TUI GROUP has a global supply chain, and our suppliers are the driving force for improving our sustainability performance in our destinations.
Each of them plays a significant role in managing our impacts on the local community, economy and environment. We are committed to influencing more hotels to achieve credible sustainability certifications, so as to be assured that our suppliers are making continual sustainability improvements. This not only improves our sustainability performance, but also benefits our suppliers.
Depending on the region, energy costs account for between 5% and 15% of a hotel’s turnover (blueContec, 2012) so reducing energy use can have a significant impact on the bottom line. We’re already helping many of our hotels by training them on eco-efficiencies, which ultimately delivers better value for money for our customers.
Engaging in sustainability can also help hotels differentiate their product, meet growing customer demand, and protect their destinations. There is also evidence that our most sustainably-managed hotels are also those which are delivering higher quality and customer satisfaction.
Our aim is to extend the reach of our influence on sustainability to all suppliers and to monitor their progress.
Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels
Our ‘Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels’ aim to help our suppliers achieve best practice sustainability performance, and highlight case studies where eco-efficiencies have saved suppliers significant amounts of money. The guidelines are available in five languages, you can download them here: English, French, Turkish, Greek and Spanish.
Setting clear minimum standards
The majority of TUI GROUP businesses have incorporated environmental and social minimum standards into their contracts for accommodation suppliers. These minimum standards require each hotelier to initiate (or continue to develop) a sustainability programme, managing and improving their impacts on the environment, their employees and the local community.
In 2013, TUI GROUP launched a new Supplier Code of Conduct for all suppliers including hoteliers. The code sets out the minimum standards we expect from suppliers and their employees, contractors, agents and subsidiaries when working on our behalf. The code covers human rights and labour laws, support for local communities, environmental impacts, and bribery and corruption.
Sustainability certification schemes
TUI GROUP businesses are actively engaging with suppliers to implement credible sustainability certification schemes, which must meet best practice standards and drive continuous improvements. Our goal is to deliver 10 million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays by 2015, through taking 10 million customers to hotels with credible sustainability certifications from 2012 - 2014. We also aim to feature 3,000 hotels with sustainability certifications by 2015.
There are currently over 140 tourism supply chain sustainability certification schemes, which can be confusing for our holidaymakers, our businesses and our hotels. To simplify matters we are focusing on those certifications which have achieved Global Sustainable Tourism Council recognition, meaning that their standards align with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. Currently 15 standards have achieved this recognition, including Travelife.
Since 2005 we have worked with ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and industry peers to develop Travelife, used by the majority of businesses across TUI GROUP. Travelife recognises hotels which care for the environment, their employees and the local community. TUI GROUP is the largest supporter of the Travelife system, with over 700 hotels signed up to the system in June 2013.
Several of our businesses give awards for top-performing hotels on sustainability to encourage and celebrate best practice.
TUI Deutschland awards its most environmentally responsible hotels with the TUI Umwelt Champion (’Environmental Champion’) award. The award system uses Travelife as part of the assessment criteria. 138 hotels achieved the award in 2012, and the top hotel was Hotel Tigaiga in Tenerife, due to its strong commitment to environmental protection, including being an early adopter of solar energy some 20 years ago.
TUI UK & Ireland awards its top-performing hotels on sustainability at an annual supplier event at the World Travel Market in London. In 2012, the winner was El Dorado Seaside Suites in Mexico for wholly integrating sustainability into their management philosophy and customer experience.
As a company, we experience high demand for animal attractions and wildlife viewing from our customers. The welfare of animals in captivity is a concern for both our customers and our business, and we continue to audit our suppliers against animal welfare standards.
We were actively involved in the development of the industry’s first ever Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, produced by ABTA and launched in June 2013.
Providing training and skills
For a number of years we have been facilitating supplier training on sustainability around the world. In the last two years, we have organised over 20 supplier workshops attended by 600 hoteliers and other stakeholders, in locations such as Germany, Kos, Rhodes, Turkey, Sweden, Mallorca, Madeira and the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean.
We are committed to child protection – both the protection of children who travel and holiday with us and the children living in our destinations - and we expect our suppliers to do the same. Many TUI GROUP businesses have policies, processes and training in place to help colleagues and customers recognise suspicious situations and report them to the proper authorities. In 2009 our Mainstream businesses signed up to the Child Protection Code.
Other useful tools
blueContec is a sustainability and energy consultancy business for tourism companies, especially hotels.
The Travel Foundation
The Travel Foundation is a UK charity which helps the travel industry understand, manage and take effective action on sustainable tourism. A range of useful tools for our suppliers include:
· Green accommodation tool
· Communication tool
· Staff training and development tool
· Sustainable tourism policy tool
· Water and energy saving project
· Animal welfare in tourism