Environmental management

The purpose of the Environmental Management requirements (criteria) is to assess if a business is taking steps to reduce, minimise and measure their environmental impacts.

Travelife is looking for good management of:

Energy

Water including wastewater

Solid waste

General biodiversity – erosion, wildlife, conservation

Animal welfare

Hazardous substances (including pollutants such as ozone depleting substances)

You will see when you review the checklist that some requirements that relate to environmental management cross over into different areas of the Standard. This is because Travelife takes a holistic approach to environmental management by encouraging Members to embed these principles throughout their business.

Here are two examples to help explain this.

The term ‘biodiversity’ is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Standard but is covered by multiple criteria in the sections covering environmental management, community integration and sustainability management. For example, properly disposing of hazardous substances protects biodiversity as does ensuring you procure goods with a sustainability certification such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or Rainforest Alliance, or even ensuring you procure more items locally to reduce pollution from the shipping of goods to your property.

We often get asked how we address plastic waste. The term ‘plastics’ is only mentioned once in the entire Standard yet there are multiple criteria dedicated to the reduction and proper disposal of solid waste so that the issue is comprehensively addressed.

Travelife looks for evidence that businesses are following (or have plans to follow) the key principles of good environmental management.

Benchmarking: It is impossible for businesses to truly know what goals and targets to set, and how well they are doing, if they do not measure where they are currently. This process can simply involve recording measurements such as cubic litres of water consumed or kilowatt-hours. But it can also be a bit more labour intensive, such as carrying out an assessment of how well they are doing with customer satisfaction or their current impact on a sensitive natural area.

Setting goals & targets: These are an important way to make the business accountable both internally and externally, as well as to give staff something to work towards. These will ideally include short and long-term targets, some of which are measurable (e.g. 20% less energy consumption by the end of 2020) and some that are project or task based (e.g. install an underground irrigation system). Ideally, goals and targets are based upon past experiences and progress or calculated in line with planned improvements, they should not simply be plucked out of the air without some rationale behind them.

Taking steps to improve impacts: Following on from goal and target setting, Travelife wants to see some specific steps that are being taken to manage and reduce environmental impacts. Many of these are specific Travelife requirements, such as meeting maximum flow rates in bathrooms and having energy efficient lighting in 50% of guest areas.

Taking regular measurements: Again, it is impossible to know if their efforts are working unless they regularly record their progress. This mainly relates to the consumption of energy, water and hazardous substances, but we also encourage Members to measure their waste and to record any other progress they can, such as guest satisfaction scores. This should be happening at least once per month.

Analysis and reporting: At least once per year the business should review its measurements, goals and targets to see what went well, what needs to be changed and what could be further improved. Everything should be included in an internal sustainability report that is seen and discussed by senior management and used to set new goals and targets. Type I and II properties must produce a version of this report that is made publicly available so that staff, guests (including potential guests), their community and other stakeholders can read it.

Continuous improvement: The above steps should be repeated annually to ensure there is a continuous cycle of improvement and that impacts are improved year on year.

Much of the terminology used in this lesson is self-explanatory, however, here are some of the terms that we know our Members can be confused about, particularly as some of our requirements cross over different areas of the Travelife Standard.

Energy: One common area of confusion amongst our Members is that this only includes electricity. However, we want them to measure fuel from all sources including diesel for generators, kerosene for lamps and so on.  All of these must be converted into kilowatt hours and recorded on their energy consumption reports. We also need to ensure that properties are keeping equipment that consumes energy well maintained.

Environmental impacts: These are the effects the operations of the business have on air, soil and water quality, along with biodiversity and animal welfare. It also includes use of hazardous substances, although there are some health and safety considerations here too.

Hazardous substances: These include any substances the hotel has at their property that can harm people, biodiversity or the environment. Due to the prevalence of things like swimming pools, refrigeration equipment and in-house laundry facilities, these substances are commonly found in the accommodation sector. In addition to measuring, monitoring and reducing consumption, Travelife also looks at some areas that cross into health and safety such as storage, safety equipment and incident records.

Legislation: This refers to laws and regulations. They could be international, national, local or even specific to an industry body that the business belongs to. Where no local or national law exists, Travelife looks to either international laws or guidelines from respected and reputable NGOs and international bodies. For example, if a country has no laws regarding waste disposal, we will not accept waste being thrown into the ocean as several bodies, such as UN Environment, have demonstrated the negative impact this has on human health and biodiversity.

Licensing & permits: These are documents that the business must have in order to comply with legislation.  For example, a local law might require that a business has a permit to collect storm water or to use a desalination plant.

Solid waste: Whilst the definition is self-explanatory, it is worth being aware that many destinations do not have good waste management infrastructure and that the available services could differ by city, or even within different boroughs of the same city. This can even be true in developed places.

For example, in London you can compost food waste in the borough of Southwark but not in the borough of Westminster. In Tenerife, there are plenty of places to recycle plastic, but these are often located on public streets, so that housekeepers might walk directly to the bins from servicing rooms, making it more difficult to monitor this type of waste. Auditors are trained to assess compliance with the solid waste requirements when there are so many regional differences.

Water: This includes not only looking to reduce water consumption, but also things like ensuring that water sourcing does not disrupt natural water flows or restrict local water supply, ensuring equipment using water is properly maintained along with plumbing, proper management of waste water and water quality.

Wildlife & animal welfare: There are two key parts to this. The first is about ensuring that the property is not involved in the hunting, trade or consumption of any endangered species and that if they harvest any species from the wild, they can demonstrate that they do so in compliance with local, national or international regulations.

The second is about safeguarding the welfare of any animals (wild or domestic) that the guests may come into contact with. This could include wild animals, captive wild animals, stray cats and dogs, work animals or pets. They could be on the property (including things like birds or monkeys that are temporarily on site) or at attractions/activities that the hotel promotes to guests.

Travelife uses the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines to assess if a business is compliant with these criteria and they are an appendix to the Travelife Standard. There is a separate section dedicated to Animal Welfare guidelines later in this training.

E-learning

These online courses are free for all Travelife Members.  They are designed to be short and to give more information about Travelife sustainability requirements that will help you prepare for your audit, or simply to increase your general knowledge of sustainability.


View available courses

Environmental measurements and keeping records

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
21 - 26 + 37 - 43 + 48 - 49 + 55- 56 + 58 + 61 + 65 - 67 + 69 + 71 + 73 - 74
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
33 - 38 + 49 - 55 + 60 - 62 + 68 + 69 + 71 + 74 + 78 + 80 + 82 + 85 + 87 - 89
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
35 - 40 + 52 - 58 + 64 - 66 + 72 - 74 + 77 + 80 + 84 - 86 + 88 + 92 + 94 - 97
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
35 - 40 + 52 - 58 + 64 - 66 + 72 - 74 + 77 + 80 + 84 - 86 + 88 + 92 + 94 - 97
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Monitoring and minimising your environmental impacts are an important way to reduce the carbon footprint of your property, to reduce overall pollution and to control the resources your business consumes.

Objectives

  • To regularly record and monitor your environmental impacts so that you can use this data in reports that help you measure progress, set new targets and, when needed, adjust the measures you are taking
  • To make sure you are not polluting air, soil and water
  • To keep people and wildlife safe from hazardous substances and other pollutants
  • To make sure you are following all relevant laws, regulations and guidelines

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

21 + 22 + 23 + 24 + 25 + 26

Small

33 + 34 + 35 + 36 + 37 + 38

Medium & Large

35 + 36 + 37 + 38 + 39 + 40

Mega

35 + 36 + 37 + 38 + 39 + 40

TEMPLATES

TOOLS

Energy consumption report English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Conversion numbers for kWh and greenhouse gas emissions if you would like to track that too English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

GUIDES

Detailed guide: Energy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Recording and monitoring energy consumption English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Converting energy to kilowatt-hours (kWh) English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Optional best practice: Converting energy to greenhouse gas emissions English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

37 + 38 + 41 + 42 + 43 + 48

Small

49 + 50 + 53 + 54 + 55 + 60 + 61

Medium & Large

52 + 53 + 56 + 57 + 58 + 64 + 65

Mega

52 + 53 + 56 + 57 + 58 + 64 + 65

TEMPLATES

GUIDES

Water consumption report English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Recording and reporting water consumption English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Water English | Español Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

39 + 40 + 49 + 55 + 56 + 58 + 61 + 67 + 70

Small

51 + 52 + 62 + 68 + 69 + 71 + 74 + 80 + 83

Medium & Large

54 + 55 + 66 + 72 + 73 + 74 + 77 + 80 + 86 + 89

Mega

54 + 55 + 66 + 72 + 73 + 74 + 77 + 80 + 86 + 89

TEMPLATES

GUIDES

Waste register English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Food waste monitor English | Español Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Hazardous waste record English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Managing and monitoring waste English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Creating a waste register English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Hazardous substances English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TOOLS

Video tutorial: Recording food waste English

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

65 + 66 + 69 + 71 + 73 + 74

Small

78 + 79 + 82 + 84 + 85 + 87 + 88 + 89

Medium & Large

84 + 85 + 88 + 90 + 91 + 92 + 94 + 95 + 96 + 97

Mega

84 + 85 + 88 + 90 + 91 + 92 + 94 + 95 + 96 + 97

TEMPLATES

GUIDES

Hazardous substance register English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Hazardous substance consumption report English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Chemical spills incident record English | Español Ελληνικά | Türkçe

List of Equipment Containing Hazardous Substances English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Hazardous substances English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Creating a hazardous substance register English | Español Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Recording use of hazardous substances English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Reducing environmental impacts

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
30 + 32 + 34 - 35 + 44 - 45 + 50 - 54 + 62 - 63 + 74 - 75 + 128
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
42 + 44 + 46 - 47 + 56 - 57 + 63 - 67 + 75 - 76 + 89 - 90 + 149
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
45 + 47 + 49 - 50 + 59 - 60 + 67 - 71 + 76 + 81 - 82 + 97 - 98 + 162
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
45 + 47 + 49 - 50 + 59 - 60 + 67 - 71 + 76 + 81 - 82 + 97 - 98 + 162
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Monitoring and minimising your energy and water use is an important way to reduce the carbon footprint of your property, to reduce overall pollution and to control the resources your business consumes.

Objectives

To make sure you have implemented specific procedures that will help to minimise your environmental impacts

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

30 + 45

Small

42 + 57

Medium & Large

45 + 60

Mega

45 + 60

GUIDES

Detailed guide: Energy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Water English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Waste English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Hazardous substances English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

32 + 34 + 35

Small

44 + 46 + 47

Medium & Large

47 + 49 + 50

Mega

47 + 49 + 50

GUIDES

TOOLS

Detailed guide: Energy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas:  Energy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas:  Sustainable procurement English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

44 + 50 + 51 + 52 + 53 + 54

Small

56 + 63 + 64 + 65 + 66 + 67

Medium & Large

59 + 67 + 68 + 69 + 70 + 71

Mega

59 + 67 + 68 + 69 + 70 + 71

GUIDES

TOOLS

Quick guide: Measuring water flow English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Water English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas: Water English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas:  Sustainable procurement English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

62 + 63

Small

75 + 76

Medium & Large

76 + 81 + 82

Mega

76 + 81 + 82

GUIDES

TOOLS

Detailed guide: Waste English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas: Waste English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas:  Sustainable procurement English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

74 + 75

Small

89 + 90

Medium & Large

97 + 98

Mega

97 + 98

GUIDES

TOOLS

Detailed guide: Hazardous substances English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas: Hazardous substances  English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Tips & Ideas:  Sustainable procurement English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Biodiversity and animal welfare

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
78 - 80 + 117
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
93 - 95 + 138
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
101 - 103 + 151
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
101 + 103 + 151
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Making sure that your business does not harm or support any activities that could harm biodiversity is an essential part of being a responsible business. This includes things like protecting natural areas, wildlife and the welfare of animals. You should also be aware that there is increasing data to show that animal welfare is becoming an important issue to many tourists around the world.

Objectives

  • To make sure that you properly protect and care for any animals at your premises
  • To ensure you are not promoting any off-site activities that may harm the welfare of animals
  • To ensure that your operations are not negatively impacting local biodiversity, especially in protected or sensitive areas

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

78 + 79 + 80

Small

93 + 94 + 95

Medium & Large

101 + 102 + 103

Mega

101 + 102 + 103

GUIDES

TOOLS

Detailed guide: Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Travelife animal welfare appendix I and II English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Biodiversity and animal welfare checklist English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips and Ideas:  Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare  English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips and Ideas:  Stray animals  English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

117

Small

138

Medium & Large

151

Mega

151

GUIDES

TOOLS

Detailed guide: Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Biodiversity and animal welfare checklist English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Tips and ideas: Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe