NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
What would a diving holiday be without coral reefs? Or imagine a safari without wildlife. Kuoni is fully aware that its product is inextricably linked to the quality of the rich natural resources and unique landscapes at the destinations. Therefore, enhancing the positive effects of its business on the environment while minimising any negative impacts is of paramount importance. Kuoni is committed to safeguard biological diversity →, reduce freshwater consumption and mitigate and foster resilience to climate change → at the destinations. We work closely with key suppliers to improve their environmental management systems, collaborate with international NGOs to develop more environmentally-friendly products, and offer our customers opportunities to reduce their environmental impact while on holiday.
CREATING ECOTOURISM OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONSERVATION ORGANISATIONS
Kuoni, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) collaborate in a joint project aiming to provide conservation organisations, which have little knowledge of the tourism market, with the business skills necessary to design successful ecotourism products. The project focuses on capacity building workshops for conservation organisations, community-based organisations and protected area managers featuring learning modules on ecotourism potential, business & financial planning, human resources, sustainable operations, health & safety, marketing & sales, as well as field visits to successful ecotourism businesses. The first 5-day training workshop took place in June 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya which brought together 35 participants from approximately 20 organizations located in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Eleven participants from five conservation organisations based in Kenya have subsequently submitted potential ecotourism products to Private Safaris, Kuoni’s local destination management subsidiary. Private Safaris hopes to integrate the ecotourism products into their offer in the near future.In June 2012 a second capacity building workshop took place in Vientiane, Laos where instructors affiliated with Asian Trails, Kuoni’s regional destination management company, trained more than 30 participants from Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. In addition, Kuoni and the IUCN co-organised a one day training session at the World Conservation Congress, held in Jeju (South Korea) in September 2012. The training was attended by 22 participants from 20 organisations.Additionally, in 2012 a textbook entitled “Integrating Business Skills into Ecotourism Operations” was published to share the knowledge garnered during the workshops with a wider audience interested in developing an ecotourism business. The book covers (1) Understanding your Market and Product, (2) Developing a Sustainable Business Plan, (3) Running Sustainable Operations, (4) Marketing and Sales, (5) Human Resources, and (6) Health and Safety. The textbook is available for download on the Kuoni Group website.
KUONI INTRODUCES A NEW CARBON OFFSET PROJECT IN BALI
For the past four years, Kuoni has supported a waste disposal project in Bali through the offsetting organization myclimate, which provides jobs for about 120 people and recycles some 50 tonnes of waste every day. Continuing our long-term commitment and collaboration with myclimate, a further carbon offset project has been developed in Bali which aims to convert used cooking oil generated by hotels and restaurants into biodiesel. Caritas Switzerland, a Roman Catholic relief, development and social service organisation, acts as implementing partner on the ground and oversees the construction of the biodiesel recycling plant – which will be run as a social enterprise, creating 20 jobs. It is expected that 1000-1500 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions will be reduced by the project on an annual basis.
KUONI SUPPORTS “STOVES FOR LIFE” IN KENYA
In further collaboration with myclimate, Kuoni has embarked on a Gold Standard carbon offset project which aims to sell efficient household cookstoves in the western province of Kakamega, Kenya. Traditionally, local women cooked over an open fire in a small, windowless mud-hut behind the main family home, releasing harmful emissions including particulates, carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that such indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people every year, with females accounting for 59% of this number and with children under age five making up a large proportion of the rest. The Upesi efficient cookstoves that replace the traditional 3-stone fire reduce fuelwood consumption by 40% as well as substantially reduce indoor air pollution and smoke. Switching to the energy-efficient stoves has also drastically reduced the time and effort which local women and children had to spend to collect fuelwood. Often, women and girls would have to walk several kilometres a day in search of fuelwood, returning with heavy loads on their backs. Now these women have more free time available to engage in income-generating activities, and the girls are able to attend school more regularly.The project plans to cater to approximately 52,000 households over the period of 7 years. It is estimated that the project will result in an annual emission reduction of approximately 60,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent. In 2011, ECO2librium Sustainable Solutions, the local implementing partner organisation, oversaw the installation of 7,362 stoves providing income for over 200 people in the region.