Providing SMEs with the keys to circular tourism

15 French SMEs were trained in Paris on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of March 2022, by the Institut Paris Region, with the objective of pointing them to the right national actors and fundings in the sector.

The presentations of the first day were ensured by Marion Tillet, on the importance of the shift towards a more sustainable tourism, and Maxime Kayadjanian, on France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to a study led by the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), tourism accounted for over 7% of France’s GDP in 2018, with 89 million tourists, representing 8% of the world’s GHG emissions. More than three quarters of these emissions are generated by transportation, with foreign visitors accounting for 80% of transportation related GHG emissions. The study identified paths for reducing GHG emissions from tourism in France, around three main classic levers: Sobriety, which aims to reduce an activity, energy efficiency and carbon intensity. Several tools of ADEME were then presented to the SMEs, to answer to their different needs, such as: the Fonds tourisme durable, for the restauration and accommodation sectors, several fundings for the ecological transition, fundings dedicated to SMEs, and fundings dedicated to tackling the use of single-use plastic. The last presentation was dedicated to the application of the circular CANVAS business model in the tourism sector, by Vincent Gollain. CANVAS is a tool to analyze the current activity and its impacts, and design regenerative solutions. It allows a company to describe and understand all existing flows and to integrate your new processes, products or experiences using the principles of the circular economy. The day closed with group workshops on the themes identified during the call for SMEs applications: Awareness, implementation of specific practices, development of a sustainable business strategy, etc.

The second day of training focused on energy savings, sustainable mobility, and circular economy. Madeleine Noeuveglise and Franziska Barnhusen held a presentation on the methodology to structure an energy saving strategy, from the diagnostic to the implementation, with concrete steps, tips and practices. The second presentation revolved around the perspectives of sustainable mobility as a whole, including the tourists mobility, as well as the staff mobility and the company’s flows. It offered several solutions to reducing mobility’s carbon footprint: promoting common transportation and active travel modes (e.g. offer walking and cycling tours), setting up a sustainable mobility plan, and others. Marion Tillet and Maxime Kayadjanian then presented several practices in circular tourism, such as tips for a green procurement, the use of short circuits, seasonal organic products, bulk products, purchasing upcycled furnitures, and practices for overall resource management.

The third day of the training was dedicated to the conclusions of the workshops, and to the visit of the Zazie Hotel, an alternative, eco-responsible, inclusive hotel.