The EU Green Week 2019 focused on environmental legislation and its implementation and aimed to bring insights into the benefits of such environmental regulation, identify problem areas, but also showcase best practices. The TUI Group Corporate Office EU organised a special Policy Breakfast on the 14th of May, being awarded official EU Green Week partner event status.
The Policy Breakfast on “Sustainable tourism: What is the role of green certification to improve sustainability impacts”, contributed to the debate around environmental legislation by highlighting the role of green labels and their impact on environmental and social sustainability in tourism. The well-balanced panel brought together different points of view, thus resulting in a comprehensive discussion of the issue.
Ms Jane Ashton, Group Director of Sustainable Development at TUI Group, introduced the subject by sharing insights into TUI’s sustainability strategy and demonstrating the role of certification in the tourism industry. The CEO of DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council), Mr Johannes Kreißig, presented their international certification scheme using innovative examples from TUI’s own Robinson Club Jandia Playa which is setting new standards in sustainable hotel construction.
The two keynote speakers from the European Commission provided further viewpoints from a policy-crafting perspective.
Mr Milosz Momot, Deputy Head of the Tourism Unit, elaborated on current EU initiatives on sustainable tourism. Ms Silvia Ferratini, Team Leader of the EU Ecolabel, presented European initiatives in the field of sustainability such as the EU Ecolabel and EMAS. The discussion was moderated by Ralf Pastleitner, Director International Public Policy and EU Affairs at TUI Group.
A main conclusion from the discussion was that green certification can foster sustainable development in the tourism industry and should be further promoted. More stakeholder collaboration regarding effective measures to stimulate wider adoption of sustainable approaches is vital to the future policy development in this important field.