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Responsible Travel News, Issue 5 (March 29, 2011)

  1. Ranking Corporate Social Responsibility in international hotel chains
  2. TUI publishes Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels
  3. Fair Tax on Flying Campaign launched
  4. Atmosfair airline index
  5. Triodos Bank is looking at Sustainable Tourism

Ranking Corporate Social Responsibility in international hotel chains

10 hotel groups were ranked for their CSR policies and practices, the results being from 1st to last- ACCOR, SOL MELIA, MARRIOTT, CARLSON, INTERCONTINENTAL, STARWOOD, BARCELO, HILTON, IBEROSTAR and RIU. ICRT presented the results of 6 months of research, now published by 8 consumer associations in March 2011 in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, 2 in July- Portugal and UK. Companies were assessed on their corporate policies, their environmental, social and economic impact management, their customer engagement and transparency. Policy and survey data was tested with hotel audits in Thailand, Mexico and the Mediterranean. Results were presented during ITB 2011- you can get the CSR study slides with rankings and key issues.

TUI publishes Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels
As part of their commitment to demonstrate leadership in sustainability, TUI Travel PLC has this week launched their “Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels”. Sean Owens, current ICRT MSc student and Sustainable Product Manager at TUI UK & Ireland, has managed this project over the last 12 months.

Designed to help hotels around the world reduce their environmental footprint, the Guidelines cover everything from design considerations and tips for construction, right through to everyday advice for hotel departments such as Housekeeping, Maintenance and Food & Beverage. There are more than 50 Flagship Standards included in the guidelines – these are the standards TUI believes hotels they contract should be incorporating if they’re serious about optimizing their environmental sustainability. Also included are Green is Gold text boxes, which provide examples of the costs savings that can be made by making responsible operational decisions, such as maximizing flow outputs of showers and ensuring optimal use of energy efficient lamps.

The Guidelines are being translated into Spanish, French, Greek, Turkish and Arabic.  When final, these additional language versions will also be available for download from the link above. You can download them here: http://www.tuitravelplc.com/tui/pages/sustainabledevelopment.

Fair Tax on Flying Campaign launched

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the amount of money which the UK Treasury is raising from aviation. The campaign estimates that in 2011 £2.2bn of flight tax will pour into the Treasury’s coffers and the Government has said it wants to increase this by a further £1.4bn by 2015. More details at http://haroldgoodwin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2011/3/4/4772785.html

Atmosfair airline index published

The relation between tourism, climate change and air transport is becoming more and more problematic. One way to relieve the burden is by choosing the most efficient airline with respect to climate change on the route you plan to fly. The main problem of that was how to valuate the greenhouse gas emissions of different airlines. The well-known German greenhouse gas offsetting organisation Atmosfair has recently published a very thorough index just for that purpose. Avoiding is generally a better option than compensating. More information/download on:

https://www.atmosfair.de/en/air-travel-climate/airline-index/

http://cdn.atmosfair.de/atmosfair_Airline_Index_2011_en.pdf

However, Thomson Airways managing director Chris Browne slammed the index, calling it “a misrepresentation of carbon efficiency” among airlines. Brown said: “While we congratulate Monarch on their performance, we are disappointed Thomson Airways was not approached for inclusion.” She said Thomson Airways was already “the most fuel efficient airline in the UK and committed to reducing carbon emissions further”.Both Thomson Airways and German sister carrier Tuifly are missing from the index – compiled by German carbon-offset company Atmosfair and published at trade show ITB in Berlin. Budget carriers easyJet and Ryanair are also omitted.

The index is based on points awarded for fuel efficiency – assessed according to a series of criteria – and carriers ranked for their performance on short, medium and long-haul operations. It is intended to allow consumers concerned about climate change to check a carrier’s carbon efficiency before booking a flight. Read more at http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2011/03/14/36460/thomson-denounces-fuel-efficiency-index-as-monarch-tops-world.html

Triodos Bank is looking at Sustainable Tourism

We expect high standards in areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management and sustainable food sourcing – especially from accommodation providers. We also currently lend to number of accommodation providers based on organic farms. We are currently looking to develop a definitive policy for accommodation providers so we can better ensure a business meets, and continues to meet, our ethical criteria.

Read more at http://www.triodos.co.uk/en/business/service/faq/?faqId=138309&theAudience=Business