Travel & Tourism cos. deliver on carbon efficiency commitment

By Editor


A new report published by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals that many of the Travel & Tourism companies in the world have improved their carbon efficiency by 20 percent in the last ten years.

Further the report, “Travel & Tourism 2015; Connecting Global Climate Action,” said these companies are on course to reach the target of 25 percent reduction by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035.

In 2009, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) published “Leading the Challenge on Climate Change”, which identified key themes and action areas required to meet the target of reducing their 2035 carbon emissions by 50 percent based on 2005 levels.

In the run up to the COP21 climate change talks in Paris at the end of this year, WTTC has reviewed progress against these themes to determine how the sector can build on this progress to respond effectively to the challenges of the future.

The initiatives and progress made to date have reduced carbon emissions to the point where WTTC Member companies are 20 percent less carbon-intense now than they were in 2005, closely approaching the interim target of 25 percent intensity reduction in 2020 set in 2009.

The progress in reducing carbon intensity can be attributed to several actions across each of the themes identified in 2009.

The sector has made strong advancements against accountability and responsibility. Various methodologies for calculating and measuring carbon usage have been developed and more and more companies are engaging with global frameworks for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting such as GRI and CDP.

In terms of local community sustainable growth and capacity building, WTTC members actively demonstrate on-the-ground action in the form of community engagement, charitable contributions, disaster relief, or conservation efforts.

Most Travel & Tourism companies now have branded sustainability programs, and these often include customer engagement programs

They have also created formidable supplier screening and supply chain engagement programs and have developed practical tools to help procurement from local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of this, the report said.

The parties also focused on the use of operational environmental management systems and green certification schemes. Most WTTC Member companies have achieved green certification of some type.

The report also outlines the five priority areas to support the overall target of halving emissions by 2035:

Integrating Climate Change and related issues into Business Strategy by disclosing climate change issues in mainstream financial reporting, utilizing recognized frameworks and collaborating to harmonize the approach for disclosure within our industries. Commitments will stem from securing leadership from board governance and senior executives.

Supporting the Global Transition to a Low Carbon Economy by joining in the leading practice of establishing an internal price of carbon, focusing on renewables for new investments, seeking low carbon financing mechanisms, contributing to local economies with carbon mitigation, and catalyzing the economies of scale to create a virtuous circle.

Strengthening Local Resilience by recognizing the value that local natural and cultural heritage has for Travel & Tourism, enhancing the assessment of our operations and forging partnerships to build resilience against climate risks, reducing local drivers of climate change.

Promoting the Value of Responsible Travel by giving travelers the tools to be responsible travellers, encouraging participation in our initiatives, and offering new experiences tied directly to low carbon solutions. We will extend these tools to our business travelers who play an integral role in increasing ESG information from Travel & Tourism companies.

Engaging Across the Value Chain by focusing efforts on the biggest opportunities found across the entire value chain to reduce carbon emissions through mechanisms such as supplier screening and local procurement.

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]

Latest News