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All posts tagged Sustainable Development Goals

We conducted our last PATA staff knowledge development lunch workshop of the year on December 7, 2018. Our BUFFET campaign partner, Thai-SOS, joined us at the PATA Headquarters to raise awareness of issues surrounding food waste and to empower us to share this knowledge with others. You can read the full recap here.

At the end of the workshop, the PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Department challenged staff members to a low-waste lifestyle week. This challenge aimed to put the staff’s new knowledge from the workshop into practice and also to serve as a way to encourage conscious consumption and waste reduction of food in its entire cycle (including purchasing, preparation, during consumption, etc.). To participate, staff members had to post pictures of their meals (before, after or both) and specify in the caption what conscious efforts they had made to refuse any form of avoidable waste.

In this week’s Green Tips, we are sharing our new knowledge with you so you can also try to adapt your lifestyle, even at work.

1. Have lunch together

Colleagues who lunch together stay together. Better yet, they can also help finish your fries or the cucumber on your chicken rice that you always pick out. In PATA, our pantry’s drawers store enough reusable durable containers that staff members can easily carry with them to take-away some dishes from local hawker stalls. You can find PATA staff members eating their green curries, som tams and ka prows, family-style at the pantry. This not only saves them money in the long run, it also keeps food waste on the low.


Say no to plastic caps & straws

2. For the love of coffee

The day does not officially start until you get your first cup of coffee. We can all agree that most of the time, it’s just much easier to make your way to a Starbucks and get a coffee to go. In Thailand, locals much prefer their kaffe-yen (iced coffee) from a coffee stand. One thing in common about this type of take-away coffee is that it’s always served in a plastic cup, topped with a plastic cap, garnished with a plastic straw and tucked into a plastic bag. It’s high time we break this Earth-killing combo and start saying no to all this avoidable plastic! It is best to bring your own reusable bottle always, but on occasions where you don’t, opt for no plastic caps and straw. Rather than carrying the cup in a plastic bag, hold it with some compostable tissues.

3. Reusable bags, containers and bottles

Everyone should own these top three necessities to live a sustainable life – reusable tote bags, durable containers, and reusable water bottles. Keep these items close to you at all times and you’ll be surprised by the amount of plastic you can refuse in a day. Do not let places with a “plastic bag culture” be an excuse for you to take it. Always choose to refuse a plastic bag even if it means you will have to awkwardly remove your items from the plastic bag it was given in.

4. The power is in your hands

Food is prepared by caterers, but the ultimate decision to leave food scraps behind are made by the consumers. It’s really a shame for someone to pay for their food only to have some of it wasted and tossed into the bin. If you are feeling kind of full at lunchtime, ask for half a portion of your meal instead of leaving it behind. Alternatively, you can always bring your own container and pack half of your lunch to eat later. We are ultimately saving the environment by making sure all the food we purchased, we finish. So, don’t get intimidated by the strange looks you might get as you pack your leftovers. Make it the norm!

5. Sustainability hero

When you have a sustainability hero or green team in the office, they play a big part in influencing other staff members to live a sustainable lifestyle too. You should never be ashamed of the sustainable choices you make in your daily life. Explain to your colleagues why you would rather drink your milk tea without a straw. Call them out if they could’ve avoided using any avoidable wastes. Once you are known as a sustainability hero in the office, you’ll start to see colleagues hiding their plastic bags from you and eventually, they’ll start refusing them the next time they purchase something.

Our challenge lasted for a week to ensure that staff members are consistently mindful of the decisions they make in their daily lives. During PATA’s Christmas dinner, staff members who successfully followed all the guidelines won gift vouchers – a way to commend their efforts and empower others to follow suit.

Did you know?

We only have 12 years to limit a climate change catastrophe. Even half a degree increase in world temperature will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

If you would like to do the same in your workplace, feel free to drop us an email to [email protected] for more information. We hope that you are able to incorporate these 5 tips into your daily lives and make sustainable living your new year resolution!

Extra reading:

Do your part to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn to regrow some of your kitchen scraps here.


Credit: Travindy

The UNWTO and UNDP recently issued an analysis of country and company reports on sustainability initiatives in tourism. Their report shows where the most activity has occurred and where opportunities lie for the industry to address the SDGs. There is a lot to unpack in this report, but I want to hone in on one concept: the role of small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

“…the private sector – particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which represent the bulk of the tourism sector – must be sensitized and given access to knowledge and capacity, including in new technologies that encourage investment in greener and more sustainable businesses…[SMEs] often lack awareness of how efforts and investment in sustainable business operations can also significantly boost competitiveness and profitability, while increasing customer and host community satisfaction” (p. 13).

Read the full article to find out more about reasons why many SMEs are not sustainable and possible solutions here.

By Aurora Dawn Reinke for Travindy.


A view of Singularity University’s 2017 Global Summit held in San Francisco, California. Photo by: Catherine Cheney / Devex


While large organizations are designed for efficiency and predictability, they would benefit from flexibility and adaptability, Salim Ismail, author of “Exponential Organizations,” said onstage on the final day of the summit. He pointed to the United Nations as one example of an old institution that lacks feedback loops and update mechanisms to keep up with current trends. Representatives of traditional donor agencies and nongovernmental organizations were few and far between at a summit that gathered leaders to explore how converging technologies are transforming every industry, including foreign aid, global health and humanitarian response.

But Devex was on the ground to gather key insights for the global development community on how this kind of thinking can support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Read the full article here about the idea to connect the dots between emerging technology, recycling and global poverty


By Catherine Cheney from Devex. 



Over a year ago, the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which collectively represent millions of dreams and aspirations. GreenBiz, in partnership with the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, is publishing 17 letters by Yale University students that highlight the ideas of youth regarding the 2030 developmental agenda. This series seeks to drive forward the collective will to translate the SDGs into reality.

Dear Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),

A friend recently told me about Ko Tao, a scuba diver’s dream of an island in Thailand where scuba enthusiasts from all over the world converge to spend morning to night submerged in a vast underwater wonderland of coral and fish, and then fill their remaining waking hours discussing dive sites and marine sights. This went on my list of future vacation spots — an ever-growing list of (mostly) dive sites in Southeast Asia that I wonder if I ever actually will see.


Read the rest of the letter and the full article here. 

By Maki Tazawa from GreenBiz.






Credit: Shutterstock

The Unreasonable Goals program is connecting 16 startups (that each work in the one of the areas of the SDGs) with governments and NGOs, to give them the support to scale their solutions.

The Unreasonable Group, an accelerator for socially-minded startups, was founded on the idea that entrepreneurs can change the world. Its name comes from a famous George Bernard Shaw quote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”

But unreasonableness only gets you so far, says Daniel Epstein, Unreasonable’s founder and CEO. To truly exact change, entrepreneurs need to be able to co-operate, including with corporations, governments, and the social sector.


Read the full article here and find out more about The Unreasonable Group here


By: Ben Schiller from The Fast Company








Recent research found 70% of people in middle- and high-income countries believe overconsumption is putting our planet and society at risk. Photograph: Seth Wenig/Reuters


This week, heads of state are gathering in New York to sign the UN’s new sustainable development goals (SDGs). The main objective is to eradicate poverty by 2030. Beyoncé, One Direction and Malala are on board. It’s set to be a monumental international celebration.

Given all the fanfare, one might think the SDGs are about to offer a fresh plan for how to save the world, but beneath all the hype, it’s business as usual. The main strategy for eradicating poverty is the same: growth.

Growth has been the main object of development for the past 70 years, despite the fact that it’s not working. Since 1980, the global economy has grown by 380%, but the number of people living in poverty on less than $5 (£3.20) a day has increased by more than 1.1 billion. That’s 17 times the population of Britain. So much for the trickle-down effect.

Orthodox economists insist that all we need is yet more growth. More progressive types tell us that we need to shift some of the yields of growth from the richer segments of the population to the poorer ones, evening things out a bit. Neither approach is adequate. Why? Because even at current levels of average global consumption, we’re overshooting our planet’s bio-capacity by more than 50% each year.


Read the full article here.

By Jason Hickel from The Guardian



Mangroves For The Future

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To celebrate International Mangroves Day, Mangroves for the Future (MFF) has released a multimedia story showcasing its achievements and efforts across 11 countries towards achieving the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The SDGs are part of the 2030 Agenda – a new global framework – to help eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030.

Mangroves for the Future: An elevated walking path through the mangrove forest of Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary

Image Source: MFF Cambodia/Steve Bernacki

Mangroves For The Future – Contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals

Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a partnership-based regional initiative which promotes investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. Co-chaired by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and UNDP, the programme focuses on the role that healthy, well-managed coastal ecosystems play in building the resilience of ecosystem-dependent coastal communities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Find the whole photo story here!


Support the Sustainable Development Goals

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Image source: UN Sustainable Development Platform Facebook page

On World Tourism Day 2014 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasised “harnessing tourism’s benefits will be critical to achieving the sustainable development goals and implementing the post-2015 development agenda“.

In order to harness tourism’s benefits, we must also work together.

As part of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) efforts to promote and coordinate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform was created. This includes Partnerships for SDGs, an online platform established to encourage worldwide engagement around multi-stakeholder partnerships and voluntary commitments in support of the implementation of the goals.

It is a useful platform for keeping up to date with multi-stakeholder initiatives in the tourism and travel industry – and there are plenty. The site also provides easy ways to take action and get involved.

If you are currently involved in a partnership that is working towards achieving any of the SDGs and their corresponding targets, then you can register your own. It is a excellent way to be connected at a global level, increase accountability and sharing of innovative ideas.

To find out how tourism can contribute to the SDGs click here.


World CharterThe ‘World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20’ was adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Tourism in Vitoria on 26 and 27 November.

This document incorporates the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development held in September 2015, and represents a great opportunity to firmly steer tourism towards an inclusive and sustainable way.

Read more here.

September 27 2015 – Under the theme “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities,” World Tourism Day, September 27, emphasizes the impact of the sector on economic growth, job creation and development.

The U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, stated in his message on the occasion: “Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.” Maritime Executive Read more.