This involves strategies to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy sources, with key elements including energy audits and assessments and the implementation of energy efficient technologies and practices; promoting energy efficient building design; adopting renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions; and educating the community about energy saving and conservation behaviours.
Greenhouse gas emissions management aims to reduce the release of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Benchmarking elements include conducting an inventory to identify major emission sources and set reduction targets; implementing measures to reduce emissions from energy production, transportation, industry, and waste management; promoting the adoption of renewable energy sources and phasing out the use of fossil fuels; encouraging measures to reduce energy consumption; and supporting projects to offset emissions such as reforestation, afforestation, or investments in renewable energy projects.
This focuses on measures to combat air pollution and promote clean and healthy air for the community. It involves implementing initiatives to control and reduce emissions from industrial activities, transportation, and other sources of air pollution; monitoring air quality levels, enforcing regulations, and ensuring compliance with air quality standards; encouraging the adoption of cleaner technologies and practices to minimise air pollution, such as low-emission vehicles and cleaner industrial processes; and educating the community about the importance of air quality.
To ensure water resources are available now and in the future, effective management encompasses promoting water conservation practices such as efficient irrigation systems, water-saving fixtures, and public awareness campaigns on water conservation; protecting and restoring natural watersheds, wetlands, and water bodies to maintain water quality, regulate water flow, and support biodiversity; implementing efficient water supply and distribution systems to minimise water losses;
promoting the use of treated wastewater for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation; and encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable irrigation and water use techniques.
Criteria involved in the safe and effective treatment and disposal of wastewater to protect public health and the environment includes establishing and maintaining wastewater treatment plants or decentralised treatment systems to treat sewage and wastewater; strategies to reuse treated wastewater for non-potable purposes; managing the nutrient content in wastewater to minimise the release of harmful substances into water bodies; regular inspection and maintenance of sewage systems to prevent leaks, blockages, or overflows that may lead to pollution; and community education on the importance of proper wastewater disposal.
This focuses on preserving and protecting natural ecosystems and their biodiversity while promoting sustainable land-use practices. It requires establishing and managing protected areas to conserve unique ecosystems, habitats, and species; implementing measures to protect and restore biodiversity; undertaking restoration projects to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems; promoting sustainable land management practices; recognising the value of ecosystem services; incorporating indigenous and traditional knowledge systems into ecosystem management; raising community awareness and engaging stakeholders in ecosystem conservation; and monitoring the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation efforts.
Transport management promotes sustainable and efficient transportation systems that minimise environmental impact and support community requirements, encouraging the use of public transport; promoting cycling and other forms of active transportation by providing relevant and safe infrastructure; supporting the development and adoption of low-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles, and promoting car-sharing and ridesharing programmes; implementing intelligent transportation systems, traffic calming measures, and efficient traffic-flow planning to reduce congestion and emissions; and integrating transportation planning with land-use planning.
With the efficient and environmentally responsible handling, treatment and disposal of solid waste a challenge, benchmarking criteria includes promoting waste reduction at the source through education and awareness programmes, encouraging recycling practices, and supporting the development of a recycling infrastructure. It also involves implementing effective waste separation programmes to facilitate recycling and divert waste from landfill; encouraging composting, collection and treatment methods for organic waste; exploring opportunities for waste-to-energy conversion; and introducing measures to minimise the environmental impact of landfills.
Preserving and promoting the cultural heritage and social well-being of the community is particularly important to tourism industry sustainability. Effective management includes protecting and preserving cultural sites, historical buildings, traditional practices, and intangible cultural heritage to maintain the community's identity and heritage; encouraging community participation in decision-making processes; enhancing cultural awareness and understanding through educational programmes and events; supporting the development of social infrastructure; and adopting socially responsible practices, such as fair trade, ethical sourcing, and community engagement initiatives.
Sustainable economic development within the community involves promoting a diverse range of industries and economic activities to reduce dependency on a single sector and enhance resilience. Helping local businesses to thrive, innovate, and contribute to the local economy is key, as is implementing sustainable tourism practices that minimise negative environmental and socio-cultural impact and maximise local economic benefits. Local sourcing and procurement practices should be prioritised, as well as skills training programmes, promoting entrepreneurship, and fostering employment opportunities to enhance economic prosperity and social well-being.