Spring is the perfect time to check in on those green business goals we keep waxing poetic about over here at Green Tourism Canada, and it’s also a great time to check in on your progress. Why? Well, it’s been over three months since the start of the new year, it’s almost the start of a new quarter, and with all resolutions a solid reminder is always welcome.
Plus, while tourism is a year-round business, many tourism operators start to see traffic increase in the spring. The sooner you can churn through that data and update your metrics, the sooner you can start talking about how much energy, water, and waste you’ve saved over the last year or last few months, which is a key part of your green story. Tracking your progress towards your goals not only helps keep your tourism business accountable (you said you were going to ditch the plastic cups, but did you actually? And how’s that switch to LED lights coming?), but they also show that you are committed to your green business goals and are in this for the long haul.
In our last post we explored different ways to raise awareness about sustainable tourism, with one big component being your green business story. According to UNEP’s “Road Map for Celebrating the International Year of Sustainable Tourism,” the next step in this journey is to “promote the tools necessary to monitor and measure your business’s positive (and negative) impacts and get that information out there.” A good green tourism story is useless without some facts and figures to back it up, right?
So what are those green business tools and where do you begin? If you’ve already worked with some tracking tools, or have worked with Green Tourism in the past, then you’re well on your way. If you’re wondering where on earth to begin, look no further! Here are a few tools to get started with.
4 Tools to Help You Crush Your Sustainability Goals
- Create a Supplier Inventory to determine just what percentage of your suppliers are local with this awesome mapping exercise.
- Conduct a Waste Audit, then talk about your results with your guests and staff.
- Measure Your Carbon Footprint using ecobase Carbon Software (BONUS: Green Tourism members currently gain free access).
- Call Us! We make it our business to help other businesses create sustainability goals and then stick with them. We live for metrics and holding ourselves (and others) accountable. Get Certified with Green Tourism. If you’re a member of TIAC, TIAO or TIABC, you get a $100 discount on your membership fee.
The key with any green business tracking tool is to measure once to establish your baseline, then measure your progress on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. And don’t forget to talk about your results! It does no good to compile reams of data and have them sit in a pile, taking up space. Even if the numbers aren’t painting the rosiest of pictures (maybe your waste output was a bit higher than anticipated last year…), your customers will find it refreshing that you are voluntarily providing that information and being transparent, allowing for an open and honest dialogue about your work towards your sustainable business goals.
Written by Ryan Cope
Ryan is a Content Creator and Blogger for Green Tourism Canada and loves nothing more than to rant ad-nauseam about all things sustainability, particularly when it comes to waste and plastics. She is a recent transplant to Canada after having spent the past few years on the East Coast of the US in coastal Maine! When not thinking up ways to get consumers to stop using so much plastic packaging, she can be found hiking around beautiful Kelowna, BC or in the kitchen taking endless photos of her food and fresh juices.