Tourism services exert environmental pressure on both natural and man-made environments, connected to water and energy consumption, as well as the production of liquid and solid waste. The action aims at developing practices to reduce the environmental footprint while adding value to the touristic product and contributing significantly to the growth perspective and competitiveness of the tourism industry.
This section includes the following research areas:
· Study on the potential use of gasification process for agri-food waste/biomass to reduce the energy footprint and carbon emissions. The prospect of developing Renewable Energy Sources based on biomass in Lesvos can become a successful model for large and medium-size Greek islands with a relatively good level of vegetation.
· Reduction of hotels’ water footprint, through the design of water-saving practices.
· Mapping of waste in the tourism industry and proposals for its reduction and rational management. The potential for avoiding waste generation and recycling in the tourism industry is enormous. Recycling rates can reach up to 60% (from about 20% today), while efforts can be made to reduce disposable materials and organic waste.
· Development of a system for calculating the environmental performance of hotel units which will also support the taking of measures and the adoption of actions by hotel units to save water and energy. An important advantage of the proposed procedure over similar environmental management systems is the quantitative assessment of the environmental performance of hotels (water and energy consumption).
· Development of a flexible, mobile, and fully equipped laboratory for mapping environmental noise and sound, in tourist accommodations and other areas of interest.
· Study of noise pollution in tourist accommodations since, according to the World Health Organization, excessive exposure to noise can affect mental health, cause hearing problems that impede speech communication, as well as sleep disorders and cardiovascular diseases.