In many ways 2021 cannot be treated as business as usual. It heralds a new period of time where societal, economic and environmental uncertainty and disruption have become the norm. It is now clear that not only is regional and global climate change a reality but there are other hazards and vulnerabilities that need to be factored into our business plans. Managing risk, building resilience and factoring in adaptation and recovery responses are now required as standard operating procedures.
As Professor David Simmons, the Chairman of the EarthCheck Research Institute, says ““you can’t hope to have a sustainable tourism industry on an unsustainable planet. Tourism, local community ownership and a safe and healthy environment are joined at the hip. We have to define the values and purpose of why we travel and we have to use them as a signpost and GPS for how we manage and direct the future growth of our industry.”
With the gradual easing of travel restrictions across the world people will once again start to leave their homes in search of reconnection with the outside world and their own re-creation. Given that international travel will remain constrained for a considerable period of time (2-3) years local and domestic tourism will provide the green shoots in a post COVID-19 environment. While it can be expected that people will initially start travelling to sites closer to home this will gradually extend to longer day trips, overnight stays and then extended breaks as the wider economy opens up.
Our current research indicates that hygiene, general visitor safety and cleanliness will be front and centre for all destinations, precincts and businesses as we move into a reset and recover phase in the next months. Spending time with family and friends will increase in importance and visiting them will be a key motivator for travel. The great outdoors are likely to boom as travellers shift their preferences and avoid crowded places and the benefits of the outdoors on mental health are realised.
It is now clear that the post COVID-19 conscious consumer will begin to scrutinise every aspect of a destination, business and supply chain. Here at EarthCheck we are working hard to provide our members with practical and positive solutions for where we collectively can make a difference. Our rallying message from inception has been and still is that:
the planet deserves more than half measures™
Walking the Talk
EarthCheck is in the business of caring for people and the planet. For more than 30 years, we have been delivering products for the tourism and travel industry to assist in continual improvement and sustainable progress of businesses. At EarthCheck, we want to walk the talk on sustainability and we do this by working through our own flagship program, EarthCheck Certified.
1) Commitment and Policy
At EarthCheck, we are committed to reducing and preventing the negative environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with our activities, products and services. We are committed to enriching local communities and protecting the planet for future generations. By informing and educating our employees, members and other stakeholders, we set the stage to protect our surrounding ecosystems and contribute to the continuous improvement of our planet.
We are continuously improving our operating practices to reduce our ecological footprint and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are our guiding light as we move towards a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry.
Our dedicated Green Team developed a Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Policy detailing our commitment to environmental protection, continual improvement, legal compliance, local employment, and preference of purchasing local products and services.
We also adopt a total Quality Management System designed to adhere to the requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 17065. We encourage our staff to maintain this commitment to environmental and social responsibilities and quality management in our daily operations and we seek support from our customers, service providers, business partners, contractors and suppliers to deliver improved outcomes.
We would appreciate any feedback or comments you may have regarding the Policy. Please see the Policy in the download & links.
2) Benchmarking and Performance
You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
We are committed to continually improving our environmental and social sustainability performance by undergoing an annual benchmarking evaluation. In our latest benchmarking assessment, we achieved regional leader for waste sent to landfill but could improve our energy and potable water consumption. We are working with the owner of our building Mirvac, to try and improve those indicators.
The EarthCheck Performance Report provides an overview of our successes, areas for improvement, our progress over time and how we compare to our competitors. You can view our latest Performance Report in the download & links section. If you have any questions about the data, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Governance addresses the requirements of an organisation’s regulatory compliance. EarthCheck assesses all actual and potential environmental, social and cultural risks in relation to our scope through a risk assessment and record our regulatory requirements in the form of a legislation register.
When undertaking the risk assessment, it is important to seek and consider the views of stakeholders. We've made ours available for download on this page.
4) Sustainability and Energy Approach
EarthCheck takes a holistic sustainability approach in our operations. A sustainability approach is the way in which an organisation manages and improves its overall environmental and social performance.
Our EarthCheck Green Team developed a Sustainability Action Plan outlining our objectives, actions and targets that guide the initiatives we implement against 10 Key Performance Areas. To learn more about our targets for 2021, please feel free to download the infographic from the download & links section.
Clear communication of our sustainability activities, goals and objectives is essential for effective stakeholder engagement. Communicating with our stakeholders ensures that they are aware of their role and how they can positively contribute to EarthCheck’s sustainability goals.
EarthCheck’s Weekly Tips is our e-newsletter providing you with sustainable tips and information around a selected issue each week. We also communicate any sustainable initiatives from our members.
If you are an EarthCheck member and would like to receive EarthCheck’s Weekly Tips, please send an email to email@example.com or your dedicated Relationship Manager.
Learn more about our initiatives by visiting the link below