WTTC Urges Unified Industry Voice on Environmental Issues
By James Ruggia
June 18, 2012 10:08 PM
At the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil this week, the World Travel and Tourism Council called for a unified travel and tourism industry that speaks with one voice on environmental issues. Helen Marano, WTTC’s vice president for government and industry affairs, told the UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum that more needs to be done environmentally across sectors and across borders. “Although the industry has gone quite a long way in moving towards more sustainable approaches, we still need to work on mainstreaming sustainability,” she said. “And as a leading global industry, we are well placed to raise the bar further.
“The industry’s core products are substantially linked to the preservation of natural resources, cultural heritage and people. Travel and tourism, as one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, generates more than 9 percent of global GDP, supports 255 million jobs, and continues to grow by around 4 percent a year. The industry therefore has the global opportunity but also the responsibility to show leadership -- and steer green growth.
“We need to focus on a sustainable long-term future and facilitate transparency and accountability within the industry by developing common industry approaches to common problems such as the WTTC/International Tourism Partnership Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative launched last week. This initiative is a powerful example of industry collaboration where the 23 leading hotels worked together to develop a common methodology to measure and communicate carbon emissions for a meeting and hotel stay. The industry needs to encourage innovative partnerships like this as well as foster entrepreneurship opportunities and innovative thinking which promote sustainable solutions.”