Breaking Down Barriers: Sustainability Accessible To All

With over 200 environmental certifications in the travel industry alone, embracing sustainability can seem complex and daunting. But action is more critical than ever. Recognising the need for better support, particularly for small to medium sized businesses, The Long Run has developed two free training courses on Strategic Sustainability and Resource Efficiency.


To celebrate the launch of these materials we’ve worked with experts to create a guide outlining the many free sustainability resources available to the travel industry. So, if you’re eager to get started on a positive impact journey, look no further.


Amid so much talk about ramping up environmental commitment in the travel industry, particularly since Covid-19, there’s a simmering paralysis of action. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly susceptible to inaction since time and resources are limited. Many of these businesses fall victim to ‘greenhushing’ (under-communicating sustainability initiatives) for fear of ‘greenwashing’ (over-claiming sustainability initiatives). Others simply don’t know where to start.


Yet, whether tour operators or accommodations, smaller businesses play a critical part in driving change. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises represent 90 percent of the world’s companies and are therefore fundamental in the transition towards a sustainable economy. Change from the bottom is as significant as change from the top; a tree grows from its roots rather than the canopy.


Rather than a checklist or stand-alone achievement, sustainability is a journey of continual improvement. Like all good journeys, the first leap into the unknown is the hardest but the most rewarding. Rather than waiting for perfection, the most critical thing for all travel companies, enterprises, and accommodations is to get started.


Time is running out. We are facing unprecedented global environmental and social challenges, and if we are to reverse the climate crisis and current dramatic losses in biodiversity, everyone needs to play their part. — Delphine Malleret-King, The Long Run.


While creating the two free training resources, supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),  The Long Run came across numerous other freely accessible tools helping businesses to get started on a sustainability journey, proving that budget needn’t be a barrier and a lack of knowledge needn’t be an excuse.


The subsequent report is relevant to anyone looking to drive a sustainable journey within their organisation. We have focused on environmental sustainability but look forward to building on the document to cover a wider breadth of topics, including diversity, equity, and inclusion, over time.


Please fill in your details below and you will receive the report via your email.


    This resource is published by The Long Run to advance sustainable action in travel and tourism. It has been supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


    Vicky Smith, Kirsi Hyvaerinen, and Holly Tuppen

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