The EarthCheck Report: Navigating the circular economy, disruption and design thinking

Among the millions of people travelling internationally each year, a number expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030, there are organisations and individuals dedicated to driving the message of sustainable tourism through their daily work. Two such trailblazers are EarthCheck and Oceanic Global - shaping the future for generational change where lifestyles, skills and knowledge will define the world in 2030 and beyond.

This report identifies the key challenges that will shape the business environment for tourism and travel over the next 18 months

BRISBANE, February 2020. EarthCheck today released its inaugural trends report, “Navigating the circular economy, disruption and design thinking”. The report was put together with four of the world’s leading thought leaders (BMIHSBCTwenty31 and South Pole) to help identify and understand the key challenges that will define tourism and travel over the next 18 months.

In many ways 2020 cannot be treated as business as usual. It heralds a new period of time where societal, economic and environmental uncertainty and disruption will become the norm. Unfortunately the Asia Pacific region has now started to better understand what the new norm looks and feels like.

It is now abundantly 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 forward business plans. Managing risk, building resilience and factoring in adaptation and recovery responses have now become standard operating procedures.

“While the trends are somewhat confronting they help to explain the new norm which is beginning the play out across the world. Not all is lost…where there are challenges identified in the report there are also opportunities recognised for new and innovative ways of doing business in the future.” said Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck.

Each insight provides practical examples of how to respond to changing market conditions in a timely and strategic fashion. The trends include:

  • The Coronavirus: Moving beyond monitoring;
  • Sustainable Finance, Insurance Premiums and the Reallocation of Capital;
  • Moving from Risk to Resilience and Adaptation;
  • The Shift to Circularity and Design Thinking; and
  • Tourism4Impact…the future of climate action.

EarthCheck’s deep science and patented methodology and software platform was created for the world’s travel and tourism industry by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism (STCRC) over a 10-year period. The STCRC grew to be the largest dedicated tourism research organisation in the world. Today, EarthCheck continues its thirty-year journey to support the development of a dynamic, internationally competitive, and sustainable tourism industry.

EarthCheck Logo

of Country

There are more than 476 million Indigenous Peoples, found in all regions of the world, from the Arctic to the tropical forests. They make up more than 6 per cent of our global population.


In the spirit of reconciliation, EarthCheck acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout the world and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous Peoples today.


EarthCheck acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are guardians of the forests and biodiversity hotspots we all depend on. Research shows that lands managed by Indigenous Peoples, with secure rights, experience lower deforestation rates, store more carbon, hold more biodiversity, and benefit more people than other lands — including protected areas.


We recognise and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration is a positive document that maps out a path for Indigenous Peoples to be free from discrimination and secure in their identities and life choices.

EarthCheck Logo

EarthCheck Certified: Aligned globally

EarthCheck science and products were developed by the Australian Government Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre (STCRC) over ten years. Our science is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets international standards relative to greenhouse gas protocols, responsible tourism, and certification.

EarthCheck products and services are built on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 and aligned to the SDGs.

EarthCheck Certified provides a framework for organisations to achieve the desired outcomes for sustainable development as set out in the final report of the World Summit for Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

EarthCheck Certified complies with the Mohonk Agreement (2000), which outlines the guidelines and principles for an international sustainable tourism certification program. It is also a Recognised program of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

EarthCheck Certified is a verification standard accepted by CDP. It is also an approved program of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), London & Partners, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) and the City of Sydney.

EarthCheck Certified is an approved program for meeting the EU Energy Directive for the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) in Germany and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) in the Netherlands.

EarthCheck partners with international research organisations to maintain the currency of EarthCheck science and our benchmarking systems.

The EarthCheck brand signifies scientific excellence, better environmental, economic, and social performance, improved community interactions, and savings through more efficient use of resources. It provides recognition and promotional support to a global consumer market.