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Comparing environmental performance Environmental benchmarking for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic tourism industry Anne Maria Sparf.

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Presentation on theme: "Comparing environmental performance Environmental benchmarking for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic tourism industry Anne Maria Sparf."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparing environmental performance Environmental benchmarking for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic tourism industry Anne Maria Sparf

2 Is environmental benchmarking a viable methodology for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Nordic tourism industry?

3 Flow of presentation Benchmarking and environmental benchmarking Benchmarking and environmental benchmarking SME characteristics and needs SME characteristics and needs A survey of Nordic tourism companies A survey of Nordic tourism companies New methodology for evaluating the suitability of environmental management tools for SME’s New methodology for evaluating the suitability of environmental management tools for SME’s Results from the evaluation of ten tools Results from the evaluation of ten tools Conclusions Conclusions

4 What is benchmarking and environmental benchmarking?

5 Benchmarking as a business tool A process to: 1. Analyze business activities 2. Make comparisons 3. Identify the performance gap 4. Improve performance Goals: Continuous improvement Improved business performance: Competitive advantage

6 Environmental benchmarking An environmental management tool An environmental management tool Benchmarking of environmental performance by measuring and comparing key figures Benchmarking of environmental performance by measuring and comparing key figures A tool to help companies assess their level of environmental performance and improve it A tool to help companies assess their level of environmental performance and improve it Leads to cost savings and improved competitiveness Leads to cost savings and improved competitiveness

7 In what ways is benchmarking present in environmental management tools?

8 Levels of benchmarking Comparisons against criteria Comparisons against Best Practice Comparisons against competition Comparisons within company

9 What are the special characteristics and needs of SMEs?

10 SME characteristics and needs Lack of resources: Staff, time, finance… Need of assistance due to little experience and knowledge of environmental issues Need to concentrate on vital business issues, survival from day to day Stakeholder demands on improving environmental performance Unwillingness to consider environmental issues as a business aspect A need for environmental management tools that:  Require little resources to implement  Are simple and easy to use  Have adequate support functions available  Lead to business benefits such as cost savings, improved competitiveness and image  Have a positive effect on environmental performance

11 Survey to Nordic tourism companies A digital survey to 527 tourism SMEs in the Nordic countries A digital survey to 527 tourism SMEs in the Nordic countries 50 answers were received; response rate 9,5% 50 answers were received; response rate 9,5% An additional questionnaire to Tourism Industry Associations in the Nordic countries An additional questionnaire to Tourism Industry Associations in the Nordic countries Comparison to existing research results Comparison to existing research results

12 Environmental performance Compared with other companies in the field, how would you assess your environmental performance?

13 Steps taken to improve environmental performance Which of the following steps have you taken to improve your environmental performance? Please mark all the steps that your company has applied.

14 Investment in improving environmental performance Would your company be ready to invest in improving environmental performance?

15 What features in tools are important for companies? What attributes would you consider important for a system designed to measure and manage your environmental performance? Score from 1 to 5; 1 = not at all important, 5 = very important. The system should...

16 The most important benefits What do you think is/should be the most important benefit of a system designed to measure and manage the environmental performance of your company?

17 The most important challenges What do you think would be/is the most important challenge in applying a system to measure and manage your environmental performance?

18 How can SME needs be taken into account?

19 How can one assess the suitability of environmental management tools for SMEs? How can one assess the suitability of environmental management tools for SMEs? How can the strengths and weaknesses of tools be assessed in an effective manner? How can the strengths and weaknesses of tools be assessed in an effective manner? How can tools using benchmarking methodology be compared to each other? How can tools using benchmarking methodology be compared to each other? A methodology for evaluating environmental management tools

20 Evaluation template Establishing the purpose and goal of the evaluation Performing a qualitative analysis of the tool/s based on SME needs Choosing the tool/s for evaluation Gathering information about the tool/s Establishing the level/s of benchmarking present in the tool/s Final ranking and conclusions Information sources Levels of benchmarking SME needs Defining the Choice criteria Deciding the target group

21 SME needs Resource friendly Simple and easy to use Adequate support functions Improved competi- tiveness Improved eco- efficiency Qualitative analysis based on SME needs

22 SME needs Resource friendly Simple and easy to use Adequate support functions Improved competi- tiveness Improved eco- efficiency

23 European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Total score: 13 of 25 (Average 15,3)

24 Green Globe 21 Company Standard Total score: 17 of 25 (Average 15,3)

25 Eco-lighthouse/Miljöfyrtaarn Total score: 19 of 25 (Average 15,3)

26 The Nordic Swan for hotels Total score: 16 of 25 (Average 15,3)

27 Green Tourism Business Scheme Total score: 20 of 25 (Average 15,3)

28 TourBench for accommodation Total score: 17 of 25 (Average 15,3)

29 Recommendations Green Globe 21 for all sectors of tourism Green Globe 21 for all sectors of tourism The Nordic Swan for larger hotels The Nordic Swan for larger hotels Eco-lighthouse for other industries Eco-lighthouse for other industries

30 Recommendations TourBench for accommodation services TourBench for accommodation services Many existing tools could be improved by adding comparison against others and against Best Practice Many existing tools could be improved by adding comparison against others and against Best Practice Any new tools would benefit from a similar approach as in the Green Tourism Business Scheme Any new tools would benefit from a similar approach as in the Green Tourism Business Scheme

31 Conclusion Benchmarking of environmental performance is a viable methodology for SMEs in the Nordic tourism industry: Fulfills SME needs adequately, Improves business and environmental performance

32 Comparing environmental performance is an excellent way to improve environmental and business performance !! Win-Win situation !!


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