Is Legal Compliance Enough to Protect What’s Important?

Is Legal Compliance Enough to Protect What’s Important?
June 28, 2017 Bradley Cox

Many Green Globe members operate under special licences and permits that allow them to carry out activities that are often core to their guest experience. Examples of these types of situations are when resorts are permitted under special permits to operate near or inside of protected areas, or perhaps are allowed to interact and even house and care for wildlife which guests may enjoy as part of their experience.

In these cases, there may be a different level of compliance at the local level compared to international norms. Green Globe encourages members to be aware of the expectations of international guests and consider if they need to elevate their practices under these special permits to meet perhaps a higher level of conservation or animal welfare.

As the leading international green label for travel and tourism, Green Globe is aware that there are a diverse set of laws and practices across the many jurisdictions in which we operate. And while we do not wish to homogenise the cultural experiences of our diverse membership, we do encourage all to consider a higher calling then simply complying with only the basic rules and regulations.

Overall one of the the primary functions of certification is to allow our members to demonstrate that they are compliant with all relevant international and local legislation that pertains to their business. This extends from environmental law governing the operation of the facility, through to labour law protecting workers’ wellbeing as well as adequate insurance coverage to protect employees and guests while they are on site.

From our experience Green Globe members are transparent in keeping their register of these legal documents up to date and open for inspection. Beyond this level of compliance, Green Globe does expect members to demonstrate continuous improvement and the highest possible quality management. Like the case of special permits (above) we encourage our members to go beyond the statutory requirements and do better.

Members often then ask, “What can we do to meet this higher standard?” As a quality management system we cannot instruct specifically on how members can achieve this higher level. We can however point out that true leadership in sustainability comes when members move beyond the “letter” of the law and seek to deliver to the greater “intent” of the legislation. This means looking specifically at what is required, then considering how can the bar be raised with even more beneficial outcomes for the people, the environment and the business.