Tourism Holdings Ltd

“This programme has given THL a solid framework to fast-track our sustainability strategy and build the understanding of our team about how that will underpin our future commercial success. We prototyped the framework with Kiwi Experience, and it has been so successful that we are now rolling it out to all our other businesses.”

Grant Webster – CEO, Tourism Holdings Ltd

thl integrates sustainability strategy for new business as usual approach

In 2014, facing challenges from a highly competitive, price-driven market and growing awareness about the importance of social and environmental responsibility, New Zealand’s largest tourist company started looking for inspiration for ways to drive growth that integrated sustainability as a core value.  thl was specifically seeking a framework that could be tailored to its different business units, starting with Kiwi Experience.

The solution was not far away.  Saskia Verraes, the company’s Group Lead – Strategic Initiatives found the Adding Sustainable Value strategy to action programme run by Proxima’s Simon Harvey.

A great thing about Adding Sustainable Value was that we were able to involve a range of people from across the Kiwi Experience business in the course at no additional cost.  The focus on building capability and lifting the awareness of our team really helped ensure wide support for the right long-term goals.

The training course immediately challenged the team’s perceptions of sustainability.  More than just ‘going green’; it was about designing a thriving business that can create more value for a wider range of stakeholders.  This deeper understanding presented some clear opportunities for innovating smart business growth, whilst reinforcing the company’s values.

The Kiwi Experience team, led by Saskia, developed a clear strategy for the business with five key goals addressing the most material issues.  Milestone targets were set for each goal, with an action plan developed to work towards them.

The results have been impressive, with real progress towards the goals and measurable financial benefits.  These include substantial fuel savings; moving from paper to app-based marketing; notable reductions in plastic waste by providing customers with branded keep-cups, water bottles and cloth bags; four pilot community initiatives; and an innovative way to provide unique high-quality accommodation to cater for peak-season demand with solar-powered glamping tents in key locations.

Following on from the success with Kiwi Experience, Saskia has taken the Adding Sustainable Value methodology and applied it successfully to other thl business units in both New Zealand and Australia.

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