2015 will be a year when global attention on green growth will intensify under the pressure of 3 Heads of State Summits to establish Sustainable Development Goals, Resilience Financing, and critically Carbon Targets.
The Paris UNFCCC meeting in December will introduce a reduction system that will become legally enforceable by 2020 and will oblige all industries – including Travel & Tourism to develop adaptation programs. But the other Summits will also increase related environmental and social impact pressures to measure and improve a wide variety of social inclusion, local community engagement, and resource management areas – historically grouped as CSR issues.
Green growth is a subject I’ve been involved in for 40 years in international leadership and academia – and last year, with Vision CSR headed by Wayne McKinnon, an experienced professional in environmental operations we decided to try to create a new management system – GreenGrowth2050. It has been designed to support companies who really want to go beyond traditional tourism environmental certification and build a strong long term CSR platform that is in line with global good practice.
GreenGrowth2050 has been carefully constructed to cover all elements in existing tourism sustainability programs plus key elements from key UN and International agencies dealing with environment and social responsibility for business. It has also taken into account the changes that leading edge companies around the world are making inside organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It’s why we label it as beyond travel – despite its central tourism green growth focus.
We are proud of the fact that Green Growth 2050 is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and that the standard has been accepted by the Council. We support the GSTC mission of making all tourism more sustainable by increasing the reach of sustainable tourism practices to traditional, small, and large-scale operations and we endorse the principles of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC Criteria). Our Green Growth 2050 standard for ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of hotels and tour operators has been recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council as fully reflecting the GSTC Criteria.
At the same time we are very conscious that our industry is made up for the most part of small and medium enterprises, as well as local elements of major companies supply chains and we have built an entry level for members of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) for those who want to start the green growth transformation process.