Everyone needs to be more responsible when it comes to taking better care of the environment and it is becoming increasingly clear that while many home owners are doing their part to reduce, reuse and recycle on a regular basis; lots of business owners are not taking the same initiatives when they run their company. Businesses need to think about the impact that their actions have on the planet and this goes for everything from their electricity usage to how they dispose of rubbish.
If you run a business that is based in the travel and tourism sector, then it is really important to make sure that you are doing your part for the environment, as people’s carbon footprints are your responsibility. Responsible tourism is catching on as a modern trend and with more and more travel agencies focussing on responsible tourism; hopefully we will find that this will make a difference in the coming years.
So, what is responsible tourism and why is it so important?
Responsible tourism is when businesses provide tourism services in a responsible way – i.e. by taking the impact that their services have on the environment into consideration and if necessary, changing their habits in order to benefit the planet.
When you run any type of business, it can have a negative effect on the environment and below are some of the most common:
- The use of air conditioning and heating systems
- On-going use of electricity with everything from lights to computers continuously running
- High production of waste
- Rush hour traffic pollution
- Poisonous emissions from air and road travel
Many businesses are located inside buildings that haven’t been made from renewable sources and this can also have a negative impact on the environment. Paper wastage in offices is also high and is something that more companies need to reduce in order to comply with modern environmental care standards.
Companies that specialise in the tourism sector are often under fire from environmental activists, so make sure that you practice sustainable travel practices if you operate a business in the travel industry.
Here are some examples about what sustainable travel means:
- Companies that work with hotels that support local charity projects
- Companies that use airlines that support charities
- Companies that promote alternative means of transport to their customers
You should offer trips and excursions that are good for the local economy and make sure that tours are not interfering with traditional cultures and customise them so that they work alongside them.
All types of businesses can be doing more to protect the environment and this can include doing the following:
- Have a ‘work-from-home’ day once a week
- Use energy saving lightbulbs
- Ensure all paper can be recycled
- Encourage employees to switch off lights when not in a room
Better management of waste is crucial, as is reducing emissions and you will need to employ more sustainable practices whatever sector you specialise in.