Auckland supporters meeting

A group of Auckland operators who were early adopters of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment and have been strong supporters, both in taking action and inspiring others, got together recently to talk sustainability.

Everyone involved found the meeting very useful and it will be interesting to see how it evolves. TIA’s Sustainability Advocates Lynn Robinson and Megan Williams are keen to support similar regional or sector groups to get started.

About the Auckland networking group

In February 2019, several TIA team members, including Industry Strategy Manager Bruce Bassett and Sustainability Advocate Lynn Robinson, joined a group of early adopters of the TSC.

They met for lunch at Auckland Zoo to talk about specific actions businesses are taking, challenges and issues they are facing, how they are dealing with them, ‘next steps’ and how sustainability can be embedded into the industry.

A wide range of topics were discussed, including:

  • paying the living wage
  • staff volunteer days
  • adopting the TSC in an office environment
  • encouraging suppliers to reduce packaging
  • reducing food waste
  • food trends, including restaurants looking to source locally grown product, consumers to eat less meat, and the impact different products have on the environment
  • single-use plastic, refillable water bottles, straws, etc
  • going carbon neutral
  • the future of long-haul travel and how this may impact our industry
  • community initiatives and how operators are engaging with their communities and connecting visitors with community programmes

There was overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees about the benefits of getting together with like-minded people who are passionate about sustainability.

The Auckland operators have decided to meet on a regular basis with several operators offering to organise and host the next event. There have also been enquiries from other operators keen to get involved.

TIA’s Sustainability Advocates Lynn and Megan Williams will be watching with interest how this group develops and are looking at how we could support similar regional or sector groups.

Set up your own networking group

Interested in joining or starting a sustainability networking group in your region?

A good way to connect with other operators in your area interested in sustainability is via the TSC closed Facebook group or your Regional Tourism Organisation. You can also identify supporters in your region via the online directory.

 There are plenty of options for how groups can operate, such as:

  • a networking event with no fixed agenda
  • a more formal meeting with a fixed agenda
  • a roundtable talking about initiatives/challenges then focusing on a particular area

The Green Drinks model

Attending Green Drinks ( is another option. Held monthly, people who work in the environmental field from NGOs, academia, government and business, meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.  This organic, self-organising model is another option TSC regional or sector groups could follow. If there are no Green Drinks held in your area, perhaps you could start one!