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Travel Green Wisconsin “Do Well By Doing Good” North American Ecotourism Conference Eco-labels and Certification September 26, 2007 John Imes Executive Director Wisconsin Environmental Initiative

Travel Green Wisconsin • Statewide Business Certification Program • Goals, Principles and Program Development • Benefits to businesses, customers, the environment and local communities • Innovative partnership to build a more sustainable economy

The “Image” of Wisconsin Tourism’s research on the word images that our visitors have of the state: • Relaxing • Beauty • Outdoors

What makes Wisconsin unique? • Access to nature • Diversity • Enviro Heritage • Sets us apart from our tourism competitors

Preserve the Wisconsin Brand • Conserve our natural resources • Sustain our Cultural Diversity • Strengthen local businesses, communities, and economy • Seize a point of difference

Growing Consumer Demand

Travel Green Wisconsin: Goals • Voluntary • Be simple and affordable • Adaptable to a variety of business types • Improve environmental and social impacts of tourism businesses in Wisconsin • Make good business sense

Certification Program

Travel Green Wisconsin: Goals • Increase awareness of lean and green practices • Provide marketing advantage • Results in superior environmental performance

Certification Program

Travel Green Wisconsin Certification Program Certification: • Baseline Environmental Performance • 30 or more checklist points • Certification Fee – a scale based upon full time equivalent employees

Travel Green Wisconsin Certification Program • Certification Fee FTE


1 to 2


3 to 5


6 to 10


11 to 20


21 to 50


More than 50 FTE


Travel Green Wisconsin Certification Program • Checklist Criteria ¾ Communication and Education ¾ Waste Reduction and Reuse ¾ Energy Efficiency ¾ Water Conservation ¾ Air Quality ¾ Wildlife and Landscape ¾ Transportation ¾ Purchasing practices ¾ Local Community

Travel Green Wisconsin Certification Program • Certification ¾Transparency ¾Commitment means something ¾Posting of Checklist Information ¾Requirement to educate customers and employees ¾Spot checks

Travel Green Wisconsin: Benefits • Bottom Line and Top Line • Reduced environmental footprint • Has put Wisconsin on the map –NY Times, AP, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, USA Today

Certification Program

What is Travel Green Wisconsin Trying To Achieve? • Conserve and preserve our most popular tourism assets • Stewardship of tourism experiences • Provides a marketing opportunity to growing traveling segments – “Cultural Creatives” and International Travelers

What is Travel Green Wisconsin Trying To Achieve? • Strengthen local communities – Travel expenditures & business purchases stay in the community – Educate businesses and turn travelers into stewards – Further develop the local brand

• Supports the Place

Sustainable Competitive Advantage Place-less-ness

Consumptive Sustainable


Leadership “Wisconsin has a long legacy of protecting our state’s natural

resources and this is the next exciting evolution of that tradition. Travel Green Wisconsin guides tourism businesses through the process of reducing their impact on the environment. In return, businesses realize cost savings, improved profitability, and achieve market distinction.” Secretary Kelli A. Trumble, Department of Tourism

Travel Green Wisconsin: Challenges • Stronger marketing budget needed to increase numbers of participants • Develop stronger overall budget to manage growing program • Need to create long-term strategic advantage • Policing businesses to maintain program integrity • Streamlining – Develop Spec Checklists

What’s Next • Marketing and Public Relations supports Ecotourism Strategy • 10% minimum participation goal • Increasing focus on travelers • Engage and educate public about Travel Green

Ecotourism Framework

Travel Green Wisconsin Marketing Advantage • Marketing – The new – “Pride” Campaign – “Great Moments” Campaign – Update

Comments / Questions Thank you! John Imes (608) 280-0360