American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has officially joined as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Sustainability is at the top of organizations’ agendas today. According to a report from United Nations Climate Change, the number of businesses and local governments committed to reaching net-zero emissions doubled in less than a year. The majority aims to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050 as part of the UN Race to Zero Campaign.

As part of their efforts to help clients realize their sustainability goals and protect global communities, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) recently became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – a strategic partnership that will bring more transparency and ease to the process of booking sustainable hotels.

GBT partnership with GSTC

By becoming a GSTC member, GBT will actively promote the widespread adoption of the organization’s sustainable tourism principles and drive demand for more responsible activities and experiences.

During the initial phase of the partnership with GSTC, GBT will highlight hotels and other accommodation partners as “sustainable” that meet GSTC’s standards or, even better, are certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body. This information will be available to corporate buyers who are supported by GBT’s consulting arm, Global Business Consulting (GBC), in their hotel sourcing exercise. In the future, GSTC analytics will be incorporated into the booking processes to enable travelers to identify and select qualified accommodation partners.

GBT employees globally will also have access to educational videos and webinars hosted by GSTC to provide knowledge of sustainability topics relevant for the travel and tourism industry.

Through global outreach and plans to drive sustainability in buyers and travelers’ contracting/booking decisions, GBT is well positioned to spur the adoption of sustainable hotels together with GSTC. With millions of room nights booked annually through GBT, its clients’ impact on the environment and within the industry could be massive.

“Sustainability is a top priority for our clients – as it is for GBT too,” said Si-Yeon Kim, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer and Executive Chair of Environmental, Social, Governance at GBT. “By spotlighting suppliers that meet GSTC’s Criteria and steering travelers toward greener choices, we are empowering our clients to make buying decisions that can help preserve this world and create a better reality for future generations to come.”

GSTC welcomes GBT

“We are very pleased to welcome GBT to GSTC and we look forward to collaborating on their ambitious plans. GBT has a leading role in the world of corporate and business travel, and by making it easier for clients to identify sustainable hotels using the GSTC framework, the GSTC-GBT strategic partnership will help drive and promote sustainable business travel,” said Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of GSTC.

GSTC for corporate and business travel stakeholders

Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point allows corporates and organizations interested in sustainable business travel to improve their commercial performance and enhance their reputation by adopting sustainable working policies and practices.

With the growing interest, GSTC has designated a page for Corporate and Business Travel and began offering Sustainable Business Travel courses. The 4-week online GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course uses the four pillars of sustainable management to look at how to create a new model for business travel that harnesses the real value of a pro-active and successful business travel program, respects the new needs of travel and creates a responsible, sustainable company. In other words, a balanced approach to sustainable business travel.

Registration is open for the upcoming course on November 18 – December 16, 2021, which includes live sessions convenient for people in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Africa. More courses are scheduled for 2022.

About American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travelers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.

To find out more about what GBT is doing to help protect our global community, check out GBT’s ESG report.

Visit for more information about GBT.

About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The GSTC is a nonprofit organization created jointly by United Nations agencies and prominent conservation organizations to establish and manage global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria.

The Criteria are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning, maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community, enhancing cultural heritage, and reducing negative impacts to the environment.

As the global authority on quality sustainable tourism standards, the GSTC engages with a worldwide network of members – from leading tour operators and international hospitality brands to government organizations and national tourism boards. Along other leading sustainability schemes, GSTC is an ISEAL Community Member.

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