The 2nd Annual World Summit was held in Kassel, Germany, in honor of Kassel Convention Centre being the first event center certified in Germany.
The keynote address by Green Globe Certification CEO Mr. Guido Bauer highlighted the certification program’s industry-driven agenda. Mr. Bauer outlined the achievements over the last 12 months in tripling the number of certified and audited tourism businesses worldwide.
Key to the success was delivering the professional-level service that is expected by the tourism industry by a dedicated network that is located in key markets including Germany, France, Sri Lanka, Mid East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
New partnerships in India, Spain, Portugal, Japan, South East Asia, and Hong Kong were also discussed at the World Summit. Mr. Bauer announced that negotiations were underway and announcements of the new partners would be made by the end of June.
International partner, TÜV Rheinland was present with 15 auditors from five countries. In partnership, Green Globe Certification and TÜV Rheinland will be certifying the complete chain of Wellness Spas & Resorts. In-depth discussions were held on the importance of independent auditing of all certified business, specifically the need for audits to be carried out on site.
Partners recognized for their outstanding efforts:
– Dr. Peter Zimmer – FUTOUR Tourismusberatung / Germany
– Ruchi Gunewardene – Sting Consultants / Sri Lanka
– Yohann Robert – Francois Tourisme Consultants & Ecorismo / France
– Greg McManus – Heritage Environmental Management / South Africa
– Wendy Walker-Drakes – Ecolink / Caribbean
– Romeo Dominguez – Green Globe Mexico
Launch of Updated Green Globe Standard
The latest Green Globe Standard was launched at the World Summit, which is the culmination of six months of consultation and development. The main innovation was to integrate the standard’s categories and criteria with global initiatives toward normalizing sustainability certification across the travel and tourism industry.
The Green Globe Standard now arranges its complete set of 334 sustainability indicators under the internationally-accepted categories of sustainable management; social/economic; cultural heritage; and environmental. In addition, a supplemental set of criteria are offered for ground transport, which were developed in conjunction with the US-based Limousine Environmental Action Partners, Inc. (LEAP).
Dr. Dietrich Brockhagen, executive director from the internationally-renowned carbon offset company, atmosfair, provided a thorough review of the sustainability indicators surrounding energy usage and management. Atmosfair will play a leading role in further development of the indicators in line with global best practice.
The summit also agreed to begin to coordinate a supplemental set of indicators for tourism businesses in mainland China, with special consideration for those in protected areas. The Green Globe Standard aims to provide indicators that meet specific local needs, allowing tourism enterprises to meet the certification obligations under the international criteria. It was agreed that this would be a challenging initiative, with indicators for China to be completed by the next scheduled update at the end 2010.
The Green Globe Certification Standard is based on the following international standards and agreements:
• Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria (STC Partnership)
• Baseline Criteria of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas
• Agenda 21 and principles for Sustainable Development
• The Mohonk Agreement
• ISO 9001 / 14001 / 17021 / 19011 (International Standard Organization)
EVVC and Green Globe Develop Certification Program
Dr. Peter Zimmer, director of FUTOUR Tourismusberatung and Green Globe’s German partner, provided a complete presentation of the new agreement between the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and Green Globe Certification.
Together EVVC and Green Globe Certification will jointly develop a certification process for sustainability in event venues and meetings. EVVC together with Green Globe also aims to have this process adopted for green meetings and events across Europe.
Dr. Zimmer reported that at the recent IMEX – the world’s largest exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events – and the president of EVVC, Mr. Joachim König, officially launched the partnership.
Of the 600 EVVC members, the following conference venues have already been certified by Green Globe: Kongress Palais Kassel, Leipziger Messe, MUK Musik and Kongresshalle Lübeck, HCC Hannover Congress Centrum, Congress Centrum Mainz, Düsseldorf Congress, Neue Weimarhalle, Eurogress Aachen, KMK Karlsruher Messe, and Kongress-Gesellschaft. The Messe and Congress Centrum Halle Münsterland is currently under audit.
CLUB MED Presents its Sustainable Achievements
As special guest of the World Summit, Club Med’s SD Projects and Reporting Manager, Ms. Bénédicte Vallat, provided a detailed overview of the green achievements made as part of the certification process.
These included a wide range of initiatives such as engineering filtering gardens to treat 400 cubic meters/daily of waste water in Mauritius and to supporting the creation of viable and sustainable Very Small Enterprises (VSEs) close to Club Med Villages in developing countries in partnership with Agrisud, as well as maintaining its commitment to combat sexual exploitation of children through tourism by working alongside ECPAT.
Ms. Vallat asserted that over and above the good practice that was already a part of the Club Med’s day-to-day management, the certification process made the clubs take a step further in the following areas:
• Communication and formalization of their environmental policy
• Increased efficiency in terms of waste management
• More staff training on matters relating to the environment
• Increase in their efforts to raise clients’ awareness, more communication
• Step up the volume of local purchasing
• More partnerships with local organizations to increase our commitment to the local community and the protection of the local environment
New Strategic Partnership with the British International Spa Association (BISA)
BISA chairwomen Ms. Marion Schneider joined the World Summit to discuss a Strategic Partnership with Green Globe Certification. The spa and wellness industry has seen a boom in recent years. There has been strong demand for both traditional spa vacations in natural areas, as well as high-end day spa treatments in city locations around the world.
The aim of the Strategic Partnership is to improve and enhance sustainability in the spa sector in the following ways:
• Promote sustainability across the spa industry for the purpose of constantly improving environmental, social, and economic outcomes of the spa industry.
• By participating in the program of certification via Green Globe membership, spa companies will disclose and promote their individual sustainability achievements. A fundamental purpose of this promotion is to deliver greater transparency for consumers and support sustainability.
• In collaboration, provide education and training in sustainability practices for the spa industry.
• In collaboration, continuously develop new and improved sustainability criteria within the Green Globe Standard, which are of specific importance to the spa industry.
• Communicate the Strategic Partnership and its benefits to all BISA members as well as other spa companies outside of the BISA membership.
• Green Globe’s communications and marketing services to be offered to all BISA members achieving Green Globe certification.
At the 5th Annual BISA Spring Conference held in Budapest, following the World Summit, the Strategic Partnership was ratified by the BISA board. The first major initiative will be a review of the Spa Certification Standard, with an update co-developed and launched by BISA and Green Globe in the second half of 2010.
The 3rd Green Globe World Summit will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from May 13-15, 2011 ahead of the World Travel & Tourism Summit (WTTC) from May 15-19.