As a National Historic Landmark and protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Adirondacks have the immense potential and imperative to become a leading hub for sustainable tourism. The region's long-term economic future, for both local communities and tourism businesses, hinges upon the preservation of its natural environment & resources. The Adirondacks' year-round communities are keenly aware of this, often instilling values of environmental stewardship in children from a young age.
With that in mind, local students from Paul Smith's College Field Studies in Hospitality class and the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games, in partnership with ecomadic – a curated marketplace for local & sustainable tourism businesses - offer the following sustainability brief to help your business become part of the movement for sustainable tourism. It outlines criteria for a practical roadmap to assess and adopt best practices in economic, environmental, & social responsibility. As an outline for an ongoing journey, it includes both short-term, actionable solutions and long-term recommendations that can positively impact the environment, save money, and benefit the Adirondack community.
Based on ecomadic's framework for sustainability, the students of Paul Smith's College Field Studies in Hospitality class researched best practices in lodging and came up with the following advice for accommodations to take quick and effective steps to improve their sustainability. Below you'll find a PDF link to the full outline, as well as "8 Small Steps to Sustainability" that you can take today.
8 Small Steps to Sustainability:
Step 1 - Form a “Green Team:" Form a team of staff dedicated to researching and implementing sustainability practices, as well as measuring the outcomes of these practices.
Step 2 - Assess: Conduct a sustainability self-assessment to see what your current strengths and weaknesses are in social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Step 3 - Plan to Integrate: Create a sustainability management plan and sustainability mission that is integrated into day-to-day operations.
Step 4 - Budget: Conduct a sustainability budget analysis. Identify budget items that can be reduced or replaced with sustainable solutions to reduce costs and improve efficiency. For example, low-flow toilets, motion-sensor lights, etc.
Step 5 - Monitor: Track your sustainability progress using tools like Global Sustainable Tourism Council's Hotel Self-Assessment.
Step 6 - Network: Partner with other hotels and organizations in the community to develop community-wide sustainability such as food composting.
Step 7 - Promote: Communicate your sustainability efforts to stakeholders online via social media channels and email newsletters, as well as in person at events or in conversations with guests. Use clear signage at your property to draw attention to sustainability efforts and spark meaningful conversations.
Step 8 - Fundraise: Explore fundraising opportunities to support ADK sustainability efforts. Some opportunities include Climate Smart Community Awards or NYSERDA Energy Grants.
Submitted by NYSTIA Sustainability Task Force Member Jaclyn Yost, CEO/Founder of ecomadic, and Dr. Kelly Cerialo, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism at Paul Smith's College.
Paul Smith's College provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. Located in one of New York State's premier outdoor recreation destinations, The Adirondack Park provides a rich learning opportunity for students who are interested in studying the social, economic and environmental impacts of tourism. Meet Kelly.
The NYSTIA Sustainability Task Force will be sharing regular tips and insights to help New York's tourism idestinations and businesses identify and achieve their sustainability objectives. Sustainability Task Force members include Kelly Cerialo at Paul Smith's College, Kate Kruk at Livingston Energy Group, and Jaclyn Yost and Natalie Biedron at ecomadic. If you are interested in joining the Sustainability Task Force, please contact us.