EarthCheck, an internationally recognised environmental management and certification program with more than 1300 members in over 80 countries, today launched a Risk App designed to help the hospitality industry swiftly rebound from crisis situations and climatic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Based on three years and more than AUD$300,000 of research investment, the Risk App was unveiled before EarthCheck’s “Inner Circle,” a powerful alumni of senior CSR experts representing the world’s leading hotel brands.
CEO of EarthCheck Mr Stewart Moore said the technology was developed to help the industry address the expected escalation of extreme weather events and comes after research shows that 80 per cent of businesses without a continuity plan won’t survive two years after a major crisis.
“The world is at a tipping point and the type and impact of climatic events of the last few years like the super storms in the USA and the tsunamis in Asia are likely to increase,” Mr Moore warned.
“It’s not so much about if, or when, a disaster will strike. Today it’s about continuity plans and how fast a business can bounce back. And that means adopting new technologies and operational procedures to help build resilience.”
“The ERI Risk App is an evolution of technology that puts the paper-based crisis management practices we’ve been preparing for years into a smart phone and into the hands of operators; no matter where they are.
“Effectively it’s a ‘Disaster HQ’ in your hip pocket,” said Mr Moore.
The ERI Risk App provides users with timely prompters for handling disaster mitigation based on the preparatory action plans loaded during normal operating times. It reminds users to capture time-stamped imagery, provide status updates, track unfolding incidents, communicate with stakeholders and map out recovery.
EarthCheck’s Vice President Sales, Andre Russ first seeded the idea of applying the company’s research and benchmarked intelligence to a Risk App after experiencing first-hand the chaos that followed the 2013 earthquake in Cebu.
Forced to flee his hotel, Mr Russ and his clients watched helplessly without access to the action plans and contact lists they had carefully crafted.
“We couldn’t go back into the hotel where our paper-based reports and references for handling risks were filed,” said Mr Russ.
“That’s when I realised the need to adapt all the years of research EarthCheck has done for the hospitality industry into a smart phone App that allows operators to take vital information wherever they go.”
“Our experience in Christchurch reminds us that visitors can be overlooked in disaster planning. As non-locals, they may not know the escape routes, may not be connected with local media, and they may not speak the same language as local residents. For these visitors the tourism industry is often their first safety life line.”
“Having a crisis plan at your fingertips - set to go at the push of a button - means a cross section of stakeholders can get their information faster in order to make the best possible educated choices and actions,” said Professor Simmons.
EarthCheck worked with Zone 4, an interactive media company founded in 1999, to create a white label Risk App that can be modified for individual hotel clients. The app based on a number of well-documented reference books that EarthCheck has written.
EarthCheck’s Inner Circle Forum is an annual meeting of the world’s most powerful hotel industry thought leaders to discuss sustainability. Now in its third year, the theme for the 2014 Inner Circle is about resilience and the actions needed bounce back from a disaster.
About the EarthCheck Research Institute (ERI) app:
The ERI App is a user-friendly risk app applied to both Android and Iphone Smartphones to assist tourism businesses to prepare prior, during and immediately after a crisis. Developed by ERI, it allows outdated paper-based plans to be integrated into a customised mobile App that all touch points of an organisation can use during an emergency such as earthquake, fire, cyclone and storms.
About the EarthCheck Research Institute
The EarthCheck Research Institute (ERI) is a not-for-profit company whose goal is to be a leading international centre for scientific excellence in sustainable tourism. The institute focuses on scientific research, education and capacity building to solve real-world challenges. The role of the ERI is to provide advice on the key sustainability and climate change issues now facing the world’s travel and tourism industry and to provide advice and assistance to industry on the changing needs of new mandated reporting standards for climate change and sustainability. The ERI includes eight international centres of excellence with an established reputation for ground-breaking research. For more information, visit www.earthcheck.org/science.
EarthCheck, managed and owned by EC3 Global, is an internationally recognised environmental management and certification program with members in over 80 countries. The program improves operational performance of member organisations and reduces costs. Recent studies show that six million people a week are impacted by EarthCheck’s branded solutions. The company takes a scientific and systematic approach to risk mitigation and legislative requirements and is regarded as one of the world’s best practice environmental sustainability leaders. For more information, visit www.earthcheck.org.
About EC3 Global
EC3 Global is an international tourism and environmental management and advisory group which was developed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the worlds largest dedicated research centre specialising in sustainable tourism and research. EC3 Global work with clients to plan, manage and achieve business, development and marketing objectives; set and achieve sustainability goals with a triple bottom-line focus and implement programs to achieve these objectives. Its global community of clients has access to experienced project managers and allied professionals, as well as global tourism best practice and research. For more information, visit http://www.ec3global.com/.