Why green your tourism business?

There are clear benefits to greening your tourism business – reducing energy, water and waste can increase profitability by reducing costs.

Electricity and water prices for business have increased significantly over the past few years and this trend is set to continue into the future. Reducing energy, water and waste consumption in your organisation makes perfect business sense.

It can:

  • save money
  • enhance business image
  • improve customer and staff satisfaction

This section on greening your tourism business highlights the benefits of being green, as well providing a range of simple, practical actions and best practice examples. By taking these actions you will reduce your utility bills and operate your business for a better bottom line and planet.

It also guides environmentally-progressive tourism businesses and environmental leaders in the tourism industry through the recognition process and maximise marketing opportunities.

Save 10 percent of daily operating costs

  • Your business can easily save 10 percent of daily operating costs by implementing a few simple practices to save energy and water.
  • Tourism businesses typically use large amounts of energy, water, chemicals and disposable items, while generating a lot of solid waste and wastewater. There are significant financial savings to be gained from undertaking some simple practices, many of them involving energy efficiency.Most businesses can save 25 percent or more on energy costs by taking simple steps to reduce consumption, from turning off lights, to making cost-effective investments in new efficient equipment.

Save 70 percent of lighting costs

  • Energy efficient light globes not only use less than one-third of the electricity of standard bulbs but also last about 10 times longer. This translates into savings of 70 percent of your lighting costs just by changing bulbs. Depending on the size of your business, that can equal hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • A 20 percent saving in energy consumption can have the same impact as a 5 percent increase in sales.
  • Simple actions such as setting room and hot water temperatures at optimum levels can also save thousands of dollars a year.

Halve water consumption in basins and sinks

  • New water-efficient shower heads are so good you think you're using a standard shower head, and just one can save you up to $80 per year in water.
  • Tap aerators are low-cost, easy to fit, and can halve water consumption in basins and sinks.
  • Installing rainwater tanks for flushing toilets and gardening can also save you thousands of dollars and prepare your business for increasing water restrictions.
  • Over 80 percent of waste produced by hotels has the potential to be recycled.
  • Reducing the amount of waste produced by your business can reduce associated costs and save time.

Gain a marketing advantage

  • Visitors are becoming increasingly more conscious of environmental issues, with a recent worldwide study found that 40 percent take environmentally friendly tourism into consideration when making travel plans.
  • Adopting environmentally sustainable practices can help you stand out from the competition and be recognised through Tourism Awards and Certification programs.

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and green procurement remain high on the agenda for many companies and organisations operating in Australia and worldwide. This includes staff travel which has implications for the business travel sector of the tourism industry. For instance, a growing number of multi-national organisations are now requiring their accommodation suppliers to measure and reduce their GHG emissions, as part of the company's Scope 3 carbon accounting.

Learn more about CSR by exploring the National Australia Bank's Supplier Sustainability Program.

  • Beyond regulation and compliance, many environmental and social initiatives are voluntary. Whether driven by cost savings or a principled strategy, a growing number of tourism businesses are recognising the environment, the community and their human capital as a valuable resource to be protected.
  • Many international and local hotels are becoming involved in corporate social responsibility in order to extend their brand knowledge to different types of audiences, to gain employee retention and improved competitive advantage and lastly because it is "the right thing to do".

Handy tools

Sample environmental policy (DOCX 19.82 KB)DOCX icon