Why Sustainability Management? Make Sustainability Matter

You want to make sustainability a part of your tourism business. To do so in a meaningful way, your sustainability actions must be supported by a solid framework. That's what a sustainability management system is for; to guide your overall approaches to sustainability.

Building a sustainability management system is the most important step you need if you want to make sustainability matter for your tourism business. In other words, having a good management system will help you ensure your sustainability efforts actually lead to concrete benefits.

How to Build a System That Delivers

But what does it mean to have a sustainability management system? What does it look like? What should such a system include, and how can it be designed and implemented?

This course covers all these key questions to help you build a solid system that you can use to implement concrete sustainability actions. We'll guide you through the techniques and tools you need, so you can integrate sustainability confidently into your tourism business. 

Is This Course For You?

This course is for those leading or engaged in managing tourism businesses' sustainability practices. Regardless of the size of your business, or where you are in your sustainability journey, a good management strategy is a must.

  • If your business is at an early stage of your sustainability journey, this course will be a great way to gain a solid understanding of the tools you need for implementing your sustainability practices, and to help accelerate your efforts.
  • If you are further along in your sustainability journey, this course will offer valuable insights to help you navigate the ever-changing field of business sustainability solutions, and implement tangible steps to enhance your sustainability management system.

To make the most of this course, you should have:

  • A good understanding of the concept of sustainability, especially within the context of sustainability practices for a business.
  • Experience working in the tourism industry, preferably (current or past) professional experience at tourism businesses (e.g. tour operators, accommodation providers) interested or involved in sustainability.


Custom Training

This course is also offered as a custom training solution, tailored to fit your requirements. Recommended group size: minimum 10. 


This course provides:

  • Practical lessons on applying the Plan-Do-Check-Act management approach, and implementing proven management techniques for your own tourism business.
  • Hands-on exercises using management tools such as policies, risk assessments, and action plans to help you develop an effective sustainability management system for your business.
  • Guidance to help you build your own toolbox for managing, monitoring and continuously improving your sustainability practices.

Your course work includes:

  • Self-study (video lessons, reading materials, online discussion forums)
  • Scheduled live sessions with presentations and group exercises
  • Hands-on practice, applying what you learn to your own business

In each of the weekly modules, you will:

  • Follow pre-recorded video lessons that will help you build and strengthen your knowledge of key sustainability management principles, frameworks and approaches.
  • Access case studies and additional resources to help you solidify your understanding of the terms and concepts covered in our lessons.
  • Participate in online discussion forums to share your examples and questions, and exchange ideas with your fellow course members.
  • Join scheduled live sessions (x2 per week) with trainer and guest speaker presentations, and interactive sessions.
  • Work on hands-on exercises, applying what you learn to your own business, and collaborate with your peer group members to enhance your learning results.

As an overarching approach to management, and as guiding principles to apply to your tourism business' sustainability management system, you will learn to use the PDCA (plan - do - check - act or plan - do - check - adjust) model, which is an iterative design and management method for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products.

Following the model, you will learn how to ensure your sustainability management system is built to support continuous improvement of your performance.

To guide your sustainability commitments and to enable informed decisions that lead to meaningful impacts, you need a solid foundation provided by your sustainability policy and strategy. You will learn WHAT they are, WHY they matter, HOW they can be crafted and used, and WHO will impact and be impacted by the process of implementing your sustainability policy and strategy.

Your strategy will only be useful if actually implemented. That's why you need a sustainability management system that reflect the continuous improvement model, as your management system will serve as an effective way to bring your strategy to life.

And of course, a key part of bringing your strategy to life is how you work with your stakeholders. As such, you will learn about key steps in identifying, understanding, communicating with, and engaging both internal and external stakeholders.

As we often hear, "you can't manage what you don't measure." Measuring your impact, therefore, is a critical aspect of your sustainability management system. But it's also important to note that you can't measure what you don't benchmark. 

You will follow practical steps to start benchmarking, so you can track and assess your progress over time.

In addition, you will be able to add key tools to your sustainability management toolbox, such as risk assessment and management, impact assessment throughout your supply chain, and target setting. 

You will learn about key steps to effective action planning, which will allow you to apply your entrepreneurial skills and sustainability knowledge to strengthen your business practices.

A key aspect of implementing a management approach to sustainability is empowering your team members and stakeholders to successfully execute actions. As such, you will learn about best practices in training, employee development and team building.   

You will also learn how to develop and deliver reports in an effective way, helping coordinate internal and external communications and facilitating decision-making at the organization level.


Is this course relevant to businesses that have or are seeking to achieve certification?

This course is designed to be certification-compatible.

Most certification programs require businesses to have a management system that fulfills their criteria for sustainability management.

While each program will have specific requirements, by developing and implementing a sustainability management system that holistically covers all key areas of sustainability, you will be building a system for your business in a way that will help your journey in pursuing sustainability certification, if certification is (currently or in the future) a relevant goal for your business.  


What's included in the course registration?

As part of your registration for the course, you will have access to:

  • Self-study content including recorded videos and reading materials.
  • Access to weekly scheduled live sessions offering interactive lessons and discussions.
  • Access to the replay videos of the live sessions.
  • Downloadable tools and template, along with instructions and guidance on using them for your own business.
  • Opportunities to receive individualized feedback, both from your peers and trainers.



Industry Network Partner



Johanna Meissner
Questions? We Are Here To Help
Email Johanna Meissner with your questions or to schedule a call.

Facilitators and Contributors

Antje Martins

University of Queensland Business School

Ayako Ezaki

Director of Training Strategy and Development