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WASHINGTON – New research on behalf of Champions 12.3 finds there is a compelling business case for hotels to reduce the amount of food they throw away.  For every $1 hotels invested in programs to reduce kitchen food waste, on average they saved $7 in operating costs.

In a first-of-its kind analysis for the industry, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 42 sites – including Sofitel, MGM and more – across 15 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. Within just one year, the hotels had reduced food waste from their kitchens by 21 percent on average, and over 70 percent had recouped their investment.  Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment.

The 7:1 return on investment comes from buying less food and thereby reducing purchase costs, increasing revenue from new menu items developed from leftovers or foods previously considered “scraps,” and lower waste management costs.

Read the full press release and full report here.

By Jillian Holzer and Amanda Williamson for Champions 12.3.

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Boracay: Philippines closes popular tourist island for ‘rehabilitation’

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Credit: unknown/The Independent

Strict environmental laws will be enforced on Boracay isle Ban on holidaymakers is expected for six months from 26 April to clean up the tiny island

One of Asia’s top holiday islands faces closure by presidential decree. Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has called for Boracay to be placed off-limits to tourists for six months while it is cleaned up.

An English-language news site, The Inquirer, said the president would declare a “state of calamity” in Boracay. Closure to tourists is expected from 26 April for “rehabilitation” of the tiny isle.

The island, four miles long and less than a mile wide, is about 200 miles south of the capital, Manila. One British long-term resident described Boracay as “the jewel in the crown” of Filipino tourism.

Read the full article here.

By Simon Calder for The Independent.

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Rocinha Tour / Credit: unknown on Travindy

Slum Tourism: is it ethical? It is difficult to find someone that can answer this question from both a professional and an academic background. However, Tamara Ramos finds the perfect fit: Elisa Spampinato. She has studied Anthropology & Sociology in Italy (Rome) and Production Engineering in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and has an extensive portfolio of research on different subjects, from local governance and participatory democracy to local community development, social innovation and community-based tourism.

Tamara: What did your research focused on?

Elisa: My research did not deal with the simple moral question: is Slum Tourism good or bad. People go on these tours for lots of reasons – some for  the thrill of seeing poor people (the zoologic interest). Others for academic interest, or because they are involved with social and political movements, are  international volunteers, or simple curious travellers.

Confronted with a variety of realities,  I decided not to focus my research on the reasons that motivate tourists, but rather on the different ways in which Slum Tourism is offered in the city of Rio de Janeiro. My research aimed to analyse the degree of community involvement in the design, organization and delivery of the tourism services offered in that particular location.

Read the full interview here.

By  for Travindy.

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Credit: Jeremy Smith on WTM

Last week, I spent a night in a hotel in Brussels that has taken a circular economy approach to redesigning the way its loyalty scheme works. Following on from my previous blog about how we in the industry can engage tourists by making them proud to be part of our efforts to promote sustainability, I want to look today at how rethinking the way such loyalty programmes operate could further help deliver on our aims.

Most people staying in a hotel – especially a city-based one – don’t just stay in the hotel. They wander out and explore. So why don’t hotels create partnerships with ethical shops, experiences, restaurants, low carbon transport alternatives and more in the neighbourhoods where they work. Such a ‘Hotel Eco Loyalty Programme’ (HELP) could provide me with discounts and incentives at these establishments and operators, helping me discover the city through them while supporting their efforts to assist the communities and environments where they work.

Read the full blog post here.

By JEREMY SMITH for WTM

 

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France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery

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Plastic glasses, knives, forks and food boxes are pictured in a takeaway restaurant in Paris AP. Credit: The Independent

Critics claim the new law violates European Union rules on free movement of goods

France has passed a new law to ensure all plastic cups, cutlery and plates can be composted and are made of biologically-sourced materials.

The law, which comes into effect in 2020, is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth – an ambitious plan that aims to allow France to make a more effective contribution to tackling climate change.

Although some ecologists’ organisations are in favour of the ban, others argue that it has violated European Union rules on free movement of goods.

Read the full article here.

By Shehab Khan for The Independent.

 

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Credit: WWF on medium.com

As Earth Hour 2018 approaches, Jochem Verberne, Director of Global Partnerships at WWF, sets out how companies can put nature at the heart of business for mutual benefit.

For Earth Hour 2018, at 8.30pm local time on March 24th, we are inviting the world to #Connect2Earth to spark a global conversation about our relationship with nature and how we can live more sustainably.

For business, this means asking what your company or sector can do for nature and sustainability rather than what they can do for you, and how enterprise can serve purpose and responsibility.

At WWF, we accompany partners on a transformative journey — from mapping environmental risks and opportunities, through developing joint initiatives, to catalysing sector-wide change and restoring life on Earth.

Read the full article here and find out more about seven ways your business can take the journey toward sustainability, e.g. understanding material impacts and exposure to environmental risk is the starting point.

By WWF for Medium.

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Waste plastic bottles and other types of plastic waste at the waste disposal site in Thilafushi, part of the Maldives. Credit: Shutterstock/ Mohamed Abdulraheem

 

There’s no love lost for plastic packaging. Whether it’s complicated recycling instructions on the products we buy, startling images of the impacts on wildlife or simply the economic value lost through waste, plastics have been climbing the international agenda for years. So how do 8 million tonnes of plastic still end up in the ocean each year?

Searching for the right solutions

The urgency of the issue has led to brands, governments, NGOs and celebrities promoting a host of solutions. Reusable packaging is part of the answer, and shopping bags, water bottles and coffee cups have become popular purchases for those trying to do their bit. This works to replace certain types of packaging, but think about all the other pieces of plastic we come into contact with every single day. Plastic film can keep food fresher for longer, and wrappers ensure medical equipment is safe for patients. In many cases, it wouldn’t be hygienic, convenient or feasible to go fully reusable.

Read the full article on innovations such as packaging inspired by nature, made from food waste and more here.

By Joe Iles for GreenBiz.

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The organic garden at the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif., where herbs will be planted for guests who opt out of housekeeping. Credit: Bardessono Hotel & Spa

Promoting sustainability, properties are offering food and beverage credits and other perks for guests who forgo housekeeping services.

The question came at check-in: Did I want to forgo housekeeping for the two days I was staying at the Flamingo in Las Vegas in exchange for a $10 a day food and beverage credit?

Huh?

The clerk repeated himself. Some guests, he explained, didn’t want to be bothered during their stay — hangovers and all that. So last summer the Flamingo, along with nearly all of its sister properties in Vegas (it is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment), decided to give people the chance to decline having their rooms cleaned in exchange for a voucher.

Read the full article on eradicating housekeeping for a better environment, and for a better hotel’s bottom line here.

By Abby Ellin for The New York Times.

 

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‘Plastic, plastic, plastic’: British diver films sea of rubbish off Bali

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Video posted on YouTube shows water densely strewn with food wrappers, cups and sachets as tropical fish dart in and out

A British diver has captured shocking images of himself swimming through a sea of plastic rubbish off the coast of the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali.

A short video posted by diver Rich Horner on his social media account and on YouTube shows the water densely strewn with plastic waste and yellowing food wrappers, the occasional tropical fish darting through the deluge.

With poor government planning and low levels of awareness about waste and recycling, Indonesia is now the second-largest plastic polluter in the world after China.

Read the full article here.

By  for The Guardian

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Credit: mekongtourism.org

Sustainable development has now also become a term that is synonymous with how tourism development should take place. In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), where specific developmental characteristics play out, what kind of indicators for successful deployment of tourism that makes development in the region sustainable are we likely to see?

Sustainable tourism indicators have always been used to inform, assess and evaluate conditions and situations. Going forward, indicators will serve also as a benchmark for stakeholders to focus on critical areas that contribute to a destination’s sustainability (Lee & Hsieh, 2016), and at times a strategic tool, if it has not been so already.

Read the full article to learn more about the GMS, potential indicators as well as the importance and challenges of sustainable tourism here.

By Kevin Phun for MekongTourism.org

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