Sustainability Capability Building Programme

Steer your business towards a low-carbon regenerative future

The Sustainability Capability Building programme is for tourism businesses of all sizes wanting to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to lead the charge in their sustainability journeys.

It is for those who strive for authentic sustainability, measurable outcomes and a better way of doing business.

Combining personalised one-on-one support with collaborative group workshops, we will create your sustainability action plan, share ideas and build community.

The programme provides you with a practical framework to create positive change for our planet, your community, the industry and your business through problem solving, planned action and strategic decision-making.

Developed by tourism sustainability experts, your personalised action plan will suggest ways that you can save resources (and often money!), give back to your community, develop resilience and create positive lasting change.

The programme supports the need for tourism businesses to consider economic, visitor, community and environmental sustainability in their business planning.

It is based on the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC).


Why is it necessary? 

  • The programme runs over a 12-week period, but will set you up to continue this work for years to come.
  • The climate challenge is urgent and Aotearoa New Zealand’s tourism industry must be a driver of change
  • We must act immediately to accurately measure our individual and collective carbon footprint, work together to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and be net zero carbon before 2050
  • Visitor expectations are changing. There is growing demand for environmentally sustainable and community-focused tourism options
  • Employees are attracted to working with businesses whose values align with theirs.

What will you gain?

  • Learn innovative business practices to spark positive change and build resilience
  • Receive personalised support to take the next steps towards your sustainability goals
  • Identify key areas where you can make quick, low-cost gains
  • Receive expert guidance on how to measure and reduce your carbon emissions and waste
  • Access networking opportunities with other like-minded, local business operators
  • Create space for collaborative projects which will enhance the offering in your area into the long term 
  • With your input, we will write a holistic sustainability action plan tailored to your business. This will include both quick wins and long-term goals, based on the 12 Commitments of the TSC encompassing economic, visitor, cultural and environmental sustainability. 

What does it involve? 

  • The programme runs over a 12-week period, but will set you up to continue this work for years to come
  • The time commitment required varies widely and depends on your availability.
  • Many businesses spend an hour a week, some do more, but there is a lot of flexibility.
  • The programme delivery is a mix of online, group and individual sessions
  • It’s great if a key business decision-maker is involved in this programme, but any staff members are welcome to take part.

Course structure

1. Self assessment

Complete online

Approx 30 minutes 

2. Programme launch

Meet the other participants

Approx two hours

3. On-site visit

Expert facilitator will come to you to learn all about your business

Approx two hours 

4. Sustainability action plan

Drafted by the expert facilitator and discussed with you

5. Action plan follow-up

Catch up to discuss your plan, progress and challenges

Approx three meetings of up to an hour each, online or face-to-face

6. Group masterclasses

  • Approx three topics relevant to your group
  • Specialist presenters
  • Held online (approx one hour each) or face-to-face (approx two hours each)
  • Time to discuss ideas, experiences and challenges

7. Celebration event

Celebrate your progress!

Approx two hours

TIA works with each operator individually to:

  • Assess their current situation and what they need.
  • Develop their overall sustainable tourism action plan.
  • Provide them with the tools, resources and information they need to implement the plan effectively.
  • Mentor them through the implementation of their plan over the 12-week period.
  • Set them up to continue their sustainability journey beyond the duration of this programme.




Feedback from past participants

“This programme provided me with the support and encouragement to finally be certified carbon neutral - it has been on the to-do list for a few years. The other most valuable part is providing a plan that I can use going forward” – Wellington Participant

“Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the programme over the last 12 weeks. It has truly been beneficial for us to reflect and review on what we were already doing…but also given us the encouragement and guidance to kickstart our focus on sustainability and put it to the forefront of our minds again. We have made so many changes…and have so many more plans to continue working on. We are literally buzzing over the next steps so thank you all!” – Taupō Participant

“We found the whole programme to be really worthwhile. The timing was good for us - 12 weeks was a good timeframe (allowed us to have less focus over school hols but still achieve a lot). The regular emails and check-ins were great to keep us on track. And most of all, the passion from the team kept us truly inspired and excited - THANK YOU!” – Taupō Participant

“I liked the mixture of delivery, guest speakers and content” – Bay of Plenty Participant

“I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to partake in this programme. It has been very enlightening” – Bay of Plenty Participant

You provided direction and tools that were realistic and achievable. It also connected us to other groups and businesses in our region” – Bay of Plenty Participant

“I loved the whole feel of the programme, however the most important part was the networking with all the participants. The finale was by far the best, we saw everyone else’s progress and how vastly different it is for each of the participants, the great mahi that was put in and how people were starting to implement sustainable goals as part of the evolution of their business! Just remarkable” – Bay of Plenty Participant