?

Concerts, sporting events, conventions, festival and big outdoor gatherings are an essential part of community life that has a positive effect on society. Unfortunately they can have negative impacts on the environment. Events generate garbage, use electricity, require a lot of materials to run them, along with plenty of travel by the audience and/or participants that leave carbon footprints.

Bacolod City “Electric” Masskara. Is this a sustainable event? Does it minimize energy consumption? Genuinely benefit the grassroots?

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Sustainable Events: think planet, people, profit AND the future generations.

Sustainable Events Management. Any event can be managed sustainably, whether small or large, a conference or caucus, an annual festival or something that is ongoing, like a series of spectator sports   – the concept of minimizing impacts of purchasing, energy production, transport, waste and sanitation can be applied in almost any situation. A green meeting, sustainable festival or eco-friendly live event seeks to minimize its resource use and all the potentially negative impacts on the environment.

“Greening” an event or meeting involves all aspects of the planning process, a detailed collaboration of everyone involved, from producer to supplier, from venue to viewers.

At the First Events Asia, talking about “Greening Meetings”. Educate participants to do green and eco-friendly practices.

Practice Sustainable Events in order to satisfy the needs of attendees and host community alike, while protecting and improving future opportunities.  Simply put, minimize and reduce the environmental cost of your events and embed the concepts of sustainability into your purchasing and operational decisions. Educate all participants to avoid careless and negligent behavior like leaving trash, using plastics and causing heavy impact to the already fragile environment to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Purchasing.  When purchasing, buy sustainably. Buy local.Purchase from local vendors and buy products manufactured within the province or region to reduce carbon footprints.

Handmade Gallery Useful Gift.

Buy local. Support local. Our “Certificate of Appreciation” for our First Environmental Forum in Negro Occidental were placemats courtesy of Handmade Gallery. Very handy and useful.

Waste management. Practice the new mantra of RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPORT.

Re-think giveaways – Ensure they are useful, utilize recycled materials, and have minimal packaging. Reduce or limit paper communications.

Energy. Use sustainable energy. Use ecological alternatives to diesel- and gasoline/petrol-powered generators. Reduce power consumption. Adopt procedures to reduce the total energy consumed by the event.

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Skylanters are beautiful as they fly across the night sky, but environmental impacts and hazards can be ugly.

Sustainable Transport. Reduce the carbon emissions in transport. Provide participants, audience, staff, and volunteers with public transport and ride sharing options, and encourage cycling and walking to the event.

Form a Green Team to share about your environmental commitment and encourage participants to green their own events, meetings, conferences and other business practices.  

The Coron Initiative Green Leaders. Training the trainers for Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality and Events. Sustainable Purchasing & Green Products & Suppliers talks from Echo Store Managing Partners, Ms. Reena Francisco & Ms. Chit Juan.

Lean and green. Even in an economic crisis, green practices and long-term sustainability goals should not take a backseat to the bottom line.  Incorporating green and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices into events and meetings can be beneficial —not only to establish their companies as good corporate citizens, but to actually save money!

Green Hotels_ Low Energy, Efficient Energy

Green Hotels_ Low Energy, Efficient Energy

These are just some of the many ways to green your events – the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Do you know if your event is helping or hurting the environment? Include a Sustainable Events Management with CSR Workshop in your next big happening!

Our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. -SSTDI offers Capacity Building and Training programs to public and private stakeholders, host communities and grassroots in sustainable tourism development & stewardship to include Sustainable Events, Festivals and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions).  Waste to Energy projects are offered to LGUs for their ecological solidwaste management andrenewable energy solutions. For more information and assistance, contact us. 

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“In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it’s un-environmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.” ~ Mollie Beatty

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