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September 21, 2009

The Local Benefit, Part 2

World Savers

by Beata Santora

Can we create consistent metrics to measure sustainability and local involvement?

Tensie Whelan and Ed Norton say absolutely. Tensie discussed the newly-designed Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria established by the Rainforest Alliance and the U.N. which will be implemented on a systematic scale to create a clear-cut baseline for travel sustainability.

"An easy but not sexy way to create such a metric would be measuring how much waste a company generates. Just go to the landfill and see what's dumped in there," said Simon Cooper of the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, who is incidentally wearing a shirt made of plastic bottles which will be sold in Ritz-Carltons everywhere. "You can all touch it later on if you want," quipped Cooper.

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