You cannot manage what you cannot measure…

Measuring and monitoring are essential tools when it comes to tourism. Whether the goal is sustainable, transformative, or regenerative tourism, a destination cannot effectively establish and achieve objectives if specific indicators are not measured to show evolution over time.

One would never think to create a local tourism plan to increase visitor expenditure without first identifying what the current visitor expenditure is and putting a strong methodology using key performance indicators to monitor progress and establish whether the objectives were met at the end of the time period allocated in the tourism plan.

The same process should be applied when it comes to objectives relating to the climate and biodiversity crisis. There is no other way to efficiently reduce tourism’s impact on our planet.

“A common and robust set of data is critical for governments and stakeholders to design, implement and monitor effective sustainable tourism policies. Indeed, evidence-based decision-making requires the development of a rigorous, statistical approach to the measurement of sustainable tourism." - UNWTO

Measuring and monitoring to reduce GHG emissions for Net Zero

Following COP 26, it is evident that a reduction of carbon emissions is a priority, at a local, national and global scale to maintain the limit of 1.5°C increase.

Measuring and monitoring GHG emissions is one of the pathways of the Glasgow Declaration for Climate action in tourism, signed on the 4th of November 2021 during COP 26 in Glasgow. The declaration aims to:

“Measure and disclose all travel and tourism-related emissions. Ensure our methodologies and tools are aligned to UNFCCC-relevant guidelines on measurement, reporting and verification, and that they are transparent and accessible.”

By signing the declaration, you can commit to (1) unite all stakeholders in transforming tourism to deliver effective climate action, (2) support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050 and (3) consistently align your actions with the latest scientific recommendations, so as to ensure your approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. You can become a signatory here.

Acorn Tourism has signed the Glasgow declaration. We are working on a plan to reduce our emissions as much as possible and find local partners to support the increase of biodiversity. It is a fascinating yet challenging journey, but it is important to remember that even the smallest things can make a significant difference if done at a bigger scale.  

How to measure and monitor your GHG emissions?

With the rise in awareness of the impact of GHG emissions on the disruption of climate, there are an increasing number of resources and tools available free of charge, and an increasing number of service providers to support you in measuring and monitoring GHG emissions.

CarbonTrust has a wide range of resources and tools available and also offer services such as Climate Action Planning for public bodies or Footprint assessment and setting science-based targets for corporates.

Visit England has developed a useful toolkit for businesses to become more sustainable, which include carbon calculators, and resources to achieve Net Zero.

Check with your local council as well, they may have developed resources and tools to support you in this transition.

Measuring and monitoring to increase biodiversity and become nature positive

Working towards rehabilitating damaged environmental habitats, conserving existing ones and protecting the fauna and flora can help tackle the biodiversity crisis our planet is facing but also drastically help with achieving Net Zero. Your conservation efforts will offset some of your emissions and will therefore contribute to reducing your carbon footprint.

The United Kingdom has an average of only 53% of its biodiversity left. It is ranked in the bottom 10% in the world and is the worst among G7 nations. – Natural History Museum

The loss of biodiversity may also eventually impact your business if your competitive advantage includes natural resources.

How to measure and monitor biodiversity?

First and foremost, you must assess your business impact on biodiversity. To do so, Get Nature Positive suggest to first map your biodiversity impact areas (from raw material production to end-of-life, scoring them ‘high’ to ‘low’ impact). Get Nature Positive is an initiative from the CSB to develop successful business while restoring and enhancing nature.

Then, you will be able to select priorities for your business, to reduce such impact. You can find inspiring examples of actions that have been done on Get Nature Positive’s website. From pollution to climate change and land-use change or invasive species, there are resources to help tackle every impact tourism has on nature.




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