Act One: The Departure
The Hoteliers’ Association (HGV) represents almost 5,000 hotels and accommodations throughout South Tyrol. The idea with which we started was to give our members impulses to improve in all areas, while also taking into account future needs and trends.
The fact that tourism focuses on sustainability is on the other hand an indispensable necessity.
Tourism thrives on unspoilt nature and must therefore do something to preserve it. In addition, guests are increasingly demanding sustainable proposals, and South Tyrol’s tourism industry must commit to responding. As an association, we want to be a role model for our members and encourage them to follow suit. The aim is for member companies to recognise the need for sustainable tourism and to seize the opportunities that come with it.
Act Two: The Adventure
First, we appointed a sustainability manager in the company. The strategy was then defined through a participatory process.
Then we signed the Climate Neutrality Pact and thus defined a long-term way to reduce and compensate our CO2 emissions.
inally, we launched an information, training and awareness-raising campaign for all employees on the topic of climate and climate change. In parallel, we created a working group, inviting all employees who were particularly interested in the subject to join, ensuring along the way that all departments and offices were represented. The challenge? On the one hand, to build a truly participatory process that ensures that they can co-create, and on the other, not to let doubts and criticism deter them. Everyone has the opportunity to actively contribute to change, regardless of hierarchy.
But the effort pays off. A very concrete example that made me realise even more that the direction is good: the campaign and the first small improvement actions sparked enthusiasm in one female employee, so much so that she brought the topic into her private life and got her family excited about it. A few weeks later, during a family holiday, her daughter, who attends primary school, couldn’t stand the sight of the beach infested with our rubbish and started a real campaign, complete with posters and slogans, involving everyone on the beach in a collection and cleaning initiative. of the common good. This did not go unnoticed, with articles appearing in the local press.
Act three: the return, but to the new
When it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, there are some very concrete and limited actions that, at first, achieve a remarkable result: they start by eliminating all disposable cups and bottles and changing the settings of all printers in the offices.
Now there is an interdepartmental and inter-hierarchical working group in the company. Managers and employees work together on projects and make sure they are implemented. As a company with many employees, incorporating the topic of sustainability into our daily work has long ceased to be an optional extra; it is a responsibility we cannot refuse. Everyone can be a source of motivation and thus contribute to improvement.
Simon Gamper, secretary of the Association of the Bolzano region