As with developing countries all over the world, Thailand and the Philippines face a particular vulnerability and fragility in their natural, economic and social environments, highlighting the critical need to enable innovative systems and sustainable actions in their tourism sector to promote long-term, sustainable growth.
Launched by the Center for Appropriate Technology from Austria (GrAT), ‘Zero Carbon Resorts for Sustainable Tourism project’ targets 1,000 stakeholders in the Philippines and 300 in Thailand, composed of micro, small and medium-sized tourism enterprises that include hotels, resorts, and any form of accommodation, as well as related tourism establishments such as restaurants and dive shops. Other beneficiaries include local resort and hotel associations, tourism agencies and tour operators, public institutions, central and local government, construction companies, financial institutions and national funding agencies, among others.

Implemented in

  • Asia / Pacific

Led by

  • GrAT- Center for Appropriate Technology

Sustainability themes

Sector of activity
Tourism

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Scientific and Technical

Start date
30/11/2018

Objectives

Aiming to advance towards carbon-neutral operations through the adoption of innovative practices and technology, the use of renewable resources, and resource efficiency, the Center for Appropriate Technology from Austria (GrAT) launched the Zero Carbon Resorts for Sustainable Tourism project in the Philippines and Thailand. Interventions range from simple measures with low or no investment, such as identifying and eliminating energy and resource waste and implementing efficient, leading-edge technologies to heighten resource efficiency

Activities

Through the application of the 3R methodology of Reduce - Replace - Redesign, the project has challenged the conventional practices of tourism establishment operations in the Philippines and Thailand, leading to a reduction of up to 63% of costs for energy and water and avoiding the emission of over 11 million kg CO2 . It thus builds the case that making businesses more sustainable do not just make economic sense, but also significantly reduces its carbon footprint, ensuring long-term growth and resilience.

Impact and Results

(1) Significant savings in Thailand tourism enterprises:
- A number of best practice implementations resulted in significant savings of energy, resources, and expenses in the participating 23 Frontier Group member companies.
- Through these interventions, Frontier Group members from several Thai tourism destinations have remarkably improved their environmental performance and reduced carbon emissions.
- Critical knowledge has been shared with a number of resort owners, engineers, technicians and other associated stakeholders. The results from these Frontier Group members were analyzed during monitoring visits, and the corresponding savings were computed.
- The accumulated annual savings of these companies is 828,612USD. In terms of impact, the total savings of these companies alone can actually offset the energy consumption equivalent to 15,068 households and the water consumption of 183 homes. The annual fuel consumption avoided is equivalent to 157 cars, while the avoided carbon emissions offset 1,554 vehicles.
- The project partners in Thailand have started dissemination and outreach programmes using the projects’ case studies and have already acquired 265 new Frontier Group members. Quantification of savings from these new members is still ongoing.

(2) Mainstreaming sustainable tourism in the Philippines
- A sample of 297 project members was analyzed in detail as of the fourth year of the project’s implementation.
- The accumulated annual savings of these sample companies amounted to USD 8,636,208.76; a reduction in energy of 38 MWh; 714, 427,966.30 liters of water; and avoided 23, 348,538.52 kg of carbon emissions.
- In collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, the project has contributed to the development of the ANAHAW - Philippine Sustainable Tourism Certification, a national green certification for accommodation and tourism-related enterprises in the Philippines, launched in January 2018. To reach the minimum standards of this certification, a hotel or resort must comply with the mandatory requirements and achieve 50 percent of the individual performance measures.
- Based on indicator and performance-based metrics, the certification is focused on enabling innovation initiatives that help reduce operational costs and carbon emissions through smart methods, processes and technologies.