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WTTC and Harvard on the Importance of Sustainability Leadership in Tourism

WTTC and Harvard on the Importance of Sustainability Leadership in Tourism

London, United Kingdom, May 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, and faculty and scientists of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, today release two vital case studies on Sustainability Leadership by The Travel Corporation (TTC) and Intrepid Travel.

WTTC and Harvard researchers aim to support and highlight Travel & Tourism companies leading the way, as they work to build the business case for sustainability in the sector.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

This collaboration has encouraged the sharing of best practices and has supported sustainability as a core strategic priority to ensure the viability of the sector and the co-creation of thriving sustainable societies.

WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have a long history of collaboration, working towards a more sustainable future for Travel & Tourism. Together, their work can help raise awareness, shift mindsets, and enact systemic change.

Similarly, The Travel Corporation and Intrepid Travel have a mutual understanding that sustainability is a shared challenge and have championed sustainability for many years. The two believe it is best addressed through cooperation and support of one another’s efforts to address the topic.

The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) case study focusses on the group’s efforts to ‘make travel matter’ and explores the way in which TTC has linked their sustainability strategy, as well as travel experiences directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

It champions sustainable travel through the setting of measurable goals, and ensures they are achieved through an integrated business function approach.

The strategy aims to close any potential gaps in the expression of sustainability across the group, ensuring the efforts to achieve its goals are fully engrained in the way TTC brands operate and how the group supports this through its non-profit foundation, TreadRight, which the group funds entirely from its own profits.

Intrepid Travel’s case study showcases its status as the world’s largest certified travel B Corporation (B Corp).

Intrepid’s certified B Corp status entailed external, independent assessment of its interactions with its workers, customers, community and the environment. The B Corp status is not specific for the travel sector, rather it brings Intrepid alongside global organisations across all sectors, including leading brands such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s, and is an example in the sector.

These case studies are designed to help other Travel & Tourism businesses further develop their own sustainability endeavors drawing on these best practices.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said: “We are delighted to be working with the Harvard Chan School – one of the most important academic institutions in the world.

“We are thrilled to be involved in one of the few case studies on sustainability undertaken in the Travel & Tourism sector. We hope this work will help usher in a new era within the sector – one in which both the public and private sector work together to ensure social and environmental responsibility. 

“The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted that companies that integrated sustainability and transparency into their business operations prior to COVID-19 have put an even stronger focus on it during the pandemic.  It has become clear that there is a direct link between sustainability and resiliency.

“Sustainability is now a growing business priority, with businesses expected to decarbonise and adapt for the future. The COVID-19 crisis has elevated the need for action on sustainability issues. The climate crisis is a risk that no business can afford to disregard, so we must continue to drive this message forward in our sector.”

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

Dr. Wendy Purcell, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead researcher for the cases said: “This is an important collaboration where sustainability, public health and business come together to advance research-led practice in the Travel & Tourism sector. Given the importance of the Travel & Tourism sector for people, planet and shared prosperity academic inquiry in the field is central to inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Professor Jack Spengler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said: “We value our long-term collaboration with WTTC. These important case studies draw attention to mature sustainability leadership in Travel & Tourism and share lessons to help accelerate change in the sector.”

Brett Tollman, TTC Chief Executive said: “I have a deep respect for Intrepid’ s long -standing efforts to integrate sustainability into their business and believe that our collaboration with one another on the matter is indicative of the fact that we will achieve much more as a sector, than as potential competitors, when it comes to truly addressing our industry’s footprint.”

James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel said: “Sustainability is not a competitive advantage. It is a collective challenge that requires a collaborative approach. Simply put, our industry does not exist without thriving communities and a healthy planet, and we all have role to play in influencing a more equitable future. We are proud to stand alongside TTC to help advance the sustainability agenda and create positive change within the travel industry.”