Among the billions of people travelling internationally each year, a number expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030, there are individuals and organisations dedicated to driving the message of sustainable tourism through their daily work. One of these trailblazers is EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for the travel industry.
EarthCheck currently helps its clients to measure, track and monitor over two million tonnes of CO2 on an annual basis. Thanks to its newly announced partnership with leading sustainability solutions provider South Pole Group, EarthCheck members will have access to the Group’s tailored emission-reduction services as well as 500+ carbon reduction and community projects that have, to date, avoided 80+ million tonnes of CO2.
In line with its mission to deliver sustainable outcomes, EarthCheck has together with South Pole Group identified climate mitigation and adaptation projects that work towards the UN Sustainable Development goals by creating tangible benefits to local communities in the areas of health and education. The carbon credits from these projects have been certified under the Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS), which follow rigorous certification criteria to substantiate positive environmental and climate impacts, and to ensure every dollar of climate and development funding goes as far as it can.
The newly formed partnership will be ensuring safe water for 1.5 million people in Uganda, delivering 165,000 clean cookstoves to communities in China, and protecting 45,000 hectare of biodiverse forests in Guatemala.
The collaboration between the two organisations also complements the aspirations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017), launched by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in January: the IY2017 aims to promote the role of tourism in sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, environmental protection, conservation, and climate change.
“You cannot claim sustainability leadership without addressing your climate footprint,” says André Russ, Vice President of Sales, EarthCheck. “The IY2017 is a unique opportunity for the tourism industry to take action and drive its message of global impact across the global community – beyond tourism. We are doing our part by continuing to provide our members with latest industry insights and by making sure finance is channeled to climate-smart projects with a proven impact.”
“With the UN system focusing on tourism until year-end, leaders in the industry now have the chance to step up climate action to make every day count,” emphasises Chris Perceval, Director Technology & Transport, South Pole Group. “By mitigating the climate footprint associated with their operations and by investing in projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, leading organisations can help protect their commerce, communities and the climate.”
Going forward, the EarthCheck and South Pole Group will continue to work together to support leading organisations of all sizes in the travel & tourism industry take a concentrated course of sustainability action to position themselves in a 2-degree economy and help avoid the worst impacts of climate change.