The Legambiente Turismo ecolabel
Since 1997 the Legambiente Turismo ecolabel has worked to help tourist businesses to reduce tourist impacts in the destination and raise awareness in holiday makers, while enhancing quality and comfort and involving local businesses and tourists in more sustainable choices.
The scheme aims to improve environmental management in tourist services by minimising waste, recycling, using less water and energy, promoting soft mobility practices, healthy food and typical local produce and products, promoting local nature and culture heritage. These objectives are listed in a Decalogue and implemented by adequate criteria and measures that are agreed with local stakeholders and players.
Businesses are organized by destination based groups: this facilitates wider implementation of criteria and communication. Under these local agreements, partners (business associations, tourist boards) and local authorities (municipalities, parks) cooperate with Legambiente Turismo by ensuring support to the businesses and necessary services towards sustainability (e. g. waste collection, mobility policies etc.). Legambiente Turismo ensures criteria reliability, monitoring and annual onsite auditing to maintain credibility of the scheme towards participating businesses and the public.
Every year Legambiente Turismo brings to public notice those member businesses that have carried out a specific action or innovation, such as installation of photovoltaics, fitodepuration, biobuilding, courses on typical products and local culture. Even groups that have carried out collective initiatives, e.g. specific waste reduction or locally sourced purchases have been awarded. Several Legambiente Turismo member businesses have also been nominated to European and global sustainability awards (Ihra 2005, Royal Award 2006) and have been listed in some leading tourist guides.
Even Legambiente Turismo has been internationally recognized for its action: among these acknowledgements are:
- the “Sustainable City Prize” given by Italy’s Ministry of Environment to the town of Riccione for a local project (Rome 2001);
- the Royal Awards Foundation prize to ecolabels in the VISIT project (Spain, 2003);
- two LT ecolabelled businesses are selected to participate to the IHRA International Award.
- the second prize for a tourist transport initiative at the EU contest "Ecologically sound Travel in Europe" (Vienna, 2006).
LT CRITERIA FOR ACCOMMODATION
Legambiente Turismo has developed a set of good practices for accommodation businesses. These practices are part of the Decalogue applying to tourist businesses “Recommended because of their commitment to environmental protection”. Please find here the general guidelines. The list of measures adopted by single businesses is visible clicking Details at each business.
Separate collection of recyclables according to local waste utilities; minimisation of waste through returnables, refills and other low packaging supplies and the progressive elimination of single-use food and cleaning products; on site composting when possible.
Minimisation of per capita consumption levels through flow aerators and other water saving devices; encouragement of responsible water use to staff and guests; collection and reuse of rain/grey waters when possible.
Minimisation of energy consumption through installation of low energy bulbs and towel agreement policies (leading to additional water and detergent savings); rationalisation of common room and external lighting (timers, twilight switches etc.); purchase of low energy household appliances and boilers; energy saving oriented solutions in equipment purchasing and renovation; production and use of renewables.
4. FOOD SAFETY
Use of fresh fruit and vegetables from organic or low impact farming, based on local market supplies; non use of GMO; dedicated corner of organic food at every day’s breakfast buffet
Promotion of local cuisine and recipes made of local typical specialties, with at least a typical menu weekly.
Promotion of public and private collective transportation through correct information on timetables, routes and fares, including ticket sale; information on natural paths and tracks, including cycle tracks and fluvial tours.
7. SOFT MOBILITY
Promotion of pedestrian areas and cycle paths; hired or rent-free bicycles and/or mountain bikes for tourists’ short transfers; where possible a small service area for bikes and boats is arranged; low impact means of transport shall be used within parks and campsites.
Minimisation of noise, especially at night, through pro-active cooperation by staff and guests in complying with resting times and rules as prescribed by law in the premises; anti-noise solutions when building or renovating.
Efficient updated information on events, monuments and natural, artistic and historical heritage; promotion of alternative local visits and tours; where possible, adoption of pro-active behaviours in protecting the local surroundings (e.g. mountain areas, tracks etc.); where possible, prefer local species when planting and greening business premises.
Businesses inform guests of their involvement in the scheme by exhibiting the annual membership tag and the Legambiente Turismo Decalogue and invite them to join eco-friendly practices.
Towards sustainability: some results
In 2005, with the Tourbench LIFE Project, a research on consumption and savings was made which considered the measures adopted under the LT Decalogue. A large sample of 258 LT ecolabelled accommodation businesses (excluding bathing establishments and start-up projects) was taken into account adding to about 40,000 beds and 3,250,000 overnight stays (estimate based on 80-day occupancy per bed per year)
The research is based on official business data and the application of selected and measurable measures (perlators in each bathroom/room suite, min. required low bulbs, bicycles for local mobility, no single-portioned jam at breakfast) complied with by businesses:
Water saving: low flow aerators in faucets and shower heads lead to a consumption reduction of 363.000 cubic metres.
Energy saving: Considering that water consumption with tourists is 2/3 hot water, the energy saved for electric heating is equal to 2,200 oil-equivalent tons by electric heating or 804 oil-equivalent tons by gas boiler heating
Additional energy saving comes from replacement of low energy bulbs which is equal to 278.415 Kwh.
Waste reduction through low package products, concentrates and refills. The elimination of food single portions at breakfast is effective in reducing waste volumes: i.e. replacement of 50% of all jam single portions from breakfast buffets led to avoid about 2 tons of plastics
The reduction of CO2 emissions was also considered: with 20% of tourists giving up private cars and using bikes for small transfers within holiday resorts about 478 tons of CO2 per year are avoided.
These data prove that effective results are possible in terms of energey and water saving and waste volume reduction through little gestures and fixes that also improve single behaviours and lifestyles while improving the environment!