Monday, October 4, 2010

Alphabet Soup of Monitoring Bodies

I am preparing my next lecture today. We have heard some terrific talks on corporate approaches to environmental management from Sabre and Rock Resorts. This coming week we will hear from TUI.

I want to provide my students with context, and have been looking up all of the bodies particularly in Europe that help travel and tourism companies to manage reporting on the environment and carbon. The Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project are critical resources. I then look at the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and I am trying to understand even myself, how to distinguish between the reporting initiatives and this effort to create global standards. I am searching the web for the new materials that make the connection for me and I am getting frustrated!

Obviously, this is an emerging field. And it is clear that the effort to consolidate the reporting process with so called "accreditation" is still on-going. As we look over all of the major hotel chains, we see that each is creating their own internal mechanisms as well. These are proprietary certainly, but trying to develop a fair presentation on the most practical and responsible approach is getting even more difficult than I imagined.

I have followed this field of reporting and certification now for almost 10 years. I continue to study it, but it is still a conundrum to me what is the right move for a company that seeks to manage its impacts in the most efficient way possible!

I am working on it.

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