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ReSEL becomes a Friend of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017

We are proud to announce that the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab, School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete is a Friend of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 (IY2017), supporting in this way the promotion and enhancement of sustainable tourism as a tool for social and economic development.

The year 2017 has been designated by the United Nations 70th General Assembly as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs.

This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

The IY2017 will promote the tourism’s role in the following five key areas:

(1) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

(2) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction

(3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change

(4) Cultural values, diversity and heritage

(5) Mutual understanding, peace and security.

ReSEL is particularly active in key area (3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change and already in the past undertook actions in this area and continues to promote their sustainability.

Amongst them, the EU initiative "nearly Zero Energy Hotels" (neZEH) that encouraged and proposed concrete solutions to EU hotel owners willing to become a nearly Zero Energy Hotel. The neZEH initiative,  co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) of the European Commission was coordinated by ReSEL and implemented by a consortium of ten partners from seven European countries (Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden), including two European associations and the World Tourism Organization -the United Nations specialized agency for tourism. By providing technical advice for nearly zero energy building (nZEB) renovations, demonstrating the sustainability of such projects and promoting front runners, neZEH managed to sensitize more than 56.000 hotels across Europe, engaging them in the EU nZEB strategy. neZEH demonstrated best examples of neZEH buildings across Europe, thus influencing the hotel industry to move towards the nearly Zero Energy era, contributing in parallel to the EU efforts for CO2 reduction, saving up to 95.000 tCO2eq /y till 2020. Tools, training material and guides are available to any hotelier for scaling-up.