C. Environmental Standards
C. 1. Conservation of Resources
C. 1.1 Water
Water management, including indication of the source, measurements and ways to reduce overall consumption and costs, is an integrated part of the organization. Water sourcing is sustainable, and does not adversely affect environmental flows.
Water will become an increasingly scarce resource and therefore efficient use of water is a fundamental part of sustainability. This can be achieved relatively easily through straightforward management practises e.g. regular control and monitoring of water consumption. It will also help to benefit the business both financially and environmentally.
- Record and monitor your water consumption on a regular basis to learn exactly how much water you use, where your critical water use areas are and to allow you to identify problems.
- Obtaining figures for water consumption is easier if the Company is billed for water, but if it is supplied from natural sources or is not metered estimates will need to be made through sampling programs that take into account water outlets and flow rates and the amount of time these are used on a daily, then seasonal basis. Indirect measures such as the amount of time a water pump has to be used to fill a header tank may help give good estimates on water consumption rates.
- 1 kiloliter equals 1 cubic meter
- 1 cubic foot equals 28.316846592 liters or 0.028316846592 cubic meters
- (taken from GSTC indicators)
- Develop guidelines for areas where water use is high e.g. laundry, gardens, bathrooms
- (see Rainforest Alliance’s ‘Guide for Sustainable Tourism Best Practices’ for more ideas on simple water saving techniques).
- Ensure that you have a proper water maintenance system in place, so that leaks are quickly identified and fixed.
- Educate guests on the importance of conserving water and offer them some simple ways to help out e.g. ask guests to consider reusing towels, write a discreet request to guests asking them to be considerate in their use of water.
- Install devices that allow reduced water useage: low flush, or dual flush systems in toilets, efficient shower heads.
- Install a system to enable you to reuse your grey water. There are many options available from elaborate cleaning systems to simple sand filters depending on your requirements.
- Water gardens early in the morning to avoid evaporation loss, and use a drip irrigation system wherever possible.
- Collect your rainwater.
C. 1.2 Energy
Effective, ecological energy use is considered in all aspects of your organization. Energy consumption is measured, sources indicated, and measures to decrease overall consumption and costs are adopted, while encouraging the use of renewable energy.
Energy use is one of the most damaging activities on the planet with adverse impacts degrading air, water, soil quality, human and ecological health. Energy efficiency through technology and eliminating waste is a key strategy to reduce this impact.
The greatest environmental and financial benefits related to business operations are achieved by frequently monitoring utility bills, effectively training and providing incentives for staff to implement energy efficiency programs, and the preventive and routine maintenance of office and other mechanical equipment.
By applying energy efficient practices to the operations and investing in renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar, wind, micro-hydro, and bio-mass), the Company can help conserve natural resources, promote energy independence, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy consumption is a demanding and costly part of any business and if using non renewable sources of energy e.g. electricity from burning fossil fuels, then it is also damaging to the environment.
The use of renewable energy technology such as wind, water and solar is best practise, but just improving efficiency and encouraging others to reduce energy use is also valuable.
- Contact NEMC to ascertain if an EIA is required www.nemctan.org
- Have a consultant carry out an EIA even if not required by law, to determine impacts and suggest mitigation.
- For construction location, materials and methods for minimum negative impact to the environment refer to section A.8.2
- Wherever possible use a renewable source of energy.
- Renewable energy sources include, but are not limited to
- Wind power generators and pumps
- Solar photo-voltaic panels
- Solar thermal generators
- Hydroelectric power
- Biomass fuel supply (e.g. biomass briquettes, licensed wood or charcoal) List some providers of briquettes
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Record and monitor your energy consumption on a regular basis to find out how much energy you are using e.g. on a per guest bed night basis, and try to improve it by reducing it.
- 1kwh = 3.6 megajoules (MJ). MJs are the International Standard of Unit to express a rate of energy use/consumption/production etc.
- Ensure that you have a proper electricity maintenance system in place, so that defective wiring, overloading and leakages are quickly identified and fixed.
- Conserve energy in lighting:
- Use Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs instead of incandescent or halogen.
- Turn off lights in unused rooms.
- For outside lights install motion detectors if appropriate, and timers.
- Conserve energy in washing:
- Use front loading washing machine
- Always wash with a full load in accordance with directions.
- Use cold water to rinse clothes
- Conserve energy in refrigeration:
- Allow 10cm ventilation between the back of the fridge and the wall.
- Make sure that the coils are cleaned on a regular basis
- Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly to keep it working efficiently
- Use an new energy efficient model
- Make sure that all minibars and refrigerators are turned off when rooms are vacant
- Minimise your use of firewood:
- use an alternative source for cooking e.g. gas
- build a small/moderate campfire for guests and not an extravagant bonfire.
- see Rainforest Alliance’s ‘Guide for Sustainable Tourism Best Practices’ for more ideas on energy saving techniques.
C. 2. Pollution
C. 2.1 GHG Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels controlled by the organization are measured, procedures are implemented to minimize them, and offsetting remaining emissions is encouraged.
The organization encourages its guests, employees and suppliers to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The emission of greenhouse gases has been identified as a cause for climate change globally. Climate change leads to changes in the natural environment from which we derive many resources including those upon which the tourism industry relies, which may disappear as a result. Reducing our GHG emissions is a necessary measure that could help to ensure the continued existence of these resources.
- Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan using simple checks and measures to measure GHG emissions.
- Offset your carbon using a properly regulated project e.g. Carbon Tanzania
- Maintain vehicles to a high standard to reduce noise and emissions, turn off engines when not in use.
- Don’t unnecessarily keep vehicle engines running, it avoids noise pollution and fuel wastage.
- Avoid use of CFC’s e.g. aerosols for spraying bathrooms
C. 2.2 Harmful substances
The use of harmful substances, including pesticides, paints, swimming pool disinfectants, and cleaning materials, is minimized, and substituted when available, by innocuous products or processes. All storage, use, handling, and disposal of chemicals are properly managed
Any environmentally responsible business should monitor the substances they are releasing into their surroundings, and make sure that they are not contaminating the environment. All possible sources of pollutions should be identified and measured, and improvements made through the reduction of discharges and the use of non toxic substances.
- Identify all possible sources of pollution from your business.
- Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan using simple checks and measures e.g. documenting volumes of chemicals used.
- Create a reporting tool for pollution checks and measures, which is signed off by management on a regular basis.
- Make sure that hazardous waste is not disposed of into drains or water sources, and is contained in an appropriate way until it can be disposed of in the correct manner e.g. used engine oil.
- Make sure that all possible pollutants are clearly labelled and contained safely in appropriate places, checking regularly for leaks.
- Make sure that spills are contained and a spills kit is available for accidents e.g. a bucket of sand/sawdust and a brush and spade.
- Use least toxic chemicals especially for all cleaning products e.g Ecolab
C. 2.3 Other Pollutants
The organization implements practices to minimize pollution from noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone-depleting compounds, and air, water and soil contaminants.
Other types of pollution including noise and light pollution cause disturbance to humans and wildlife and should be minimized.
- Avoid noise pollution by placing machines such as generators far from guests and staff quarters and in adequately sound proofed areas or buildings.
- Ensure that lighting systems are designed so that they use the minimum wattage, they reduce glare, and use automatic timers where possible.
C. 2.4 Solid waste
Waste Management is implemented for all categories of solid waste making sure that it is measured, reduced, reused and/or recycled with no adverse effects on the local population and environment.
A properly functioning waste management plan can greatly reduce your business’s consumption of natural resources, and also prevent the amount of waste that affects environmental and socio-economic factors e.g. land fill, land degradation, public health. Your waste management plan should be based on a life cycle approach beginning with purchasing and ending with appropriate disposal.
- Create and use your purchasing policy to reduce packaging and waste generating goods e.g. do not buy single dose packages for butter, jam, etc, do not buy disposable napkins, lunchboxes, plates, cups etc or cling film, use refillable soap and shampoo dispensers.
- Purchase only non-chlorine bleached paper and toilet paper or eco-labeled paper and toilet paper.
- Reuse paper where you can and always make sure that your printer is set to print on both sides of the paper.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Sort your waste at the source e.g. organic, paper, plastics, tins, glass and hazardous.
- Store your waste in appropriate, sealed and labelled containers e.g. away from wildlife.
- Start a composting facility which can then be used to improve your surrounding landscape.
- Measure the amounts of waste you produce by weighing it on a regular basis so that you can establish your impact and try and reduce it.
- Source credible businesses or programmes dealing in recycling and get involved.
- Systems are in place to reduce, replace, or eliminate the use of harmful, toxic, or flammable substances (paint, swimming pool disinfectants, pesticides, batteries) including proper storage facilities for them as well as measures to ensure the safety of workers and guests.
- Don’t burn plastics as they will pollute the air.
- Become involved in your local authorities waste disposal methods and advocate for a properly organised and contained landfill and storage facility for hazardous waste.
- See Rainforest Alliance’s ‘Guide for Sustainable Tourism Best Practices’ for more tips on waste management.
Refer to www.honeyguide.org for a booklet on available waste recycling operations in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
C. 2.5 Waste water
Wastewater, including gray water, is effectively treated and is only reused or released safely, with no adverse effects to the local population and the environment.
The correct monitoring and handling of waste water ensures that the pollution of soil and water courses does not occur. Any waste water released to the environment should be measured against an established baseline and contained or treated if necessary. If waste water can be reused (recycling grey water) this will reduce the amount of clean water that would otherwise be used e.g. flushing toilets, irrigating gardens.
- Identify all sources of waste water.
- Make sure that no waste water is released directly into streams or rivers.
- Establish a baseline e.g. local river water, and measure your waste water outlets against this.
- Use the most effective waste water treatment system available for all sewage waste and ensure that if anything is released at the end it does not pollute the environment.
- Recycle your waste water using a system which is appropriate to where you want to reuse it e.g. biobox ( www.biobox.co.za ) sand filter ( http://www.reuk.co.uk/Sand-Filters-for-Greywater.htm ; see also http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/index.htm for more grey water recycling ideas).
C. 3. Conserving Biodiversity and Ecosystems
C. 3.1. Sustainable Harvesting and Consumption of Biodiversity
Wild species should only be harvested and utilised or marketed if sustainable and in compliance with local, national and international regulations.
Biodiversity loss on this planet is increasing and populations and species are being eliminated faster than new ones are being discovered. The loss of biodiversity can occur at local, regional and global levels and so it is important to practise conservation at all levels.
Tourism occurring in areas of natural and cultural significance can have an unforeseen negative effect on the surrounding biodiversity. At the same time as a tourism operator you may rely on conserving the biodiversity of the area for your continued existence. It is therefore in the interest of any tourism business to act in a responsible way towards the preservation of species.
- Buildings should be constructed using sustainable materials and those that have been legally harvested.
- Make sure that you are informed about the main flora and fauna conservation rules in the area and ensure that your staff and guests are also aware of them.
- Guests should be educated not to buy wildlife products, especially those which are threatened e.g. sea shells, turtle shells, corals, animal skins and precious woods.
C. 3.2 Interacting with Wildlife ensuring minimal disturbance
Interaction with wildlife is done in the least disturbing way, ensuring that there are no damaging effects or change from normal behavior. No captive wildlife is held, except for properly regulated activities, in compliance with local to international law. Living specimens of protected and wildlife species are only kept by those authorized and suitably equipped to house and care for them humanely.
Tourism, in its many forms, can have an impact on the environment it interacts with. It is important that there is minimal disturbance to the plants and animals that are encountered and ecosystems are left unaffected.
- Makes sure that there is no disturbance to wildlife from tourist facilities such as excessive noise or bright outside lights at night.
- If you have large panes of glass, put stickers on them to prevent birds flying into them.
- Ensure that all guides know to act responsibly towards wildlife e.g.
- no blowing horns
- no relentless following of wildlife at close quarters,
- not to let guests out of the car near to wildlife,
- be quiet when walking, and observe a walking safari code of conduct. See example of walking safari code of conduct.
- night drives should be carried only in the most sensitive manner, making certain that wildlife is not affected by spotlights or activity in any way.
- Do not keep animals in captivity unless part of a rescue or rehabilitation project and following best practice.
C. 3.3 Supporting Conservation Projects
The business’s Sustainability Management policy includes supporting and contributing towards biodiversity or ecosystem research and conservation initiatives.
The majority of tourism in Tanzania relies on natural resources and as it makes sense to invest in your future, the tourism sector should take some responsibility and contribute to research, develop and conservation projects in the field of biodiversity. This should be included in basic company policy.
Tourism can also contribute very effectively as a public awareness raising tool for environmental protection.
- Find out about all the projects and initiatives working with biodiversity in your area, and how you can become involved..
- Maintain and protect your own natural area.
- Establish a library for guests and guides with information on current wildlife research projects, culture and history in the area.
See www.tawiri.org for information on current environmental research projects. E.g. Used engine oil is used to mitigate human-elephant conflicts.
C. 3.4 Landscaping
Native species are used for landscaping and the use of invasive and easily propagated exotics is avoided.
Natural flora helps to conserve the character of the true environment and is suited to the environment reducing the need for water, fertilizers and agrochemicals.
- Avoid the use of agrochemicals in your garden.
- Use compost from your kitchen waste instead of synthetic fertilisers.
- Label your trees and plants for guests to see (do not nail labels directly on to trees).
- Do not introduce easily propagated exotics that will take over native species.
- Seek the advice of experienced, local landscapers.
C. 3.5 Environmental education
Environmental education is incorporated into the philosophy of the business in order to cultivate change, making sure that employees, visitors and local communities are included.
Environmental education should create a working relationship between humans and their environment, and one in which people are able to manage their environment with the responsibility and respect it deserves.
Tourism can play a role in informing visitors on specific environmental issues and protected areas and also in motivating them to get involved in energy and water conservation and proper waste management.
- Develop environmental training modules for educating all levels of employees
- Identify environmental champions amongst your employees and assign them appropriate responsibilities.
- Provide well presented material on the surrounding environment for your guests.
- Inform visitors on relevant protected area rules and regulations.
- Encourage visitors to engage with conservation initiatives, from saving water (e.g. by notifying guests that sheets and towels will only be changed upon request) to participating in a local research or conservation project.
- Use signs to educate both employees and visitors e.g. reminders to turn off lights when not in rooms
- See Rainforest Alliance’s ‘Guide for Sustainable Tourism Best Practices’ for more tips on methods of carrying out environmental education.
- Set the right example by sponsoring green activities in the local area (e.g. cleanup days).