As we head towards World Environment Day on 5th June the need for strategic planning and training in the travel sector couldn’t be clearer. Chaos at airports and a lack of trained travel staff over the summer half term has left the post Covid travel industry looking fragile.
During the pandemic many travel companies vowed to build back better. Conservation tourism collective The Long Run and Preferred by Nature are launching two free online courses that will make it easier for every travel company to fulfill that goal.
The Long Run is dedicated to making sustainability accessible to all, as time to take action on climate change is running out.
Delphine Malleret King, Executive Director of The Long Run says:
“We are facing unprecedented global environmental and social challenges, and if we are to reverse the climate crisis and current dramatic losses in biodiversity, everyone needs to play their part.”
With over 300 environmental certifications in the travel industry alone, embracing sustainability can seem confusing, complex and daunting. Amid so much talk about ramping up environmental commitment in the travel industry, particularly since Covid-19, there’s a simmering paralysis of action.
Micro, small and medium sized enterprises are particularly susceptible to inaction since time and resources are so limited. Many of these businesses fall victim to ‘greenhushing’ (under-communicating sustainability initiatives) for fear of ‘greenwashing’ (over-claiming sustainability initiatives). Others simply don’t know where to start.
Yet, smaller businesses — whether tour operators or accommodations — play a critical part in driving change. Micro, small, and medium sized enterprises represent 90 per cent of the world’s businesses and are therefore fundamental in the transition towards a sustainable economy.
Sustainability is a journey of continual improvement, the most critical thing for all travel companies, enterprises, and accommodations to do is to simply get started.
To help businesses along the way, The Long Run, supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperationand Development (BMZ), is delighted to share these two free resources. Just click on the links to access the courses:
- Strategic Sustainability Planning to help businesses embed a sustainable mission and vision throughout operations.
- Resource Efficiency to help businesses make small, effective changes that save money and reduce negative environmental impact.
The Long Run’s FREE courses in more detail:
- Strategic Sustainability Planning Course
The Strategic Sustainability Planning course draws on The Long Run’s 10+ years of experience leading one of the world’s largest conservation-led travel organisations and helping members achieve the Global Ecosphere Retreat® (GER®) standard. The GER® standard is widely considered one of the most robust benchmarks of sustainability in the travel industry and is aligned to the Global Sustainable Travel Council (GSTC). The standard and training revolve around the 4Cs — a sustainability framework that encompasses a holistic balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. The six, highly practical lessons are designed to help any medium size travel business kick start and refine their sustainability journey.
Topics covered include:
- Taking a 360-degree view of your business through the lens of sustainability.
- Working towards a shared goal by defining positive impacts.
- Integrating vision and mission into day-today activities and roles.
The training is designed for General Managers and Sustainability Managers although it’s best if findings are disseminated throughout a business.
Tim O’Donoghue from The Riverwind Foundation says:
“I’m applying the learnings from the lessons to my strategic planning work for the entire Jackson Hole destination. It’s interesting to see the parallels between what is being taught here for an individual business and an entire 3,000+ business destination.”
- Resource Efficiency Training
To guide for accommodation of any size towards greater resource efficiency, to reduce energy consumption, and lower costs, The Long Run team has worked with environmental and mechanical engineer Patricio Gonzalez Morel to develop self-help training materials to reduce energy and water consumption.
The training covers nine lessons. Each lesson includes a 10-minute practical training video best suited to General Managers, Sustainability Officers, and other relevant team members. Depending on the topic, this may include engineers, maintenance staff, and housekeepers. Alongside the training, The Long Run has developed a Resource Performance Tracker available in training video nine.
The free, user-friendly, excel tool helps properties of all sizes to track resource consumption and sustainability performance.
Elements tracked include:
- energy and water consumption
- food waste
- Scope 1,2, & 3 greenhouse gas emissions.
The tool compiles data and uses a calculator worksheet to chart progress and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Miriam Obegi, Chief Operating Officer at Basecamp Explorer says:
“This training had a big impact on our operations. Although we thought we were doing the best thing, it is almost embarrassing to realise how inefficient and Energy consuming the bulbs that we have been using are. The lessons equip us to make better and intentional purchasing decisions.”
About The Long Run
The Long Run, hosted by Preferred by Nature, is a community of properties, travel partners and experts committed to protecting and regenerating ecosystems for the benefit of all. The organisation supports, connects, and inspires members to operate according to a balance of the 4Cs — Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. By supporting members on this journey, The Long Run ensures that travel experiences have a positive impact, and that conservation is socially and financially sustainable. Collectively, Long Run members safeguard over 23 million acres of ecosystems, protect more than 400 endangered species, and improve the lives of 750,000 people.
About Patricio Gonzalez Morel
Patricio is an environmental and mechanical engineer with more than 25 years of hands-on experience in helping hotels worldwide improve their sustainability performance, as well as profitability, by minimizing waste and increasing the efficiency with which they use energy, water, materials and chemicals in their facilities and operations.