||One of the key challenges facing American travel corporations is deciding how to move forward with so many different reporting and certification systems presently available. One major development in this area was the launch on 6 October 2008 of the first-ever globally relevant sustainable tourism criteria. The new criteria, announced by UN Foundation Founder and Chairman, Ted Turner, along with the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), were developed to offer a common framework to guide the emerging practice of sustainable tourism. This new comprehensive framework will not exclude the existing smaller systems, but provide more globally accepted standards and benchmarking systems for them. Many independent programs large and small will continue to exist.
Three international sustainability frameworks including the UN Foundation Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (mentioned above), as well as the UK Federation of Tour Operators Travelife Sustainability System and the Carbon Disclosure Project Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration have the following advantages, as described in a paper prepared by Megan Epler Wood.
- Non-profits with goals to serve industry
- Internationally vetted
- Excellent on-line materials and tools for industry participants
- Industry participation programs that encourage engagement in the final stages of their development
- Global unifying systems
- Ability to work non-exclusively
These and other sustainability frameworks are described in the following sources.
|Carbon Disclosure Project|
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent not-for-profit organization which acts as an intermediary between shareholders and corporations on all climate change related issues, providing primary climate change data from the world's largest corporations, to the global market place. The data are obtained from responses to CDP's annual Information Request, sent on behalf of institutional investors and purchasing organizations. This Information Request has encouraged thousands of corporations to engage in climate change issues for the first time.
|Carbon Disclosure Project 2007 Report|
The Carbon Disclosure Project of 2007 (CDP5) was undertaken on behalf of 315 institutional investors representing over 41 trillion USD of asset management. The report provides investors with a distinctive analysis of how the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the world by market capitalization are responding to climate change. It offers a summary of the key trends identified in the companies' responses to the CDP5 questionnaire. The analysis demonstrates the commercial risks and opportunities that climate change presents to the world's largest companies. It also proves through increased support and the improved quality of responses that the private sector is actively engaged in addressing the global challenges presented by climate change.
|Corporate Sustainability Reporting|
Reporting on different processes such as mining and paper production or addressing different audiences can have a major impact on report format and data presentation. In spite of efforts from bodies such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Global Reporting Initiative to push for standard reporting formats, no two Sustainability and Environment, Health, and Safety Reports are the same. Corporate Sustainability Reporting offers three templates for Best Practice Reporting. One is focused on creating a positive impression (public/stockholder relations). Another focuses on the business case for sustainable development. The final represents standardized reporting.
|Global Reporting Initiative|
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has pioneered the development of the world's most widely used sustainability reporting framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide. This framework sets out the principles and indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance.
|UK Federation of Tour Operators Travelife Sustainability System Industry Program|
The Travelife Initiative is a European co-operation between tour operator associations and tourism certification systems to foster a sustainable tourism supply chain. The program's strategy is to implement a common tour operators' supply chain management system, to link tour operators' supplier standards with external certification systems, to promote sustainable tourism by tour operators' in 3 pilot destinations, to match certified suppliers with tour operators', and to introduce effective consumer communication tools.
|United Nations Foundation Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria|
On October 6, 2008, United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner joined the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to announce the first-ever globally relevant sustainable tourism criteria at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The new criteria - based on thousands of best practices culled from the existing standards currently in use around the world - were developed to offer a common framework to guide the emerging practice of sustainable tourism and to help businesses, consumers, governments, non-governmental organizations and education institutions to ensure that tourism helps local communities and the environment. The baseline criteria are organized around the four pillars of sustainable tourism: (1) effective sustainability planning; (2) maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community; (3) reduction of negative impacts to cultural heritage; and (4) reduction of negative impacts to environmental heritage.
|World Resources Institute GHG Protocol Initiative|
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol consists of two modules. The Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standards are methodologies for business and other organizations to inventory and report all of the GHG emissions they produce and the Project Accounting Protocol and Guidelines, which are geared toward calculating reductions in GHG emissions from specific GHG-reduction projects. The Project Protocol is the most comprehensive, policy-neutral accounting tool for quantifying the greenhouse gas benefits of climate change mitigation projects. The GHG Protocol provides the accounting framework for nearly every GHG standard and program in the world-from the International Standards Organization to the Carbon Disclosure Project to the California Climate Registry-as well as hundreds of GHG inventories prepared by individual companies.