the tourist industry respect the natural environment?" This
is the question that the project "Environmental Management
System for the Regina Margherita Refuge", undertaken following
an agreement between Turin University and the C.A.I. (Club Alpino
Italiano), addresses. The project lasting from1998 through to
2000 was run by Professor Riccardo Beltramo and backed by the
Department of Commodity Science at Turin University.
But what is meant by an Environmental Management
System? As well as techno-scientific notions and terminology,
the idea is based on the environmental management (usually applied
to the manufacturing industry) of organisational structure enabling
managers to overcome or avoid the many complex situations resulting
from interactions between a business and its surrounding environment.
The importance of having instruments of analysis
and implementation to encourage a sustainable use of resources
has only recently been recognised by the service and high value
added service industries.
The same developments can be seen in the EU's
environmental policy. Recent European legislation that regulate
the environment, following the Fifth Programme for the Environment,
covers many sections of the economy and foresees the instruments
necessary to ensure environmentally sustainable development.
The D.G. XI has recognised the importance of
and started to apply specific measurements to the tourist industry.
The environmental impact resulting from the building and running
of accommodation structures, the presence of tourists and the
management of their mobility, draws a lot of attention today,
as compared to the past.
The project starts with the idea that environmental
pressure is not just due to the manufacturing industry. As tourism
can also have a negative impact management instruments need to
be adopted that can combine business with environmental quality,
these can also produce increasing levels of efficiency.
A large number of alpinists and excursionists
visit the Regina Margherita Refuge (3200 people in 1997) and inevitably
their presence and use of the Refuge's amenities have a considerable
impact on the surrounding environment. In the past, these impacts
have been the cause of worry and even strong reactions by environmentalists
The research's main object was to create a
"tailor made" Environmental Management System for the
Regina Margherita Refuge. The choice of this refuge was not random
but due to several factors that made it the perfect place to create
and later to implement a management system that respects the environment.