Environmental Footprint of the New Zealand Tourism Sector (2008)

Project Leader: Prof. Caroline Saunders
Team:Dr. Susanne Becken
Mr. Barber, Agricultural Engineering Consultant
Mr. Sorenson, Research Associate
Mr. Parsonson-Ensor

The tourism sector in New Zealand is the largest export sector accounting for a fifth of our export earnings.  However, this sector is at risk unless we can demonstrate the environmental footprint of the industry within NZ and how we are moving to improve this. This is seen as an issue especially in relation to tourists from Europe who have concerns about their carbon footprint.  This also fits in well with the government agenda on sustainability and its commitments such as under the Kyoto Protocol.

This research therefore will build on existing initiatives in the industry to establish a methodology for measuring the tourism industry’s carbon footprint and identifying ways how it can be reduced.  It will also build upon existing and ongoing research at Lincoln University’s research centres (i.e. LEAP and the AERU), and elsewhere in the measurement and reduction of businesses carbon footprints.  Measurement of carbon footprints should be undertaken in a manner that ensures maximum update from the businesses and facilitates of energy and emission reductions. The methodology will be compatible with that being developed in other markets, for example the primary sectors, overseas developments and the ISO standards. The research will demonstrate through exemplars the carbon footprint of these businesses and how this can be readily measured and reduced. In doing this, consideration will be made of the other impacts that the industry may wish to measure to meet environmental sustainability criteria beyond carbon dioxide emissions.

This project is managed by the Ministry of Economic Development in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.

Standards considered:

Green Globe 21 - The path to sustainable travel and tourism. Green Globe New Zealand.
CarboNZero - travel and tourism. Landcare Research.
Qualmark Responsible tourism. Qualmark. (Need more information and access to toolkit.
The GHG Protocol - A corporate accounting and reporting standard. World resources institute and World business council for sustainable development.
PAS 2050 - Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of   goods and services. British Standards. (Publicly Available Standard.)
ISO 14064-1: Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organisational level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals. International standards.
Energy audit manual New Zealand. Energy Management Association of New Zealand.
Available at: http://www.eecabusiness.govt.nz/emprove/emprove-library/implementation/conduct-an-audit/guide/energy-audit-manual-07.pdf


Pathways to Sustainability. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international tourism (2002-2004)

This FRST funded project researched the travel behaviour of international tourists in New Zealand to better understand energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions, and to identify ways of reducing these. This Landcare Research project was in collaboration with Lincoln University (2002 to 2006). Research outputs are available for:

-Energy use in the NZ tourism sector
-Tourist decision making and itineraries
-The perception of carbon sinks and offsetting
-International air travel
-The energy use of coach tourism
-Tourist transport (Special Issue of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism)



TIANZ On Schedule

Summary of Research with Tourism Holdings Limited (Maui/Britz campervans)

Lynes, J. & Becken, S. (2002). In-flight impact. Alternatives Journal Special Issue Tourism (28 (4), 36-37.

Becken, S. & Hart, P. (2004). Climate change policy and tourism in New Zealand. In Matzarakis, A., de Freitas, C. R. & Scott, D. (eds). Advances in Tourism Climatology (pp. 198-206).  Berichte des Meteorologischen Institutes der Universitaet Freiburg, Nr. 12. Freiburg.

Hart, P., Becken, S. & Turney, I. (2004). Offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from tourism. In Matzarakis, A., de Freitas, C. R. & Scott, D. (eds). Advances in Tourism Climatology (pp. 97-104).  Berichte des Meteorologischen Institutes der Universitaet Freiburg, Nr. 12. Freiburg.

Becken, S. (2004). Tourist transport – a comparison between New Zealand and Fiji. Leisure Travel, Tourism Travel and the Environment. OECD and Umweltbundesamt workshop, 4-5 November, 2004, Berlin, Germany.

Becken, S. & Cavanagh, J. (2003). Energy efficiency trend analysis of the tourism sector. Research Contract Report: LC02/03/293. Prepared for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Page last updated on: 07/04/2011