As tourism numbers return to pre-pandemic levels, 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. As such, we are thrilled to launch two free online courses to guide travel businesses on their sustainability journey. The course is developed by our programme The Long Run, with the support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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, Managing 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 percent 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, we are delighted to share these two resources:
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.
FREE courses in more detail
Strategic Sustainability Planning Course
The Strategic Sustainability Planning course draws on The Long Run’s 10+ years of experience working with some 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.
“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 properties towards greater resource efficiency, to reduce energy consumption, and lower costs, The Long Run team has worked with 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).
“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 many of our practices were. The lessons equip us to make better and intentional purchasing decisions.”
Photo courtesy of The Long Run's GER® Member Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
About The Long Run (www.thelongrun.org)
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 minimising waste and increasing the efficiency with which they use energy, water, materials and chemicals in their facilities and operations.