Sustainable Tourism Info-Sheets
EMS and Eco-Tourism

Since the introduction of Agenda 21, the hospitality sector has adopted numerous strategies, approaches and measures in response to the challenge of sustainable development. These include:
  • Environmental management systems and tools
  • Education, awareness creation, training and information dissemination
  • Voluntary initiatives
  • Multi-stakeholder communication and consultation
  • Environmental reporting
  • Implementation of the Rio principles
The sector has particularly used environmental management systems and tools to demonstrate committment to an environmentally friendly work ethic. Many multinational and independent hotel companies have introduced environmental management practices at the property level. Ideally, the framework for this involves defining an environmental policy and building a management system to measure environmental impacts and compliance with the policy and local regulations, as well as documenting the systemís performance for inspection and auditing purposes. Such environmental management systems (EMS) help businesses to evaluate, manage and reduce their negative environmental impacts by providing a methodology to integrate environment management into business operations in a systematic manner.

Examples of hotel companies that have successfully implemented EMS include:

Six Continents Hotels (formerly Bass Hotels & Resorts)
Six Continents Hotels, a subsidiary of Six Continents Plc (formerly Bass Plc), operates over 3000 hotels worldwide. Its principal brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Inter-Continental Hotels.

Golden Tulip Hotels
Golden Tulip Hotels has 67 owned hotels and additional franchised and licensed properties all over the world.

The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai, India
The 245-room, five star, ECOTEL-certified Orchid Hotel in Mumbai was designed from the outset with preservation of the environment in mind.

Source: UNEP-DTIE Sustainable Tourism Programme
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