Voluntary Climate Protection in Alpine Tourism
“Cause we care” programme began in 2017 and features a new, replicable approach in engaging guests and tourist service providers in joint climate protection efforts, including an innovative financing mechanism and all institutions in the tourism service chain. The project provides a hands-on climate protection and sustainability tool for tourism service providers: “cause we care” companies offer their guests the option to pay a small premium on top of their purchase for climate protection purposes (1-2%). In return, if a guest opts-in, the company pledges to match that engagement by doubling it. Both contributions are transferred into the companies dedicated “cause we care” fund and are used to offset the customer’s carbon emissions or to locally realize climate protection and sustainability measures with the company itself. The programme promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, invests in service and product quality, secures employment by bringing tourists to less frequented areas, improves energy and resource efficiency of tourism service providers, addresses climate change (by offsetting carbon emissions), raises awarness of the customers, conserves communities’ cultural values, diversity and heritage.