Planet, People and Prosperity – striking a balance
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Greening a conference affords opportunity to add value to local communities through employment, training, local industry support, and raising awareness of sustainability issues. Your venue of choice should also demonstrate community focus by providing a list of organisations it supports. Delegates may consider contributing to the worthy causes listed – or you may wish to donate unused items such as stationery, goodie bags, exhibition materials or unopened food to those that need it.
- Eco-procurement: To source materials required for your conference in an ecologically and socially responsible way requires research into innovative alternative options to all purchases or service provision. Wherever possible, support local products that are not harmful to the environment – and ensure that all items, such as conference packs, goodie bags or gifts are durable, reusable or recyclable, including signs and name badges.
Recycling – waste can be useful!
- Waste: There is always potential for a large amount of waste at events like conferences – and recycling will be your most visible greening action. Separating at source is key to extracting the best value out of waste matter. Recycling benefits include: creating more jobs, reducing costs by using recyclable items, a cleaner environment, using leftovers to provide food to charitable institutions such as shelters and soup kitchens, and using organic waste for composting. Minimising landfill waste should be the goal in order to reduce the amount of valuable re-usable materials going to waste.
- Food & Beverages: By using only local produce, you will be supporting local industries and reducing carbon emission of long-haul transport. Wherever possible, the menu should include the freshest organic and seasonal foods and offer a vegetarian option. Reusable or disposable plates, as well as cloth napkins instead of paper, will make a difference, and very importantly, water should be served in glass jugs rather than plastic bottles.
- Presentation & Marketing: There are several practical marketing and branding practices to promote greening principles. Ensure that the use of paper materials such as flip charts or hand-outs is as limited as possible, and that all communications are via email. Only print when necessary and when you do, print double-sided. If printed matter is unavoidable, then it should be produced with recycled material only. Marketing and communication of the event should be done electronically as far as possible, and registration for the conference should be via digital means.
Resource efficiency – reduce, rebalance and conserve
- Energy Consumption: It would be worthwhile to assess your chosen venue with regard to renewable energy and energy saving policies. The installation of solar geysers will be an important check – and wherever possible the use of natural light and ventilation is preferable. Energy efficiency should include: regulation of air-conditioning for the most efficient usage; LED lighting; sensor-driven electrical devices such as escalators and light sensors which switch off lights and equipment when not in use – keep in mind that the higher the energy savings, the greater the cost savings.
- Emissions & Offsetting: A green venue should have an advanced energy usage measurement system in place that will allow you to proactively monitor the carbon emissions created by your event. You can gain information on the amount of energy consumed – and elect to purchase carbon credits, green energy or support an environmental organisation as a way of offsetting the resultant carbon emissions.
- Transport: Finding ways to reduce the travelling time between the airport, accommodation and the conference venue plays a vital role in minimising the carbon footprint. Secondly, the venue should be easily accessible via reliable public transport, even possibly including the provision of bicycles. These measures will not only reduce transport emissions to and from the venue but also ensure convenience for delegates.
- Water Conservation: Water is a scarce and valuable resource, and the venue’s responsible stewardship should include: accurate monitoring of water consumption; water-wise plants and drip irrigation systems; installation of water-saving sensor taps and dual flush systems in restrooms.
The CTICC – when next you’re in Cape Town
Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, provides a perfect setting for local, small and large national conferences. The Cape Town International Convention Centre – proud member of the South African Event Greening Forum and the Green Meetings Industry Council – is superbly placed to green your event.
- At the CTICC, we are committed to sustainability as a core business ethic. It is not simply a measure of value that we add; it is at the heart of who we are.
- Nurture Our World (NOW) is a fully-fledged sustainability forum that informs and guides the CTICC’s sustainability efforts, and supports several programmes aimed at enhancing the centre’s positive environmental and social impact.
- Our passion for sustainability leadership has earned us various accolades. Wereport our sustainable practices in line with Global Reporting Initiative standards.
- We believe that by achieving these high standards, we inspire industry players, clients and visitors alike, to embark on their own ‘green’ journeys.
Contributing 19 percent to its GDP, mining is essential to the economic prospects of South Africa. Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, tells World Finance how platinum can be extracted in a sustainable way.
Although mining is the backbone of South Africa’s economy, its success is not without consequence; and only by considering environmental and social wellbeing alongside financial performance can leading companies pave the way for sustainable growth. As the country’s mining industry enters into the modern age, it is essential that companies work responsibly and, in doing so, benefit all corners of society.
Looking to the example set by Anglo American Platinum, it’s clear that key industry names can bring a greater measure of sustainable prosperity by focusing on matters aside from profit-making potential. We spoke to Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum about the country’s mining industry and the importance of corporate social responsibility in shepherding it on to greater things.
What’s the current economic environment like in South Africa, and how is this affecting the mining industry?
The South African economy is diverse with a number of activities contributing to the economy. However, mining is still a significant contributor to the South African GDP. Here at Amplats, we develop socio-economic programmes such as agricultural programmes and contribute significantly to South African education and health by building schools, clinics, roads etc. We see ourselves as an integral part of the society.
We are also encouraged by the manner in which stakeholders such as unions, employees, the government, businesses, investors and NGOs collectively agree that we have to work together to develop sustainable solutions in the mining industry. Labour unrest affects all sectors of the economy especially small businesses within mining towns. We have seen how a labour strike in one sector can negatively affect other sectors that are stable.
[M]ining is still a significant contributor to the South African GDP
Environmental, social and governance risks are fundamental to our business, we see financial risk as an integral part of the business, the same way we see environmental, social and governance risks, and we continue to identify risks in all areas of our business to ensure a holistic approach to business sustainability. We are encouraged that the South African economy is steadily improving.
How has that affected Anglo American Platinum and how has the company adapted to it?
Despite the challenging environment of the industrial action, the effect of business improvement initiatives is evident across all our operations. Our revised marketing strategy aimed at improving margins and increasing future demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) continues to have a positive impact. We prioritised all existing asset-optimisation, supply chain programmes and initiatives identified in the 2012 Platinum Review. We continue with our value-driven strategy, cost-reduction programmes and improving operating efficiencies.
Our focus remains on the restructuring and repositioning of our portfolio. We have the high quality assets to enable us to do this, and a new capital optimisation programme to ensure we allocate our scarce capital to the highest potential assets and projects.
What mechanisms does Anglo American Platinum have in place with regard to the environment?
We aim to create and extract maximum value from our full basket of metals in a safe, profitable, competitive and sustainable way, for the benefit of all stakeholders. We do this responsibly by ensuring that resources such as water and energy are optimised and saved. For example, our total new-water consumption decreased from 33.4 million metres cubed in 2013 to 27.1 million metres cubed in 2014. We have total basal energy expenditure of 61.3 percent against a 2013 target of 58 percent. Our safety has improved too. We believe that zero harm is achievable.
What has the company done to ensure it is socially responsible towards South Africa?
Social deficit is a fundamental issue not only for Anglo American Platinum, but for all sectors of society and governments in the developing nations, and South Africa is far from unique. Moreover, South Africa is still repairing wounds suffered as a result of apartheid, and most of our host communities still lack fundamentals such as schools, roads, health facilities, transport infrastructure and so on. Mining is seen as a source of employment and income, and the local economy still needs to be uplifted to improve access to facilities and other opportunities.
Mining contributes significantly to the GDP of South Africa and other countries where we operate. In figures, mining creates 1.35 million jobs, accounts for about 19 percent of GDP and is a critical earner of foreign exchange – typically greater than 50 percent. The industry also accounts for 20 percent of private investment, 12 percent of total investment, attracts significant foreign savings of around ZAR 1.4trn ($121.4bn), has approximately ZAR 440bn ($38.1bn) in annual expenditure, spends ZAR 93.6bn ($8.1bn) on wages, ZAR 4bn ($346.9m) on skills development and ZAR 2bn ($173m) on community investment.
In 2014, Anglo American Platinum trained 49,763 employees, with 4.9 percent of total payroll spent on training and development. With regard to sustainability indicators; in healthcare 16,875 community members received primary healthcare by company funded mobile clinics. In education 79.4 percent of the company bursary fund for communities was awarded; and there was the completion and handover of a ZAR 40m ($3.47m) school for the local community in Bizana. We also invested in skills training, with 1,320 employees, community members and contractors benefitting from adult basic education and training programmes.
We believe our social contribution is notable and significant. However, our host communities and citizens require more and there is still a lot to be done, which is why, as a company, we have developed Alchemy. Alchemy – Anglo American Platinum’s ZAR 3.5bn ($303.8m) social development framework model for shared ownership – is a community based empowerment scheme. The sole aim of Alchemy is simply to develop and empower our host communities beyond the life of mine. We believe that this is the right thing to do and that overtime, communities will benefit immensely from this strategic initiative.
Anglo American Platinum was recognised as Best Performer in 2013 and 2014 by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Socially Responsible Investment Index.
What main governance structures and processes has the company put in place and what impact are they having?
The board regards governance as fundamental to the success of the company’s business and is committed to principles of good governance in directing and managing the company to achieve its strategic objectives. The board conducts its business in accordance with the principle of King III, which includes the exercise of independent discipline, responsibility and transparency, and also the accountability of directors to all stakeholders setting out its role and responsibilities.
Through proactive stakeholder engagement, not only do we integrate media views but, specifically, engage minority shareholders because we believe that they provide useful and important views and strategies to ensure that the business remains sustainable.
Stakeholders are engaged in groupings and on an individual basis. That is why we have developed an ESG communication strategy that will ensure that every stakeholder’s view is taken into consideration and addressed.
In short, structures such as a Safety and Sustainable Development Committee, Social Ethics and Transformation Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, Executive Committee and a Business Integrity Committee ensure that the whole system operates within local and international good governance frameworks.
What are Anglo American Platinum’s key policies with regard to sustainable development more generally?
Sustainability is not an isolated phenomenon but an integral part of the business. Everything we do is done through lenses of sustainability, and our policies are reviewed and tested against best international sustainability practices and standards. The anti-competitive policy is a practical example: our reputation as a business may be negatively affected if we do not identify employees and contractors who are exposed to antitrust risk, and ensure that they all receive appropriate training. As a company we subscribe to the principles of International Council on Mining and Metals, which means that we must mine responsibly. We ensure minimal environmental impact and eliminate other factors such as noise and dust.
What challenges do the company and wider industry face?
As the company develops so too do social needs. Land and housing is a challenge, and the two represent a high risk to employee health and safety. As a company, we build houses and ensure employees have a living-out allowance when choosing to live outside of identified accommodation. Some of the challenges have come as a result of undeveloped infrastructure, such as public roads, and while this is not entirely within our control, we see this as a challenge because our employees are exposed to unsafe roads. In response to these challenges we partner with local, provincial and national government in initiatives focused on improving infrastructure. We build roads, provide safe transport and provide accommodation.
What is Anglo American Platinum’s overall vision for the future in terms of the wider platinum industry?
Our vision is to be a global leader in PGMs, from resource to market, as we work towards a better future for all.
Source: World Finance
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By Kevin Mearns
“Putting tourism on a sustainable path is a major challenge, but one that also presents a significant opportunity” Klaus Topfer, UNEP Executive Director.
Changes in the market forces, as well as the move towards more environmentally sensitive and sustainable forms of tourism, have led to significant changes in tourism. The emergence of sustainable development has been a major driving force in this change towards a new form of tourism. The negative economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts resulting from tourism’s rapid and unplanned developments associated with mass tourism led to calls for a new or alternative form of tourism. Sustainable or responsible tourism is one such alternative approach to tourism that has been embraced by the tourism industry in an attempt to respond to the changing market conditions.
The concept of sustainability has had a profound influence on the world and the way in which the tourism industry, and in fact all business, conducts itself. Business now has to concern itself not only with economics but also with social and environmental issues, referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Careful consideration must be given to the minimization of negative environmental impacts while enhancing the positive impacts. Responsible tourism is being advocated by the tourism industry to achieve equity, responsibility and sustainability. The Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism (2002) was the result of the Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations organized by the Responsible Tourism Partnership as a side event preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The conference addressed ways in which stakeholders can work together to take responsibility for achieving the aspirations of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics and the principles of sustainable tourism. According to the Cape Town Declaration (2002) responsible tourism has the following characteristics:
- It minimizes negative economic, environmental and social impacts.
- It generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, and improves working conditions and access to the industry.
- It involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances.
- It makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, as well as to the maintenance of the world’s diversity.
- It provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.
- It provides access for physically challenged people.
South Africa committed itself to the principle of responsible tourism in its 1996 White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa. The principles of responsible tourism were, however, later elaborated on (DEAT, 2002) Responsible tourism is about enabling communities to enjoy a better quality of life through increased socio-economic benefits and an improved environment. It is also about providing better holiday experiences for guests and good business opportunities for tourism enterprises.
But how do we measure how well or how badly we are doing in terms of our responsibility or sustainability targets? “Indicators have been identified as desirable instruments and/or measuring rods to assess and monitor the progress towards sustainable development”(Tsaur, Lin, & Lin, 2006) Indicators are defined by Hart (2013) as “something that helps you understand where you are, which way you are going and how far you are from where you want to be”. An indicator also has the ability to reduce a large quantity of information to its simplest form, without losing the essential information in order to answer questions being asked. Indicators are therefore variables that summarize relevant information to make visible phenomena of interest. Whereas statistics provide raw data with no meaning attached, indicators of sustainable development provide meaning that extends beyond the attributes directly associated with the data.
The use of sustainable tourism indicators was developed to help tourism managers obtain and use information in support of better decision making in the sustainable development of tourism. Indicators are proposed to be the building blocks for sustainable tourism and they are intended to be used as tools that respond to issues most important to managers of tourism destinations. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2004) explains that indicators are: measures of the existence or severity of current issues, signals of upcoming situations or problems, measures of risk and potential need for action, and a means to identify and measure the results of our actions.
Indicators are information sets which are formally selected to be used on a regular basis to measure changes that are of importance for tourism development and management. They can measure: a) changes in tourism’s own structures and internal factors, b) changes in external factors which affect tourism and c) the impacts caused by tourism. Both qualitative and quantitative information can be used for sustainability indicators.”
“Used properly, indicators can become key management tools – performance measures which supply essential information both to managers and all stakeholders in tourism. Good indicators can provide in-time information to deal with pressing issues
and help guide the sustainable development of a destination” (UNWTO, 2007)
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2004) some of the benefits of good indicators are the following:
- better decision making – lower risks and costs
- identification of emerging issues – allowing prevention
- identification of impacts – allowing corrective action when needed
- performance management of the implementation of plans and management activities – evaluating progress in the sustainable development of tourism
- reduced risk of planning mistakes – identifying limits and opportunities
- greater accountability – credible information for the public and other stakeholders of tourism fostering accountability for its wise use in decision making constant monitoring that can lead to continuous improvement – building solutions into management
The tourism industry has monitored destination performance for many years by using conventional tourism indicators such as arrival numbers and tourist expenditure. In the same way as GDP has been found to be an inadequate measure of human welfare, conventional indicators can be seen as inadequate measures of tourism’s true performance.
Indicators are those sets of information chosen because they are meaningful to our decisions and can be supported in a way that provides us with the information when needed. The UNWTO process was designed to assist tourism managers in identifying which information was key to their decisions. This would help them reduce the risks to their enterprise, the community and the environment. Consequently, the UNWTO identified a core set of indicators which are likely to be useful in almost any situation which needs additional indicators critical for management in a particular ecosystem or type of destination (UNWTO, 2004).
Indicators are not an end in themselves. They become relevant only if used in tourism planning and management processes, and ideally they become effective in creating better and more sustainable decisions.
The UNWTO (2004) indicates a series of applications in which indicators support tourism planning and management:
Indicators and policy: Indicators are helpful in identifying the key policy issues that need to be addressed during the development process to achieve effective and responsible management.
Using indicators to strategically plan for tourism: Planning is about knowing what you want, how you will get there and how you will know if you have achieved it. Indicators are useful in all three of these phases of planning for continual improvement, as they provide the means to measure how close the tourism venture is to the desired state or outcome.
Indicators and regulation: Most regulations are based on the achievement of a specific standard. Indicators assist in measuring adherence to these desired standards.
Carrying capacity and limits to tourism: Indicators can be very useful in monitoring whether specific limits or carrying capacities which may affect the sustainability of tourism are being reached.
Public reporting and accountability: The information collected through indicators needs to be shared with the public in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
indicators and certification programmes: Indicators are used to monitor and measure the adherence to a series of criteria as prescribed by the certification authority or programme.
Performance measurement and benchmarking: Tourism ventures are increasingly being called upon to measure their performance in relation to other tourism ventures and benchmarks. Indicators play a critical role in determining both benchmarks and baselines for comparison as well as the performance of tourism venture in relation to one another and the predetermined benchmarks.
In order to understand how well we are performing in terms of our sustainability targets we need to continuously monitor our performance. Monitoring should be kept simple and feedback should be obtained from visitors, tour operators and local people. Simpson (2008, p.263) supports this need for ongoing monitoring by stating that “[t]he importance of on- going monitoring cannot be understated in order to refine strategies, mitigate costs, maximize benefits to communities and ensure long-term sustainability of individual tourism initiatives”.
The results of indicator monitoring are not always self-evident and will be of little value if they cannot
be accurately interpreted and understood. Baselines, thresholds, targets and benchmarks provide valuable tools to assist in the interpretation of the results obtained from indicator measurement. Baselines normally represent the agreed starting point of the monitoring process, often being the first year for which data has been collected. The indicator results are then interpreted based on the degree of variance from the baseline. This tool works well as long as it is clear that the baseline may not necessarily represent
a desired state, as a critical limit may already have been exceeded.
A baseline, as the first tool used in the interpretation of results, does not always indicate what action is necessary and it will only indicate if a previous level has been exceeded. Additional tools for the interpretation need to be used in conjunction with the baseline data. These tools are thresholds, targets and benchmarks. Thresholds indicate a critical point or threshold that should not be passed. Thresholds often act as an early warning system which if reached should trigger some form of management action to ensure that the issue is resolved or remediated. Targets and benchmarks provide a focus or an aim of a desired subjective state that would like to be achieved. These targets and benchmarks continuously drive management actions towards the attainment of the target. Baseline data therefore forms a critical component in the interpretation of indicator results.
Sustainable tourism indicators have been identified as valuable tools for determining and monitoring sustainability. Indicators have also been said to operationalise sustainability by providing social, economic and environmental information that supports more effective and holistic tourism planning, management and decision making. Now the question arises which indicators should be used? Before selecting the indicators to use, two other important questions needed to be answered:
How many indicators need to be selected?
Clearly there was no ideal number of indicators to select. Any attempt to address all the aspects of sustainability using too few indicators would leave important gaps, while too many indicators in turn could overwhelm users and the collection of information for the numerous indicators could become too complex and time-consuming. According to the UNWTO (2004, p. 41) “[m]ost practitioners agree that it is essential to prioritize issues and the indicators that correspond to them, to help create a shorter list”. Furthermore, “practitioners agree 12-24 indicators are optimal” (UNWTO, 2004).
Which issues do the indicators need to address?
Issues that need to be addressed when measuring and monitoring the sustainability of a tourism venture need to include the new triple bottom line of sustainability reporting namely social, economic and environmental sustainability, or otherwise stated as people, profit and planet.
The World Tourism Organization (2004) identified 12 baseline issues and their associated baseline indicators which served as an important point of departure for the identification of indicators (Table 1). The list of baseline indicators covers a range of social, economic and environmental issues likely to be found in most destinations. In Table 1 the social, economic and environmental sustainability dimension has been added in square brackets for each baseline issue.
This list of indicators merely provides a basis upon which the sustainability performance of tourism ventures could be measured and monitored. The selected list of indicators need to be adapted to
suite local conditions and the tourism product being monitored in order to provide valuable information to guide sustainability decision making that is relevant to the product and local conditions. As tourists become more aware of their impacts on the environment, they are demanding more sustainable tourism experiences.
In an attempt to respond to these changing market trends the tourism industry has to embrace respon- sible tourism. Responsible tourism in turn can only be achieved if all the relevant role players are able to take collective responsibility for achieving sustainable tourism in order to create better places for people to live in and to visit.
Source: Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Handbook Volume 1
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For a tourist climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, some of the breathtaking tourism attractions feature is the permanent glaciers on the Mountain peaks.