Celebrating Paris Outcomes As the world gratefully reflects on the success of achieving a global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management framework in Paris, we all must focus on the enormous task ahead - to stabilize our climate. Every day vulnerable areas are being hit with droughts and high impact storms. To keep the planet on a safer path, the travel and tourism industry must do its part by taking a proactive role on emissions reporting and working with governments on lowering local impacts.
The Cost Side of the Tourism Development Ledger
The outcomes of the COP 21 accord in Paris go well beyond previous carbon reporting requirements and national commissions will be taking the lead. Governmental reporting will focus not only on lowering the use of fossil fuels but also improving land-use and initiating sorely needed improvements to solid waste and waste water treatment systems which contribute to GHG emissions. And there will be renewed focus on protecting more forests as part of the formula for attaining a reduced carbon environment. Tourism has a key role to play in all of these efforts.
The International Sustainable Tourism Initiative (ISTI) at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health was established in 2014 to create economic and environmental solutions for the future of our planet, working with tourism leaders worldwide. While the industry has successfully proven that tourism is nearly 10% of the economy and accounts for 1 in 11 jobs, there is much to be done to develop dynamic strategies to cover the costs of lowering the GHG impacts of tourism development.
ISTI seeks to assist with the development of reliable data and research on tourism’s impacts on global health and the environment. Our team develops strategies with industry to produce low carbon, regional development strategies. Our research focus areas, announced in the Fall of 2015, will lead to a collaborative, global system for sharing data to foster healthy, net positive outcomes for tourism destinations worldwide.
Healthy Food Supply Chains for Hotels
One area of increasing importance is the management of supply chains for the hotel industry. Because one-third of all tourism expenditures are on food, hotels can drive demonstrable net positive benefits on environment and local well-being by scaling up procurement of sustainably farmed food.
Megan Epler Wood will moderate a leadership panel on the Hotel Industry and Sustainable Food Procurement at the Sustainability and Health Initiative for Net Positive Enterprise (SHINE) Summit at Harvard in June 2016. SHINE is spearheading an international effort to build regenerative, healthy economies which lift human potential, creativity and productivity.
New Team Member
EplerWood International welcomes our new Program Manager, Jaime Pepper who will be in charge of managing our work around the world. For more information on all items in this newsletter, please contact Jaime@eplerwood.com.
Please feel free to be in touch. Happy new year!