The awareness that every business is dependent on nature, is key to putting an appropriate value to that resource. You can’t keep taking out without putting back. Our position is that we are now in such a deficit, that just being neutral to climate, biodiversity, water; is not enough. You have to put back a little bit more, so that you become Good for People Planet and Prosperity. It is not an eco-warriors dream, there’s a sound economic position here, a position that consumers are willing to pay a premium towards.
The Biden administration plans to boost the figure it will use to assess the damage that greenhouse gas pollution inflicts on society to $51 per ton of carbon dioxide. But the number could reach as high as $125 per ton.
The US Interagency Working Group also set a $1,500-per-ton cost for methane emissions and $18,000 for nitrous oxide.
Tourism can lead the way by asking our customers to “offset” the Carbon and other Green House Gasses, and harm their visit does to the climate, biodiversity and cultural heritage. This customer based offset can be readily identified and if the resort or destination chooses, it can be applied as an “opt-out” of the bill, like the service charge in a restaurant.
Our TLC review of research identified that across a range of hospitality products, and even RevPAR on hotel rooms, customers are willing to pay a premium for sustainability.
“Tourism has been described as the world’s largest transfer of resources from rich to poor, dwarfing international aid,” BBC
“the largest voluntary transfer of cash from the rich to the poor, the ‘haves’ to ‘have nots’, in history”. Even if one allows for considerable “leakage” Guardian newspaper
“The sudden fall in tourism cuts off funding for biodiversity conservation. Some 7% of world tourism relates to wildlife, a segment growing by 3% annually. The impact on biodiversity and ecosystems is critical. In many African destinations, wildlife accounts for up to 80% of visits, and tourism revenues enable marine conservation efforts.
Several examples of community involvement in nature tourism show how communities, including indigenous peoples, have been able to protect their cultural and natural heritage while creating wealth and improve their wellbeing.
The impact of covid-19 around the world has been catastrophic, not least in Africa’s wildlife areas, where people’s livelihoods and vital conservation work rely on tourism money coming in.
Wildlife tourism around the world supports 21.8 million jobs. Before the crisis, it was contributing $23.9bn (£17.2bn) a year to the African economy.
According to the UNWTO, visitor numbers to Africa last summer were down as low as 99 per cent.
Overall the report found that food-system emissions represented 34 percent of total greenhouse gas output.
About half of these emissions were carbon dioxide, chiefly from land use—mainly carbon losses from deforestation and degradation of organic soils—as well as energy from steps like packaging, transportation and processing.
A further third of emissions were from methane—which is 28 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100-year period—released by livestock like cows, sheep and goats, as well as from rice production and in the disposal of biowaste.
On the 5th June 2021 – World Environment Day – the UN will launch its Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. “The main aim is to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide,” said Tim Christophersen at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP),
“we’re at a stage now where conservation is no longer enough. We also need to heavily invest in restoration.”
Assessing and Auditing your natural assets is part of the Harmony approach. We combine natural assets like biodiversity, air, water and land, with community and heritage assets. To understand how actions and activity in hospitality, tourism and development draws on those assets.
And what the consumer can, and should do, to protect those assets for future generations of guests and travellers
Ecosystem Accounting is not easy but it’s great to see it recently adopted by the UN!
“The SEEA Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) constitutes an integrated and comprehensive statistical framework for organizing data about habitats and landscapes, measuring the ecosystem services, tracking changes in ecosystem assets, and linking this information to economic and other human activity.”
The United Nations Statistical Commission adopted the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting at its 52nd session in March 2021.
The UN’s decision to promote the assessment of natural capital as a way to understand a nations/ regions wealth beyond GDP is extremely welcome.
Countries and destinations seeking to reopen to tourism need to price into their destination, the value of their gorgeous natural places, their culture and their heritage.
This adds a price premium to a destination, but we know luxury and responsible travellers are happy to pay this premium when they know your destination puts that back into the environment, and protecting and preserving your heritage.
Well yes we can, it’s not the whole story but it’s a way to understand how tremendously important nature is to everything we do or make. So we are telling tourism destinations that they need to calculate that harm to nature, reduce it, and charge a harm offset for every visitor, so that offset fund can go towards: preserving, restoring, and protecting their natural resources.
“More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the insurance firm Swiss Re. The “natural capital” that sustains human life looks set to become a trillion dollar asset class: the cooling effect of forests, the flood prevention characteristics of wetlands and the food production abilities of oceans understood as services with a defined financial value.
Farming for our plant and animal food is a massive contributor.
While the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions at 25%.
Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use come in at a very close second at 24%, with the majority from agriculture.
How we farm, what we farm and our food use, transport and waste is something we need to assess.
The Harmony Golden Ratio puts the “Planet Harm Cost” to the food and beverage of every customers restaurants bill. The customer can choose to pay in the bill whether they have enjoyed the service the planet gave towards the meal or not.