Measure and manage

Now that you have advanced your sustainable initiatives, it is time to assess the governance structures you have in place and monitor your performance.

It is important to set up sound management practices, including plans, strategies, policies and risk assessments. Effective governance and management practices will help to strengthen your business, protecting it against risks and challenges, while enabling you to make a positive contribution to your local, regional and national community and economy. Be sure to refer to the GSTC Criteria and include your environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts in your plans and strategies.  

Measure your impact

The first step is to analyse your current operations to measure what impact you have right now. Start a journal or record to help you determine and prove your sustainability outcomes over time. What is the impact you have on the local community, and how can you measure this? How many people do you employ? How much energy, water, fuel and food does your business use each month? How much carbon do you emit each month? How many local suppliers do you support each month?

Once you have your baseline measurements, you can use these figures to benchmark your business against leaders in this space, or in following years to measure your progress and determine areas requiring more attention. As you begin to see improvements, you can use this data to prove your sustainability achievements.

Standley Chasm, Tjoritja

Get started

Below are practical actions you can take to measure your impact and integrate sustainable management practices into your operations.

  • Comply with all relevant regulations and legislation, ensuring you have current licenses, land use permissions, and operational certificates relevant to your business and the land upon which you travel.
  • Record your resource use, recycling, waste and carbon output. Start small and build. Some ideas to get you started:
    • record your water and electricity use from your utility bill each month or quarter
    • separate and record your recycling each month (or record it each second month, taking the average)
    • do waste audit every 6 months
    • use an online carbon calculator tool to estimate and record your emissions.
  • Download ‘Don't Risk it! A guide to assist tourism businesses to prepare, respond and recover from a crisis’ and develop relevant plans and strategies for your business resilience, including:
    • risk management and crisis preparedness plan
    • climate change business impact analysis
    • incident and crisis response plan
    • bushfire and/or flood plans.
  • Develop policies to clearly articulate your business commitments and expectations, including an:
    • environmental policy
    • buy local policy
    • health and safety policy
    • quality policy
    • community, accessibility and diversity policy
    • drug and alcohol policy.
  • Implement a procedure to regularly review and update your plans, policies, certifications and licenses.
  • Ensure you have appropriate insurance that is relevant to your region and operations.

Download the checklist 

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Take further action

Here you will find tangible steps to place your business as a leader in authentic sustainable tourism.

  • Pursue sustainability, ecotourism or climate action certification or accreditation.
  • Pursue cultural certification, such as Ecotourism Australia’s Respecting Our Culture program (ROC), and/or complete a Reconciliation Action Plan through Reconciliation Australia.
  • Choose at least one conference, forum or professional development event for you and/or your staff to attend each year.
  • Implement professional development discussions with your staff and identify a plan for career progression, training and special areas of interest.
  • Implement a structured system for staff feedback and satisfaction, and act on feedback in a timely, professional and constructive manner.
  • Explore professional memberships and choose to maintain at least one each year (ensuring you engage and take advantage of the networking and business opportunities).

Download the checklist 

Growth for you, your staff and your business

Providing a safe and secure working environment, and investing in appropriate training and professional development for your staff is imperative for the success of your business and contributes to a strong visitor economy in your region.

Continually invest in yourself, your staff and your business. A great way to do this is by attaining and maintaining certifications and accreditations, joining professional memberships and attending conferences or supporting staff to attend on behalf of your business.

Net zero

An emission of something, such as gas or vapor, is the release of it into the atmosphere.   A specific set of gas emission associated with human activities that alter the Earth’s climate are called greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more


An emission of something, such as gas or vapor, is the release of it into the atmosphere.   A specific set of gas emission associated with human activities that alter the Earth’s climate are called greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more

Page last updated on 12 October 2023