Baseline study analyses how CSR standards for tourism include biodiversity criteria
An analysis of how measures to protect biodiversity are integrated into tourism Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards and awards has been published by adelphi, ECOTRANS e.V. and the Global Nature Fund. The study draws conclusions on how biodiversity protection can be better integrated into standards’ and awards’ criteria.
Bonn, 23rd of October 2014
industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Germany but is also,
in environmental terms, one of the least regulated. Apart from a small number
of legal provisions regulating the compliance with social and environmental
minimum standards – which are subject to greatly varying degrees of
implementation – most of the existing instruments and guidelines are
non-binding. Surveys suggest, however, that tourists are increasingly concerned
about the environmental impact of their holidays. In this context, voluntary
participation in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) processes play a
baseline study focuses on CSR standards and awards influencing the German
tourism industry. The study found that standard organisations, awards and
tourism operators now take certain aspects of biodiversity into account in
their policy documents. The standards which were examined as part of the study
were found overall to be transparent, having the potential to be proofed by
third parties for their effects on the ground. In terms of the measures
included, they tended to largely deal with destruction of ecosystems and
overuse of natural resources.
this, there is enormous potential for improvement in terms of information
provision and the uptake of new concepts in CSR processes for standards and
awards. Processes tended to concentrate on traditional measures to protect
habitats and species. Less attention was paid to issues such as invasive alien
species, a challenge that has reached the political agenda more recently. In
addition, newer concepts for managing biodiversity such as "No-Net-Loss”, the
idea that developments on balance should have no negative impact on
biodiversity by for example, carrying out restoration work elsewhere, or the better-known
"mitigation hierarchy” were not mentioned. Ecosystem services also received
little attention, a surprising omission according to the study authors, given
the clear economic importance of biodiversity to the tourism sector and the
scrutiny that the concept has received in recent years.
of the study from adelphi, ECOTRANS e.V. and the Global Nature Fund are being
used to develop recommendations as to how biodiversity can be more strongly
integrated into CSR processes. Further steps will include the development of a
knowledge pool and an opportunity for existing standards to be proofed by the
project team for their coverage of biodiversity. The baseline study is part of
the project "Biodiversity in CSR processes in the
area of tourism
" which is supported by the Federal
Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with the financial support of the Federal
Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
The baseline study is available in online knowledge pool
of the Buisness and Biodiversity Campaign and on Destinet
, a Knowledge Networking Portal for Sustainable & Responsible Tourism.
Tags: Biodiversity Indicators | Biodiversity Management | Biodiversity policy | Tourism
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