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Getting started on your Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard

Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard

The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard is a pathway program for any tourism business at the beginning of their sustainability journey.

More travellers than ever are seeking out tourism related businesses who are actively demonstrating they are following sustainable practices. The scorecard showcases businesses strengths and provides insights into areas where improvement can be made, offering transparency and guidance to enhance sustainable practices.

Based on Ecotourism Australia’s existing globally recognised certification criteria, the scorecard measures where a business or tourism operator is on their sustainability journey at a point in time. Businesses track their own operations against 50 criteria across the following four pillars of sustainability:

    1. Sustainable Management
    2. Environmental Impacts
    3. Socio-economic Impacts
    4. Cultural Impacts

    The scorecard is not a certification or accreditation, but a benchmark with which your business can strive for sustainability. Any tourism business or operator can be assessed, with the scorecard provided annually by Ecotourism Australia. Such businesses can include cafes, restaurants, bars, breweries, tour providers, activity/attraction providers, accommodation providers, events and festivals, tourism organisations, travel agents, visitor centres and tourism consultants.

    Why should I get a scorecard for my business?

    If you want to be recognised for your sustainability efforts or learn how to be more sustainable in your business, then you have come to the right place! Ecotourism Australia’s Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard will give you an understanding of how your business compares against our globally recognised criteria for sustainable tourism.

    1.

    Affordable

    Your scorecard costs $275 (incl. GST) for one year of completion and includes your public-facing scorecard as well as a comprehensive assessment report.

    2.

    Personalised

    Your scorecard and assessment report will provide you with tailored feedback recognising what you are doing well and identify where you could improve, tailored specifically to your business.

    3.

    Quick

    Completing 50 criteria for your business and uploading evidence should only take one day. Completing your scorecard through the easy online portal also means you can upload your documentation, save your progress, and complete your assessment in multiple sessions.

    4.

    Educational

    Helpful and practical business development tool, de-mystifying what sustainable and responsible tourism is, both for you and your customers, through a breakdown of your score accompanied by a public facing certificate*.

    *For operators who achieve 50% or more.

    5.

    Continuous Improvement

    No matter how high or low your score is, identifying areas you do well in and areas for improvement is an important step in your business’ sustainability journey.

    6.

    Exposure

    The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) provides an opportunity for operators to display their score on their ATDW listing. Businesses on the Big Red Group’s platforms will have the option to display an icon on their listing. Tourism Australia and Ecotourism Australia also highlight businesses that have completed the scorecard through compelling case studies.

    7.

    Practical

    Build your knowledge around implementing tools to help your business increase capacity using individual scores and feedback for all four pillars of sustainability.

    8.

    Make Change

    Be part of a movement that strives for a more sustainable future.

    The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard costs $275 (incl. GST).

    Your scorecard is valid for 12 months from receipt of your scorecard results. At the end of your 12 months, we encourage you to keep striving for sustainability and to aim for a higher score in your next scorecard assessment.

    Note: If you are a tourism business or operator in New South Wales, Indian Ocean Territories or Canberra ACT you may be eligible for a complimentary scorecard under our Sustainability Scorecard Grant Programs.

    Tourism Australia

    Founding Parner

    Launched by Ecotourism Australia in 2022 with founding partner Tourism Australia, the program was developed to encourage more tourism businesses to embark on the pathway to sustainability.

    Tourism Australia, as the marketing partner, is supporting this new program to encourage more tourism businesses to embark on the pathway to sustainability.

    Register for your Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard today!

    How can I use my sustainability scorecard to improve my business?

    Once you have completed your Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard, your detailed snapshot of how sustainably your businesses operates will include an assessment report and a scorecard to display to your customers.

    Your scorecard includes a breakdown of your scores in all four categories and celebrates your sustainability wins. Your assessment report will provide advice on ways you can continue to improve your efforts in sustainable tourism.

    Scorecard Example – front page
    Example scorecard front page
    Scorecard Example – back page

    For those operators that score 50% or higher, a certificate will also be provided that can be displayed publicly to show your sustainability commitments.

    If you score below 50%, we understand you may be disappointed that you have not received the certificate. However, we want to ensure you fulfil your mission to strive for tourism sustainability. You will still receive a report detailing ways you can improve the sustainability of your operations and reach for a higher score on your next assessment.

    How is the score calculated?

    Your total score is made up of your individual scores for each of the 50 criteria. The more criteria you meet, and the more evidence your provide, the higher your score will be.

    Please remember: The scorecard is a business development tool, and it will help you to understand the areas you are doing well in as well as highlight areas for improvement. Understanding where your business’ sustainability is at is the first step to a more sustainable future!

    To a total of 50 criteria, each section assesses a number of areas:

    1. Sustainable Management
    • Sustainable management
    • Plans and policies
    • Legal compliance
    • Health and safety/risk management
    • Responsible marketing
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Visitor education on sustainability
    • Staff sustainability education and training
    2. Environmental Impacts
    • Environmental Management Plan
    • Green Supplier policy
    • Emissions measurement and reduction
    • Location and site selection
    • Efficient buildings
    • Construction and landscaping
    • Energy conservation
    • Water conservation
    • Waste minimisation and management
    • Cleaner transport
    • Minimal disturbance to wildlife
    • Contribution to conservation
    3. Socio-economic Impacts
    • Equal opportunity and fair treatment
    • Anti-harassment and anti-exploitation
    • Accessibility
    • Staff training and development
    • Community support and engagement
    • Impact on local communities
    • Local employment
    • Local purchasing and supporting local businesses
    4. Cultural Impacts
    • Acknowledgement of Country
    • Consultation and training
    • Cultural interpretation
    • Visitation of culturally sensitive sites
    • Protecting and preserving cultural heritage
    • Indigenous arts, crafts and goods

    Understanding your involvement

    The Scorecard should take you between 4 to 8 hours to complete and can start and stop at any time. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers and you don’t have to be perfect. If you do not have the requested documentation or your business does not address certain practices, simply tick “No” and proceed to the following question.

    Pathway to your Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard

    1.

    Thanks for taking the first step on your sustainability journey. First you need to register here:

    2.

    Receive your unique login details from Ecotourism Australia to our online portal.

    3.

    Complete a self-assessment of your business against 50 selection criteria and upload supporting evidence. This process should take one day to complete but you can start and stop at anytime.

    4.

    An assessor from Ecotourism Australia will review and score your business and provide feedback in the online portal.

    5.

    Receive a personalised Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard including an overall score and a full PDF assessment report.

    Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard Grant Programs

    Tourism Australia, as the founding partner for the scorecard, is supporting the program by investing in marketing to encourage more tourism businesses to embark on the pathway to sustainability.

    Several state governing bodies have also jumped on board and are now offering incentives to complete the scorecard.

    View from above on a stretch of coastline in New South Wales
    New South Wales

    If you are a visitor economy business registered and operating in NSW, you may be eligible for a complimentary scorecard thanks to a partnership between Ecotourism Australia and Destination NSW as part of the NSW First Program. Places are limited and filling fast.

    Diving off Christmas Island - Basel Imagery
    Indian Ocean Territories

    If you are a business operating in the IOT region (Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands) you may be eligible for a complimentary scorecard thanks to a partnership between Ecotourism Australia and Christmas Island Tourism Association as part of the IOT Marine Parks Grant. Places are limited.

    Nishi Building's Grand Staircase
    Australian Capital Territory

    If you are a visitor economy business registered and operating in Canberra, ACT you may be eligible for a fully funded scorecard thanks to a partnership between Ecotourism Australia and VisitCanberra. Places are limited.

    If you would like more information regarding the Strive 4 Sustainability scorecard

    Phone (07) 3256 6777 or email eco@ecotourism.org.au and one of our certification specialists will be happy to assist.

    Our Strive 4 Sustainability Partners

    FAQs

    Click on the frequently asked questions to find your answers. If you still have questions, contact eco@ecotourism.org.au

    What is sustainable tourism?

    The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defined sustainable tourism as, ‘tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.’ Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability.

    What will the scorecard do for my business?

    The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard is a pathway program for any tourism business or business supporting the tourism supply chain in Australia. This scorecard is a helpful and practical business development tool, de-mystifying what genuine sustainable and responsible travel is for you as a supplier and for your customers.

    The scorecard will show you and your customers what you’re doing well and how you can strive to improve. It also gives you an industry recognised rating that you can use to promote your business, making it more attractive to suppliers, providers and tourists choosing to align their sustainability values with yours.

    Can any business apply for the scorecard? How can I check if it applies to my business?

    If you are a tourism business or operator you are eligible to apply for a scorecard. Such businesses include cafes, restaurants, bars, breweries, tour providers, activity/attraction providers, accommodation providers, events and festivals, tourism organisations, travel agents, visitor centres and tourism consultants. If you are unsure whether your business is eligible contact us on (07) 3256 6777 or email sustainability@ecotourism.org.au and one of our sustainability specialists will be happy to assist.

    How do I ensure the scorecard if credible?

    The credibility and assurance process of the scorecard is of the utmost importance to Ecotourism Australia. The 50 selected criteria are based on our globally recognised, best practice standards for sustainability in tourism and are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The criteria are reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to meet world’s best practice standards. Your scorecard responses will be assessed by a trained sustainability assessor within the Ecotourism Australia team before a personalised score is provided to you.

    What does the scorecard measure?

    The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard measures where your business is on your sustainability journey at a point in time. Based on Ecotourism Australia’s existing globally recognised certification criteria, businesses will track their own operations against 50 criteria across all four pillars of sustainability:

    • Sustainable management
    • Environmental management
    • Socio-economic impacts
    • Cultural impacts

    The scorecard is not a certification or accreditation, but a benchmark with which your business can strive for sustainability.

    How much does it cost and how long is it valid for?

    The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard costs $250 (+GST) per business per annual scorecard and is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. 

    How long does it take to apply?

    The application process will take one day to complete. This does not include finding and creating the necessary documentation to complete your assessment. If you do not have something, tick “no” and move on to the next question.

    Will Ecotourism Australia provide resources, templates, and coaching?

    Our online portal will provide guidance and recommendations on how to answer each of the selection criteria. Management plans and coaching sessions are exclusive to our certification programs. Please be aware that the Strive 4 Sustainability Program is not a certification program; it does not include templates and coaching sessions. It is the beginning of your sustainability journey, a process that could lead you to certification. You will get a score summary certificate to display (If your score is 50% or above), however, you will not receive a dedicated logo.

    Do I need to do the scorecard every year?

    Your scorecard is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. At the end of your 12 months, we encourage you to keep striving for sustainability and to aim for a higher score in your next scorecard assessment. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. The aim is for you to continually enhance your sustainability efforts and credentials each year by utilising the scorecard as a monitoring tool for improvement.

    How will this be promoted and how can I communicate to customers what my scorecard means?

    Once your sustainability assessment is complete, you will receive a PDF scorecard with your scores against each sustainability pillar. Your scorecard can be displayed publicly, or you may choose to keep it internal for the education of staff, supply chain and stakeholders. The scorecard will include a scannable QR code for anyone to learn more about the scorecard and Strive 4 Sustainability program. If you score more than 50% overall, you will also receive a PDF certificate to proudly display your score.
    The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) provides an opportunity for operators completing the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard to display their score on their ATDW listing. The ATDW online platform is one of Australia’s largest tourism content providers, supporting over 50,000 tourism profiles.
    Businesses on the Big Red Group’s platforms that have completed the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard will have the option to display an icon on their listing indicating they have a score of 50% or more. Big Red Group includes experience platforms Adrenaline, Experience Oz, and RedBalloon and is Australia and New Zealand’s largest experience network.

    What is the difference between the Scorecard and Certification?

    The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard is a pathway program for any tourism business to start their sustainability journey. It measures where a business or tourism operator is on their sustainability journey at a point in time.

    The scorecard is not a certification or accreditation, but a benchmark with which your business can strive for sustainability. You receive a personalised report detailing the areas you are doing well in and areas for improvement, including practical advice.

    If you score 50% or above you will receive a scorecard certificate with your results to display, but you will not receive a dedicated logo to use or have access to, templates or coaching sessions which are exclusive to the certification programs.

    I have completed a Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard; how do I know if I am ready to become certified?

    Consider the below to help you decide if you are ready for certification.

    Does your business:

    CARE: The business is looking after the natural environment and reducing their impact on sensitive areas
    DISCOVER: You’re taking guests to discover and explore the world’s best sustainable tourism destinations, iconic locations, and unforgettable natural landscapes
    LEARN: Guides and staff offer captivating interpretation and education to guests about the environment they’re experiencing and how to protect it
    CONSERVE: They’re making real contributions to the conservation of our environment and wildlife
    REDUCE: You’re reducing your operational emissions and carbon footprint and teaching guests to reduce theirs
    PROTECT: You’re leaving no trace, and are protecting our unique wildlife and endangered species
    SUPPORT: The business is supporting and engaging their local community and local businesses
    RESPECT: Your business is helping to preserve Australian Indigenous cultures & guarantee their stories are shared with respect & sensitivity
    EXPERIENCE: Providing an unforgettable quality guest experience and allowing guests to connect with the natural environment

    Alternatively, if you have previously completed a Strive for Sustainability Scorecard, scored well in key areas, and feel comfortable to apply for certification, we would encourage you to do so. If you are still unsure speak with the Ecotourism Australia team for recommended next steps.

     

    Looking for the next step?

    Have you considered undertaking one of our global standard certification programs?

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