Kiva.org And EarthCheck Partners Up To Reach More People

Kiva.org, the world’s first personal micro-lending website, has announced an alliance with EarthCheck, the travel and tourism industry’s leading environmental management solution.

This unlikely alliance is not as strange as it may appear, as Kiva.org offers the ultimate in financial recycling, while EarthCheck is all about minimising waste. Both organisations encourage corporate social responsibility, transparency and sustainable economic growth.

Kiva.org allows web users to view profiles of individuals who are seeking small loans to establish or grow a small business. When a lender commits a one-off amount (say $25), that loan is then repaid over an agreed period of time of no more than two years. At the end of this period, the lender is then invited to re-loan the $25 or pocket it, knowing that they’ve helped someone in need.

“Kiva was created in an effort to alleviate poverty by connecting people around the world,” said Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org. “Our alliance with EarthCheck will help us to reach an unimaginable number of potential new donors and make it easier for them to help less privileged people.”

EarthCheck is used by more than 1000 travel and tourism-related operators in over 70 countries. It helps them deliver triple bottom line reporting, by measuring and monitoring the success of their environmental, social and economic performance.

EarthCheck Members manage hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms, which in turn are slept in by millions of guest nights. It is hoped that by extending the Kiva.org infrastructure across so many EarthCheck Members, Kiva.org will reach a greater number of people.

The hospitality industry is known for their high levels of philanthropy and guests are increasingly keen to leave a positive ripple in their wake. EarthCheck Member companies such as Taj Hotels & Resorts, ACCOR, Carlson Asia Pacific, Sandals, Langham Hotels International, Banyan Tree and Alila are al-ready generous donors, and combined, they donate hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental and social causes.

“Our alliance with Kiva will help EarthCheck Members better assist host communities,” explained Stewart Moore, CEO of EarthCheck. “For example; if a hotel in wishes to source local produce, Kiva provides the ability to identify a local supplier that they might otherwise not be aware of.”

“By buying locally, the hotel gets to support the host community, which in turn lowers emissions and makes the local economy more sustainable. The next stage for EarthCheck, will be to look at how we might take this concept further and close the supply/demand loop.”

EarthCheck’s science-based approach to improving the lot of communities worldwide is considered to be at the forefront among global sustainability solutions. It should be, when you consider it was developed by the world’s largest not-for-profit research centre into sustainable tourism. The Program leverages some $260 million worth of academic research and contains more than a decade of industry benchmarking data. Focused on increasing operational efficiencies, the outcome is improved are triple bottom line delivery.

The two companies will extend the alliance to all EarthCheck Members in the hope that guests will be made aware of Kiva.org projects through in-house TV, guest collateral, web sites or even at the time of check-out. With a potential groundswell of millions of new donors; this partnership may go a long way to helping alleviate global poverty and enhance the sustainability of tourist destinations the world-over.