Archive for CSR

Sustainability 101. Towards sustainable cities and communities

Posted in Environment, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Greening a destination – how to make a city or community sustainable?

For simplicity, we are using the UN’s definition of sustainability:

A sustainable society meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability Triple Bottom Line graphic: People, Planet, Profit.

According to Wikipedia a sustainable city, is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution – CO2, methane and water pollution.

San Francisco Green City Winner. Photo courtesy of Siemens Green City Index report

Cities compete with each other globally for the attention of investors. Almost every municipality sites sustainability as one of its key targets, but it is often not clear as to how this declaration translates into action, or if the actions that are taken go beyond green window dressing.

Bacolod City Official website screen shot

Bacolod City – green or green window dressing?

The first step when steering towards urban sustainability is visible greening: planting trees, promoting subsistence gardening or saving wetlands for birds.

Sustainable Tourism Development Workshop in Villa Ica, Don Salvador Benedicto

Making Don Salvador Benedicto a true Eco-destination – A Sustainable Tourism Workshop

The next steps are environmental measures which bring social and economic benefits. Health concerns can put emphasis on quality of water, provision of ecological waste management and cleaner energy.

The Coron Initiative - the making of a sustainable destination

The Coron Initiative -Greening Coron for future generations

Waste management can also turn into business, when sorting produces material for local crafts people and bio waste becomes a source of energy. Clogged sewers lead to a ban on plastic bags while lessons about ecosystem services are learned when rivers are cleaned and watersheds are managed in an effort to prevent flooding.

Public Market trash, Bacolod City. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco

Bacolod City’s Public Market trash. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco’s Facebook posts

Climate change & environmental degradation effects in Boracay Island

Flooding at the World’s 2nd Best Beach! Climate change & environmental havoc

Almost every city in the world is dealing with an influx of people from different ethnic backgrounds, and cultural events play an important part in creating a sense of pride in the community and are promoted as a means to support minorities. Cultural heritage is increasingly understood as a resource to be kept alive, both for visitors to cities and for the people who live there.

Bacolod City's Electric Masskara - A sustainable festival??? photo courtesy of sunstar.com

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects AND authenticty disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial.

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects and authenticity disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial. Major events that require substantial investment, such as festivals and sporting events  do not always enhance quality of life for local communities after the television cameras have left.

Tokyo -heritage conservation & environmental protection IS the life and culture of the people

Tokyo – the masters of Waste Management & 3R’s –      Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Some cities are aware of the links between global targets and local actions. Sustainability measures are taken at the local level, including investment in renewable energy and efficiency requirements for local buildings. More advanced cities broaden the focus to cover social impact and how sustainable development policy is delivered. WATCH TOKYO WASTE MANAGEMENT video.

Sustainable city Seoul - urban development with environmental protection

Sustainable Seoul – urban development with environmental conservation

Refurbishment of existing buildings becomes big business, public transport systems are improved and sustainable public procurement practices are introduced.

U.N. Shanghai Manual for Sustainable Cities

Shanghai Manual – helping leaders of the world’s cities use integrated urban planning, management, financing and technology to green their economies and build climate and economic resilience.

While all these aspects constitute progress, it is misguided to think that they combine to create urban sustainability. True systemic change is missing from the picture. Progress to date has been far too slow and incremental changes to business as usual don’t go far enough.

Climate change mitigation & flood water management- Boracay band-aid style solution!

Boracay’s White Beach downright degradation- flood water flushed out on White Beach!

The tough road ahead will have to include holistic visions, integrated planning and brave strategies to implement them. For this to become a reality, the language of money must become more about sustainability, renewable energy sources must be fully integrated into urban infrastructure and the pedestrian must become king of the road.

Source: The Guardian

Visiting Shanghai's Urban Planning Museum

Visiting Shanghai’s Urban Planning Museum. Shanghai established ECO CITY framework in 2010.

 

Do positive. Do not wait for another disaster to do your part on mitigating climate change.

DO POSITIVE. Learn the lessons from disasters: think SUSTAINABLE.  TAKE ACTION.  Demand from your political representatives to do their job, WORK towards healthy and clean ENVIRONMENT  and community!

Green Growth, Climate Change solutions, the grassroots way. Our Sustainability initiatives includes Capacity Building and Training towards sustainable cities, communities and greening destinations based on RIO +21 Agenda,  Shanghai Manual & UNWTO to include Good Governance, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management, Greening Events/Festivals, Sustainable Tourism development  with Green Hotels, Clean Blue Asia & Zero Carbon Resorts.  Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community of potential and emerging ecotourism sites.

 Learn more from: sustainabilityguruvisit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

 

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Greening Philippine M.I.C.E., go or no go?

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Green Hotels, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

A Review of the PhilMICECon 2011.

Philipine MICE Con 2011 Cebu, Philippines

As MICE practitioner since 1984, and as pioneer MITE member  I had been attending the MICE Conferences since PCVC-MITE inception of “Dream Meetings” in 1991. This time however, I had the honor to be part of the Philippine (Meetings, Incentive travel, Conventions, &  Exhibitions) M.I.C.E. Conference (PhilMICECon) 2011 in Cebu, Philippines as invited Guest Speaker to share my advocacy on Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality & Events, during the Green-themed Plenary on the topic, “Stepping Forward without Footprints.”

Graciously attended by Joma Gutierrez & Ms. Noemi Cruz of Phil.Tourism Bureau

From the pre-conference arrangements to arrival day after a direct flight from Tokyo to Cebu via the country’s flagship carrier Philippine Airlines and all throughout my stay, I   was graciously attended by the ever-efficient and long-time Tourism industry friends, Ms. Noemi Cruz and Joma Gutierrez of the Philippine Tourism Bureau (PTB, which I still keep on calling PCVC) organizers of the Phil MICE Con. Right after my check-in at the Continental Club of Marco Polo Cebu, networking started with co-speakers, Bill Laviolett Managing Director, I&MI (Incentives & Meetings  International) Media from France and Corbin Ball, Owner, Corbin Ball Associates, USA.

At the Marco Polo Continental Club

Our first day started with a Welcome Lunch for buyers and speakers at the Imperial Waterpark Resort in Mactan Island, greeted by the entire Cebu Organizing Committee, which prepared exotic Asian themed dances. Most heartwarming was the Cebu’s children’s rondalla which performed lively native numbers. After the scrumptious Cebu cuisine highlighted buffet, entertained by Philippine dances, off we go to probably the most “thrilling” show of all –the world famous Cebu Dancing Inmates – doing their Michael Jackson tributes. Turned out, we not only watched but also danced with them! The Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) opens its gates for performances every last Saturday of the month –a good example of social responsibility in tourism. At sundown, we moved to the Waterfront Hotel  Cebu for the Oriental Opulence-themed cocktails and dinner. The ballroom was  transformed into a grand and lavish Eastern enclave and participants were beset with the bountiful Chinese buffet.

Dancing with World Famous Cebu Dancing Inmates

The next day, the Techno-themed Opening ceremonies were graced by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Philippine Tourism Department Secretary Alberto Lim and Hans Hauri, Chairman of the Phil MICE Con Cebu Organizing Committee. Glad to see that  Bluewater Resortswith Director of Sales & Marketing Margie Munsayac, hosted coffee break has followed some green meeting practices I suggested for the event, with their native snacks in eco-friendly, reusable baskets and drinks in bamboo cups!

Phil MICE Con Opening with DOT Secretary Alberto Lim

We segued to Marco Polo Hotel Ballroom, for the “i.WE.u.peopleconnect” – Techno motiff S.R.O. lunch, welcomed virtually by the hotel’s CEO in Hong Kong via Video conference. Educational Tracks Breakout sessions followed with various MICE-relevant topics.

Finally, Green Day Plenary has come keynoted by Authentic Ecolodges author Hitesh Mehta who awed the audience with his “Turning Blueprints into Green prints” presentation and “dance” performance. Then it was our turn to talk on  “Stepping Forward without Footprints”, where I shared in the discussions moderated by Ms. Chit Juan of Echo Sustainable Living Store, with Engr. Eric Raymundo, who presented the “Zero Carbon Resorts” project of his NGO, Gruppe Angge Passte  Technologie (GrAT) and Ms. Agnes de Jesus, Vice President, Energy  Development Corporation who imparted the Geothermal projects at Philippines’ eco sites.

After the coffee break, panel discussions on “New Media Marketing” and an energetic Hi-tech Connect-motif lunch was hosted by the Radisson Blu, Cebu’s newest de luxe hotel. Happy to meet long-ago hotelier friends, Lourdes Macalindong, VP Sales & Marketing of SM Hotels & Conventions and Agnes Pacis, dynamic Director of Sales & Marketing of Shangri-la Mactan.

After the afternoon and closing plenary session, an all-out pomp and pageantry Closing & Turn-over Ceremonies was tendered by Davao, the PhilMICE Con 2013 host, led by no less than their gutsy yet graceful Mayor Sara Duterte. So looking forward to helping out in the DAVAO Phil MICE Con, with long-time friend, Ms. Mary Ann Montemayor who is the Chair of the Davao Regional Tourism Council  and has sounded me off that they are starting Sustainable Tourism activities for the province. Dazzling!

However, the big question for me during the whole conference as I was trying to observe is, IF the Philippine MICE industry insiders are ready to embrace Sustainability and Green practices in their respective activities? Phil MICE Con organizers led by dynamic Stanie Soriano has graciously included the “Greening Events Guidelines” that I have particularly  prepared, on the printed program, but I doubt if anybody has read it. Not one participant even  mentioned to me having seen it.  Based on the almost non-reaction from the audience  after our plenary “Green” presentations, it seems that “Greening” for them was just  donning the green hats or outfits as was the obligatory theme for the day. Beyond that, no one has approached any of us speakers, as a matter of interest in implementing  green hotel practices, zero carbon resorts nor green events at all.

At breakfast on our last day, with good tourism industry colleague, Angel Bognot  who has launched his Afro Asian World Events, former Region VII Tourism  Director Dawnie Roa, and Ms. Jenny Franco of Travel Vision, I have some  encouraging signs that Cebu are into the Sustainable and Eco Tourism mode and that they are supporting greening efforts by the province. Likewise, I was also told earlier by long-time Cebu tour operator, Alice Queblatin of Southwind Travel that they are seeking help to improve their community-based rural tourism endeavors in Olango, Cebu. Alice’s daughter, Cookie Chan @kukitalk, likewise sent me a direct message via Twitter that she will implement green practices that I have shared in the next big convention she will be organizing next in Cebu. At least with these pro-active and reliable pillars of Cebu’s Tourism industry, I can see the “green” light at the end of the tunnel that came out of the Phil. MICE Con 2011.

This is a call to action and cooperation to GREEN Philippine M.I.C.E., folks. It is high time for Filipino tourism industry leaders to focus on Sustainable Tourism, greening their hotels/resorts and organize Green Meetings & Sustainable Events as a way forward and uplift the Philippine Tourism industry.

I sure look forward to helping and working with Davao‘s Green Leaders towards a greener Phil MICE Con 2013!

For details on the PhilMICE 2011 conference program, please click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working on Sustainable Festivals & green events with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social, Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

A Fresh Start: 11 Reasons to go Organic

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Negros Occidental, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Sustainability Guru
by Fresh Start Organic
Re-posted from Fresh Start Organics Facebook page… good insight and info to share for everyone! Note: Fresh Start Organic & Eco Agri Development Foundation Inc. are some of our proponents in the Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI’s The Negros Initiative, Sustainable Agri -Tourism in Negros Occidental.
11 Reasons to go organic
 

It’s Nutritious! Studies show that organic food is filled with more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids than conventionally grown food.

It Tastes Good! Organic food is grown in harmony with nature – so it’s naturally more delicious and flavorful.

Fresh Start Veggies

Its Cheaper! Looking at the price tags when comparing organic and conventional products is misleading. If you include the long-term costs such as social, environmental and health costs, you’d realize that organic food is much, much cheaper.

It Promotes Biodiversity! Organic farming disrupts native ecosystems as little as possible in its methods, which promotes the growth and development of wildlife species.

It Protects Future Generations! Children are up to 164 times more sensitive to cancer-causing pesticides used in conventionally grown food. Going organic will lessen the risk of future health problems.

6. It Helps Rural Communities! Organic farming uses locally available materials and manpower, which creates and maintains sustainable local communities.

It Reduces Health Risks! Many toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases are still used in conventional farming. Going organic means prevention and protection from these long-term effects.

Its Environmentally Sustainable! Organic farming does not pollute waterways, air or soil. It uses renewable inputs as well, which make it safer and healthier for the environment.

It Builds Healthy Soil! Organic farming relies on the belief that healthy soil equals healthy food. Using natural inputs, organic farmers make an effort to maintain the vitamins, minerals and quality of the soil.

It Meets Quality Standards! Organic farming is strictly regulated to make sure that they live up to quality standards. When you buy organic, you are getting a product that lives up to its name, which is what all consumers deserve.

Its Available! You and your family can now enjoy a wide selection of organic and natural products every day. Fresh Start Organic food stores now offer fresh, healthy, chemical free food from salad greens, culinary herbs, fruits, vegetables, rice, coffee, snacks, sweeteners and all natural personal care products daily.

Fresh Start Organics

For more information and assistance in Sustainable Agri-Tourism tours to Negros Occidental, contact SSTDI.

 

Greening your events

Posted in Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainable Events Management with CSR

 

 

Concerts, sporting events, meetings, conventions and big outdoor gatherings are an essential part of community life that has a positive effect on society. Unfortunately they can have negative impacts on the environment. Events generate garbage, use electricity, require a lot of materials to run them, along with plenty of travel by the audience and/or participants that leave carbon footprints.

 Sustainable Events Management. Any event can be managed sustainably, whether small or large, a conference or caucus, a onetime concert or something that is ongoing, like a series of spectator sports   – the concept of minimizing impacts of purchasing, energy production, transport, waste and sanitation can be applied in almost any situation. A sustainably managed live event seeks to minimize its resource use and all the potentially negative impacts on the environment. “Greening” an event or meeting involves all aspects of the planning process, a detailed collaboration of everyone involved, from producer to supplier, from venue to viewers.

Practice Sustainable Events in order to satisfy the needs of attendees and host community alike, while protecting and improving future opportunities.  Simply minimize and reduce the environmental cost of your events and embed the concepts of sustainability into your purchasing and operational decisions.  Educate all participants to avoid careless and negligent behavior from those who leave their trash, plastics and heavy impact to the already fragile environment due to global climate change.

Purchasing.  When purchasing, buy sustainably. Buy local. Purchase from local vendors and buy products manufactured within the province or region.

Waste management.Practice the new mantra of RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPORT.

 Re-think giveaways – Ensure they are useful, use recycled materials, and have minimal packaging. Reduce or limit paper communications.

Energy. Use sustainable energy. Use ecological alternatives to diesel- and gasoline/petrol-powered generators. Reduce power consumption. Adopt procedures to reduce the total energy consumed by the event.

 

Whatta Water Use. Discourage or exclude the sale of bottled water due to its environmental impact.

Sustainable Transport. Reduce the carbon emissions in transport. Provide participants, audience, staff, and volunteers with public transport and ride sharing options, and encourage cycling and walking to the event.

 

Form a green team.

To share about your environmental commitment and encourage participants to green their own events, meetings, conferences and other business practices.  

 

 

 

Lean and green. Even in an economic crisis, green practices and long-term sustainability goals should not take a backseat to the bottom line.  Incorporating green and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices into events and meetings can be beneficial —not only to establish their companies as good corporate citizens, but to actually save money!

These are just some of the many ways to green your events – the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Do you know if your event is helping or hurting the environment? Include a Sustainable Events Management with CSR Workshop in your next big happening! For more info visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

-Source: Live Earth Green Event Guidelines and Calgary City Green Event Essentials.

The Boracay Initiative Beckons-a serious call for conservation

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

 

My first Boracay trip, circa 1989. This area is now Discovery Shores Hotel

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.  I first went to Boracay Island, Philippines (voted as one of the best beaches in the world) in the late 80’s and we had a most fantastic experience in paradise. We travelled in the typhoon season; the trip was from Kalibo on a Fokker 50 aircraft, a one-hour flight from Manila and another 70 kilometer road trip from Kalibo to Caticlan, jump off point to Boracay. There were no air-conditioned buses for the long, dusty and grueling overland ride with the locals and chickens alike; no jetty port – we had to wade in shallow waters to board a motorized small banca, across the strait in rough waters. Boracay was not affected by typhoons then, however during this period they have what they call the “habagat”, southwest monsoon winds. Due to monsoon season we had to land on the other side of the island (Bulabog) and hike all the way to our resort located on White Beach, our luggage, transported by a water buffalo-pulled cart.  There was no electricity, no air-conditioning and no hot water showers in those days, but the whole stay was pure and simple pleasure. We had the time of our life!

1991 – Boracay Beach Club Hotel, one of White Beach’s “premier” resorts

WORK AT WHITE BEACH. Little did I imagine that just after two years, I would return to the island and work for one of the pioneer resorts, and stayed further on for 10 years to manage two small properties, tour operations and transport company.  Within this period, I also handled three small airline companies that serviced Caticlan, two were defunct and the ultimate one was Seair, which I had to persuade convincingly to fly there. The rest is history.

From rustic BBCH to glass and concrete Astoria Boracay now

PARADISE LOST- WELL, ALMOST. When I left in 2001 after 10 years of working for Boracay, I felt that it was excessively crowded, over-developed in a destructive sense and regrettably deteriorating due to lack of eco balance. I ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Now, returning exactly 21 years since I first came, with over 500 hundred resorts of all shapes, sizes and prices, there is hardly a trace of the pristine, peaceful and perfect paradise that I first saw. It is just chaotic congestion of lodgings, restaurants, bars, stores crowding with vans and tricycles, with no regard for proper zoning, maximum carrying capacity, value for natural environment, nor conservation and ecological protection not to mention the global climate change risks, most especially on White Beach’s spectacular shoreline.

Stakeholders must be aware of their responsibility to the environment and community to protect and conserve

FULL CIRCLE. It is perhaps the hands of fate that made me return to Boracay last April as a Guest Speaker at Events Asia 2010 and as luck would have it, talk about Sustainable Events ManagementWith my experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer and Conservation leader, I shared my knowledge and experience in Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Protection. In 1975, Inkaterra opened a lodge for scientists to study Peru’s rainforest long before eco tourism was trendy. With 33 years of experience in sustainable tourism initiatives, it is the first to be carbon neutral in the country, doing reforestation projects in a total of 17,000 hectares in the Amazon.

PLEDGE. At a Social Media workshop at Events Asia, I met Roselle Tenefrancia, Environmental lawyer, activist, travel writer and consultant of Boracay Sun, the island’s monthly paper and Maria Tajanlangit, Editor in Chief of 7107 Islands Magazine, whose family were pioneers in Boracay. After the event, I thought of a  framework for a new Boracay Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, ready for stakeholders to embrace and implement.

Conservation Mission: rescue, restore and recover Boracay Island

 THE BORACAY INITIATIVE®.   International environmental design activist PJ Aranador  with his flagship green lifestyle boutique on the island, Nautilus and  Ms. Jane Chua, founder of www.gogreenphilippines and “A Piece of Green” Boracay boutique owner pledged their support to the Initiative. I also met with Boracay Young Professionals whose advocacy is about preserving the island.

A CALL FOR UNITY AND SUPPORT.  A challenging task of organizing, implementing and monitoring of the The Boracay Initiative© is being worked on, with hopefully, voluntary efforts from the private stakeholders  and support of the new local government officials.

LESS CONVERSATION, IT’S TIME FOR ACTION. Indeed, fate brought me back to the island, which we had come to love and cherish, but it is high time for us, to take action, less conversation! We must put all our efforts and resources to restore, conserve and protect Boracay Island, its beauty and natural resources for the future generations to come.

The Boracay Initiative is designed to work with both private and public sector of Boracay Island: the  Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks  Boracay Island with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue.

Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for communities and destinations  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs will be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general.

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

ZERO CARBON RESORTS  is our joint project with GrAt for the SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching from use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources especially solar energy and green technologies.

 

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

GREEN HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC is our network of the most reliable eco responsible hotels around the world. It works to help the hotel industry embrace sustainability by integrating innovation and added value with environmental actions in a vibrant global exchange of green hoteliers, operators and responsible clients.

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

 

CLEAN BLUE ASIA is thenew industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009

 – the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.

 For more information visit: visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.