March 6, 2018 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Actively Green standard has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status. 

The Actively Green standard is the core component used in the Actively Green Sustainable Business Training and Certification Program. It was launched as an innovative legacy initiative of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA through a partnership with Sustainable Travel International and Town of Vail. The Actively Green standard has been used in the Actively Green program, that has currently certified 53 businesses in the Vail Valley since its inception. Hundreds of employees have participated in a variety of sustainable tourism training sessions. Another component of the Program is the Mountain IDEAL destination standard for mountain resort communities.

Achieving the GSTC-Recognized status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that the certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify includes the minimum elements to ensure sustainability. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.

“By gaining GSTC-Recognized status for their set of sustainability standards, the Actively Green program has provided the marketplace and their stakeholders strong evidence that they see sustainability broadly, to include the four pillars of sustainability: management, social/community, cultural, and environmental issues,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

“The Actively Green standard has given us a roadmap to implement sustainable tourism with businesses of all sizes throughout our destination. Participating hotels, tour operators and other types of businesses have saved money, engaged their employees in sustainability best-practices, and the program continues to gain momentum,” says Kim Langmaid Ph.D., Walking Mountains Science Center’s founder and vice-president.

In addition to the Actively Green industry standard, Walking Mountains’ destination standard, Mountain IDEAL, is also GSTC-Recognized.

To date, 8 destination standards, and 30 hotels and tour operators standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms.

The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria.

GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that their certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.

Actively Green Annual Awards Ceremony 2017 at Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colorado, USA


About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable tourism standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The standards are two sets of GSTC Criteria: Destination Criteria and Industry Criteria, the minimum requirements for tourism businesses and destinations to pursue in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, along with conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all strive to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

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About Walking Mountains

Walking Mountains Science Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Avon, CO and their mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. Their sustainability department provides trainings and coaching through their Actively Green, and Mountain IDEAL programs; in addition to providing zero waste events, energy efficiency assessments and incentives, and climate action planning and Collaboration. Most recently Walking Mountains facilitated the creation of the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community and is supporting Vail, CO in becoming the first certified sustainable destination in the United States. Visit or call 970.827.9725 for more information.

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