How sustainable procurement can benefit the tourism industry

Many hotels are now demonstrating how sustainable procurement – securing goods and services in a way that achieves value for money for the organisation while also benefiting society and minimising impact on the environment – is helping to reduce their costs.

UN Environment has provided a set of case studies to show how corporate buyers have effectively embedded sustainability in their procurement processes. These demonstrate how companies have improved resource efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in five different areas. These examples also provide useful information to companies looking to better manage their own resources and improve their efficiency.

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How to improve your sustainable procurement
During an interactive workshop, Leveraging sustainable procurement practices to transform tourism value chains, hosted by the UN Environment in 2018, procurement professionals from the corporate sector debated ways to increase the implementation of sustainable procurement practices in the tourism sector. This resulted in the following recommendations to support and encourage others in the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource efficiency:

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    1. Increasing education and awareness among stakeholders (from governments to buyers, suppliers and guests) on the positive impact and benefits of sustainable procurement. See how ITP is convening the hotel industry
    2. Engaging with suppliers and other parts of the value chain at an early stage, to generate demand for more sustainable products and services.
    3. Measuring and reporting to demonstrate how sustainability can benefit business.
    4. Using certifications and consumer information tools to help consumers and procurers to make sustainable choices more easily.

The UN Environment report ‘Transforming tourism through sustainable procurement’ will be launched next month which will include a full set of recommendations on sustainable procurement in the tourism sector.

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