Case Study

Transforming Tourism Value Chains

International Climate Initiative – Transforming Tourism Value Chains

Goal: This project aimed to reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency from tourism, by transforming activities and services along the whole supply chain.

The problem: Without introducing greener practices, by 2050 tourism’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are set to double, with even greater increases in water use and waste disposal. Tourism is vitally important to small island developing states, yet these destinations are among the first to suffer when it comes to tourism’s environmental impacts. The four countries involved in the project were selected primarily because tourism is an essential part of their economies.

The approach: The project, led by UN Environment, looked for ways to reduce carbon emissions, as well as water-use and waste from tourism across four island states: Mauritius, Saint Lucia, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. The Travel Foundation acted as lead implementing partner in Mauritius and Saint Lucia, while other agencies led in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. The four-year project looked at the entire supply chain for three areas of tourism: accommodation, food/beverages, and events. For example, if a dish was served, we examined how the food was produced, how it travelled to the restaurant and what waste was created. 

Funding: The project was supported by €5 million from the International Climate Initiative on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).


We worked with our project delivery partner, WRAP to identify ‘hot spots’ (key areas to reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency within tourism business) for Saint Lucia and Mauritius.

We trained public officials and private sector staff in sustainable procurement in both Saint Lucia and Mauritius.

We developed and launched national action plans in each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource efficiency, by providing recommendations based on the identified hot spots.

In 2020, despite the pandemic impeding meetings and in-destination activities, we developed implementation plans and accompanying capacity building materials.

We engaged key industry associations (AHRIM, SLHTA, Business Mauritius) to take ownership of project initiatives and to embed the action plans into their own strategic plans, to ensure the longevity of the initiative.

We analysed the market readiness of selected sustainable products in Saint Lucia and Mauritius, which will inform recommendations for sustainable procurement.

We organized a series of webinars both across the Indian Ocean and OECS region and more widely. These webinars and trainings targeted hotels businesses and associations and aimed to support the tourism sector to accelerate sustainable consumption and production patterns and circularity by offering concrete solutions and actions to take.

Outputs and outcomes:
Action plans produced for Mauritius and Saint Lucia:
Action Plan for Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Accommodation in Mauritius
Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Action Plan for Accommodation in Saint Lucia

Resources featured in the workshop and webinar series for accommodation providers can be found on the following pages:
Sustainable procurement resources

Climate change resources
Registrants received practical guidance on climate action planning and implementation for accommodation providers, and heard from businesses already taking action to provide insight and inspiration.

Sustainable food resources
This webinar focused on opportunities for the accommodation sector to improve food related impacts.  This included the production, processing and procurement of food, criteria by which to assess current practices, as well as various food waste drivers that can be addressed and practical actions to take.

Plastics resources
This webinar focused on practical tips to guide actions to inspire, incentivise and guide hoteliers to reduce consumption and increase the circularity of plastic in their operations.

Nudging green behaviours resources
Registrants learnt why influencing the behaviours of staff and guests must be a key part of any plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve broader sustainability goals in the accommodations sector. Through evidence-based communications and nudging techniques, significant progress can be made with relatively little financial investment.

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