Sustainable tourism insight - getting a project rolling
In the fourth insight of our series on Sustainable Tourism, Chris Paul, Partner at Trowers & Hamlins, looks at the practical consideration when developing a project in the sector.
Most people would agree that it is time to take action and adopt a more sustainable approach. While not everyone is a budding Greta Thunberg, consumers are increasingly switched-on about energy and sustainability issues. That means that businesses need to develop a suitable strategy and build the required investment into business plans over the next thirty years.
The leisure sector isn't immune from the policies driven by the Government's Net Zero 2050 target (which became legally binding in June last year). According to the UK GBC, the built environment contributes 40% of the UK's carbon emissions. Given that many existing buildings will have a life beyond 2050, we should expect more targeted legislation driving investment in building fabric, renewable energy and low-carbon heat sources.
So change is coming for all sectors, but there is a good argument to start now to help spread the costs of the necessary upgrades. For those considering investment in energy efficiency measures or renewable energy systems, here are our top 5 tips:
- Get data: The first step is understanding the challenge. Collect data on how you use energy, the performance of your buildings and current emissions. Specialist consultancy will be helpful here, and help you shape the results into a strategy. Don't forget to consider the impact of your supply chain – do they have an aligned approach?
- Be prepared: Whatever your plans, you need to do some basic due diligence. Check your leases. When do your utility contracts come up for renewal? Do you need planning permission or third party consents? Do you actually own the relevant property?
- Find a provider: This is key to the successful delivery of any project. How well do you know your selected provider - is this an unsolicited offer, or have you run a formal procurement process? Consider their track record and financial standing. Do they have suitable levels of insurance?
- Document the deal: This is the time to get legal support. Check what you are signing - does it match the commercial deal? What about insurance, liability caps and delivery risk. What risks are you being asked to take on? What happens if you need to terminate?
- Commit management time: Don't underestimate the management time that is required to deliver projects. Without clear direction, it is inevitable that things drift. If you can't spare the time, consider appointing a project manager to help manage the process.
As more tourists question their carbon footprint, businesses need to have an answer. What are you doing to get Net Zero ready?