One of the main pillars of sustainability is environmental sustainability. It is defined as responsible interaction with the environment that uses natural resources efficiently, while avoiding depletion and destruction to allow for future use. Environmental sustainability has several values for tourism service providers. It enables management to mitigate risks as they are required to have necessary documents and meet not only governmental but industry regulations. It also helps them satisfy stakeholder expectations by having sustainability reports, which present a dedicated and conscious look into their work. With the increase of knowledgeable tourists who want to consume eco-friendly products and services, it gives them an opportunity to have a competitive edge in the tourism market. Environmental sustainability also allows for economic performance improvement. As such is the case where paper or electricity bills are saved when a paperless office or green energy is used. By being more environmentally sustainable, we will be able to reduce the negative effects on the ecosystems around us.
Some of the activities that can be practiced to contribute towards environmental sustainability include;
- Waste reduction
Management of tourism service products e.g. accommodation facilities or tour operators should look into ways to reduce the waste they produce. For instance, using whiteboards and eliminating paper or having e-brochures instead of paper brochures. Another way is having glasses or cups for drinking water or coffee instead of paper cups. They should explore other alternatives to minimize the amount of waste produced.
- Energy and water management
Switching to green energy e.g. solar energy not only reduces energy costs but also reduces carbon footprint. Implementing simple tasks such as switching off electricity when not in use or fixing leaking taps go a long way in preserving the environment.
- Sharing commitment
Incorporating environmental sustainability in company policies lets staff know that the company is committed to conserving the environment. Sharing this stand with tourism product and service suppliers and tourists also creates a set of guidelines that they have to be respectful when interacting with the host communities. It may also attract like-minded individuals who can pick up the environmental sustainability synergy.
- Sustainability training
Admittedly, some of us may not know much about environmental sustainability or how to incorporate it into our business. This is where you join training sessions and learn all you need to do. The training may be for beginners, refreshers or thematic. Proper know-how initiates the practical process and eventually, tourism providers can level up to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.
As we pull our efforts together to restore our ecosystems through environmental sustainability, what other practices can we include in our work-life? Let us know in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading!