'This year, TUI Western Europe took its first steps as a region on the long road of sustainable development. As market leaders, it is our responsibility to give guidance to our respective markets and to safeguard our product and business of tomorrow.'
Bart Brackx, Managing Director, TUI Western Europe
TUI Western Europe comprises the countries France (Marmara and Groupe Nouvelles Frontières), Belgium (TUI Belgium) and the Netherlands (TUI Nederland). Through the different brands, each source market has its own airline and retail operation, and sales are driven through third party retail and direct selling. TUI Western Europe is the market leader in each of these markets.
The businesses of TUI Western Europe embrace sustainable development and have worked to embed sustainable development into their business strategies, even though they are all at different stages of their journey. In our businesses in France, Belgium and the Netherlands we integrate sustainable management in different ways, and all have appointed a person or a team responsible for this.
TUI Nederland has been working on sustainable development since 1998, and Nouvelles Frontières since 2004. The sustainability efforts did not go unnoticed. In 2009, TUI Nederland won the ‘Green Feather’ for its sustainable tourism activities. First Choice Netherlands is a member of the sustainable development steering committee of the Dutch tour operator association, which TUI Nederland has chaired since 2008.
In January 2008, Marmara established the foundation Equilibre pour un Tourisme Durable (‘balance for sustainable tourism’). The main objectives of the foundation are to guide the Marmara hotels towards improved environmental management and to support environmental projects in the hotel destinations.
Jetair signed the West Flanders Charter for Sustainable Development in 2007, committing them to continuous improvement of environmental achievements, including actions that go beyond the national environmental laws and regulations.
The businesses of TUI Western Europe have started to combat climate change by reducing waste, as well as their use of water, energy and paper.
Five Paladien hotels (Nouvelles Frontières) are ISO14001-certified, and TUI Belgium and TUI Nederland headquarters have a management system in place to monitor waste, water and energy. The headquarters of Nouvelles Frontières, First Choice Netherlands and Marmara also have their own procedures in place to reduce water, energy and paper.
In 2009, TUI Nederland began a pilot of the Milieubarometer (‘environmental barometer’) system and Belgium works according to the guidelines of West Flanders Charter for Sustainable Development.
TUI Western Europe has three airlines, each working to reduce emissions:
- Corsairfly (France) has a fuel efficiency programme
- Jetairfly (Belgium) has a proactive fuel conservation policy and recently renewed its fleet to include more fuel-efficient aircraft which also make less noise
- ArkeFly (the Netherlands) has a sustainable development policy and action plan to reduce emissions
TUI Belgium, TUI Nederland and First Choice Netherlands take part in the climate offset programme GreenSeat, available to customers when they book their holiday. In 2008, approximately 19% of First Choice Netherlands customers chose to offset their flight through the opt-out carbon offset option in the booking system, offsetting more than 8,500 tonnes of carbon. First Choice Netherlands also offset its carbon emissions from business travel.
TUI Nederland offers holidays to TUI’s Robinson Clubs, in which carbon offset costs are integrated into the price of the holiday package. These costs are based on actual kilometres flown and driven to the Clubs, and Robinson offsets this carbon by investing in Gold Standard projects managed by ClimateCare.
The businesses of TUI Western Europe acknowledge the importance of protecting nature and culture, and the contribution to economic development they can make through improving their supply chain and initiating projects in destinations.
TUI Nederland and TUI Belgium have adopted the Travelife Sustainability System, encouraging their suppliers to manage their social and environmental impacts.
Sustainable development clauses
The supplier contracts of Nouvelles Frontières, TUI Belgium and TUI Nederland contain clauses with guidelines on sustainable development management. Marmara has integrated recommendations into the contracts of incoming agents, excursion suppliers and other partners.
Nouvelles Frontières, TUI Nederland and First Choice Netherlands offer sustainable activities to their customers. Nouvelles Frontières has developed the excursions labelled Nouvelles Rencontres (‘New Encounters’). These give customers opportunity to meet local people and contribute to the welfare of local communities. In 2008, TUI Nederland developed a fair trade Chocolate Tour in the Dominican Republic (see case study above). First Choice Netherlands and TUI Nederland sell the excursion Insight the Gambia, and First Choice Netherlands has developed a capoeira excursion in Brazil helping street children.
The businesses of TUI Western Europe have started to create awareness among their people through communication and training, to involve them in sustainable development.
All businesses communicate sustainability issues to colleagues, with the intranet as the most popular way. TUI Belgium and TUI Nederland both use an internal magazine, and in the Netherlands each edition has a green column. First Choice Netherlands and TUI Nederland also use product presentations to inform their colleagues.
TUI Nederland has developed e-learning for its retail colleagues, on sustainable tourism, sustainable winter sports and the protection of children. In addition, tour operators, customer services, flight personnel and travel representatives have received training. The five ISO14001-certified Paladien hotels of Nouvelles Frontières have formal training for their people, fulfilling the ISO requirements and working towards annual environmental improvement targets.
The businesses of Western Europe are aware that their customers are key to the success of the businesses in sustainable development.
All our businesses use the internet to communicate sustainability issues to customers and make efforts to get their customers involved through a variety of initiatives:
- Nouvelles Frontières states its sustainable development policy on two pages in all brochures and uses flyers, welcome meetings and events to highlight sustainability in the Paladien hotels owned by Nouvelles Frontières
- Marmara communicates its green message through the foundation Equilibre pour un Tourisme Durable as well as a Marmara blog
- TUI Belgium uses its brochures to inform customers of its sustainability initiatives
- TUI Nederland communicates the green message at every stage of the holiday experience: websites, brochures, travel vouchers, in-flight video and magazine, and other magazines.
All businesses of Western Europe collect customer feedback, and some have included a sustainability question in the customer satisfaction questionnaire.
Targets for 2008/09
Prepare a conference of the sustainable development champions in TUI Western Europe, to develop strategy for the sector
Draft a sustainable development strategy for TUI Western Europe and the individual companies in line with TUI Travel’s sustainable development policy and strategy