Sustainable hospitality has a major influence on engaging businesses with our local community.
People want to be involved with the community they are visiting. They want to feel like they contributed or experienced something that is unique. In turn, businesses are realizing that having a positive social impact on the communities where they work, helps their bottom line. What can you do as a business or organization to be better stewards of the earth? How can you support the local community and the planet while still achieving good financial health? Considering all these factors allows businesses to build a brand that will attract more customers.
Protecting and supporting the natural environment is the first step in achieving true sustainable hospitality. Businesses can offer their customers a connection to local environmental issues and education. For example, utilization of the Seafood Watch card is one of the leading programs that combine tourism with local environmental issues. This program allows member restaurants to highlight local conservation efforts on their menus. Beyond the popular whale watching tours, Big Sur Land Trust offers scheduled hikes to learn about coastal land conservation and The Offset Project offers volunteer opportunities to engage with environmental certification efforts at local special events such as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am or the Big Sur Marathon.
A second step for businesses is to develop programs that can interact, impact and improve their communities. If a business can make the community a better place, than they will have a story to tell that is unique and separates them from other businesses. Legacies projects can include the protection and conservation of socio-cultural heritage and environmental resources, the sustainable development of local communities and local infrastructure, as well as job creation for locals. For example, Peter B’s Brewery partners with local at risk youth to grow hops for their hand crafted beer. Incoming conferences can participate in “gleaning” programs where visitors visit local fields to pick leftover vegetables for the homeless. In some cases, profits are reinvested into a local project. In Monterey County, the California Roots Festival is donating $1.00 for each ticket sold and investing the funds into an electric vehicle charging station at the event grounds. This allows festival attendees better access to the event and contributes to public awareness around electric vehicles.
If you are visiting and want to get involved in Monterey County’s local sustainable hospitality projects, please contact Kristin Cushman at Kristin@theoffsetproject.org.
COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE SPORT RECOGNIZES EVENT WITH ‘GOLD CERTIFICATION’
For the third consecutive year, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has received the prestigious Gold Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. Hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the tournament has become a model for other PGA TOUR events by establishing itself as a reliable leader in environmental protection.
In conjunction with key partners including Pebble Beach Company and The Offset Project, the AT&T Pro-Am introduced key composting and re-use strategies three years ago in an effort to achieve high standards of waste diversion. The “green” commitment has since been expanded and enhanced, and resulted in the Council’s gold certification honor in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“Monterey Peninsula Foundation remains committed to improving the health and sustainability of our community,” said Steve John, Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO and tournament director. “It is imperative we continue to focus on conservation and resource management.”
According to Shelley Villalobos, Certification Director for the Council for Responsible Sport, the 2016 Gold Certification required a huge amount of sustained effort from the entire event management team.
“With this gold level recertification, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am team has shown a strong commitment to both rigor and transparency—qualities that have helped them advance their performance in many aspects of hosting a more sustainable event, from waste management and diversion to procurement and creating a lasting legacy in the community. This is a tournament to be embraced and celebrated,” Villalobos said.
The environmental accomplishments achieved during the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am included:
Just two other tournaments on the PGA TOUR – the Shell Houston Open and Waste Management Phoenix Open – have earned certification status from Council for Responsible Sport.