Managing property resources through EarthCheck results in significant savings, study finds

EarthCheck FeatureNew research has shown that hotels and resorts that systematically manage their resource use through the EarthCheck Certified program can save tens of thousands of dollars from their bottom line annually.

Led by Griffith University’s Professor of Sustainable Tourism Dr Susanne Becken, the study analyzed historical data from 1,047 businesses participating in EarthCheck’s global certification and benchmarking program between 2007 and 2013.

Companies who committed to the program achieved an annual reduction in use of water by as much as six percent, electricity by as much as seven percent and waste disposal by as much as fifteen percent. Some tourism businesses generated almost US$200,000 per annum in electricity savings over a seven year period.

The EarthCheck Certified system has been used by properties worldwide since 1999. It is now used by more than 32 sectors of the tourism industry in over 70 countries worldwide and has become the world’s leading benchmarking and certification program. The system helps businesses and destinations measure resource use, increase awareness of resource saving opportunities and motivate staff and residents.

“EarthCheck’s operations and programs are driven by the concept ‘what gets measured, gets managed’,” explains EarthCheck’s CEO Stewart Mr Moore.

“If the environmental footprint made by the world tourism industry was compared to the footprint of a country, tourism would be the fifth biggest polluter worldwide. Action needs to be taken,” he added.

In the Maldives, there are already several EarthCheck certified properties, including Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Park Hyatt and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa to name but a few.

Professor Becken said these businesses entered the EarthCheck Certified program hoping to improve their operational performance; and they did.

“Our research revealed the biggest drop in consumption was in the first few years of membership, and businesses continued to sharpen their reductions and deliver benefits after several years in the EarthCheck Certified program,” said Professor Becken.

“Annual hotel operational costs for electricity and water use and waste disposal are often in the order of US$500,000 to US$1,000,000 and our analysis shows that all resource savings result in sizeable financial savings,” she added.

“This research proves the tourism industry can make a difference both to the environment and to their operational overheads,” concluded Mr Moore.