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How to reduce carbon emissions in your tourism business

Confused about direct and indirect emissions? Get the full scope here.

Published 20 July 2023

Categorising carbon emissions helps businesses to better understand and manage their impact.

In this article, we break down the different emissions scopes as they relate to the tourism and hospitality industry and suggest ways to reduce them.

Scope 1 emissions

What are they?

Scope 1 emissions are the direct emissions from resources that are owned or controlled by the company, e.g., emissions from on-site power generation, heating and cooling systems and vehicles used to transport guests.

How can you reduce them?

Switch to renewable energy sources, such as solar power. Many governments offer incentives and tax rebates for installing solar panels, so it’s worth checking these out.  

Scope 2 emissions


What are they?

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions that come from the generation of purchased energy. This includes emissions associated with the use of electricity purchased from your national energy or utility company.

How can you reduce them?

If you operate in a country that has Independent Renewable Power Producers (IRPPs) and no power monopoly, switch to a different provider, which incorporates green energy generation. If this isn’t an option, focus on improving your internal energy efficiency to reduce the amount of energy you use. Ways to do that include:
  • Upgrading air conditioning systems and other appliances like industrial fridges and ovens to more energy-efficient ones,
  • Insulating buildings to reduce energy associated with heating and cooling, and
  • Installing data management systems, like Weeva, to monitor and optimise energy and water use.
Easy first step: Do a lightbulb inventory: Replace all incandescent bulbs with motion-sensing, automatic LED ones. Research IRPPs in your country and contact someone for more information. Easy first step: Research the cost to switch to green energy, the process involved, and the incentives available.

​Scope 3 emissions


What are they?

Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions that occur within a business’s value chain, including during production, procurement, distribution and sales.

Emissions along the value chain often represent a company’s biggest greenhouse gas impact. That’s because it includes emissions associated with the production of food and beverage products, how guests get to the destination (e.g., flights and rental cars), and the construction and maintenance of the property.

How can you reduce them?

Identify ways to work with your suppliers who, for example, source local and organic ingredients, adopt sustainable practices, like reducing packaging waste, and use renewable energy in their operations.

Other ways to reduce Scope 3 emissions:

  • Rent out bicycles or electric scooters to guests who want to explore the surrounding area.
  • Invest in local economic development, which has a positive impact on upstream and downstream value chain emissions.
  • Reduce the amount of waste you produce and adopt better waste management practices.
  • If possible, switch to green transport options – like hybrid and electric vehicles – to shuttle guests or take them on game drives.

Easy first step: Start a conversation with your suppliers. They may already be implementing carbon-reduction initiatives or they may have an interesting perspective that you haven’t considered.


How to understand, measure, and manage your emissions


Start with an emissions inventory. To understand your emissions, you need a benchmark. A greenhouse gas emissions inventory will help you to identify your current emissions, volumes and their source. Weeva’s Climate Action parameter helps you understand your baseline emissions.

Set targets. The inventory gives you a starting point and helps you to identify opportunities to reduce emissions in your operations and supply chain. Set an ambitious target but start with low-hanging fruit that delivers quick wins.

Take action. What is the smallest, easiest step you can take right now to get the momentum going?

Communicate progress. Tell your stakeholders about what you’re doing, your success so far, and how they can get involved. This also builds trust and credibility while demonstrating your commitment to sustainability.


Read more about carbon footprints in tourism and hospitality.


Scope 123 e

Weeva’s Commerce and Conservation C’s have multiple parameters to consider when reducing emissions. From Sustainable and Ethical Procurement and Business Transparency to Zero Pollution and Climate Action, Weeva’s holistic approach to sustainability means that even the smallest step can have an impact. Find out more.

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