GSTC for Corporate and Business Travel

Business travel is a segment within the tourism industry focusing on visitors who travel for business and professional purposes. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the share of GDP generated by the business travel market reached 0.7 percent in 2019. In that year, the business tourism spending worldwide – which has more than doubled since 2000 – peaked at roughly 1.28 trillion U.S. dollars. Business travel is an important factor in national and international business. However, it also has a negative effect on our environment. Sustainable business travel is concerned with managing the costs, social impacts and environmental consequences generated by the use of different modes of business travel.

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

Make use of the GSTC Criteria

The GSTC Criteria serve as the global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The Criteria are used for education and awareness-raising, policy-making for businesses and government agencies and other organization types, measurement and evaluation, and as a basis for certification. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. They are arranged in four pillars: (1) Sustainable management; (2) Socio-economic impacts; (3) Cultural impacts; (4) Environmental impacts. Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.

Join a Training on Sustainable Business Travel

The GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course is conducted online, delivered as a facilitated 4-week course and combines self-paced learning, hands-on activities, and interactive components to enhance learning results. It focuses on corporate and business travel, providing the knowledge and tools needed to help improve sustainability practices. The course uses the four pillars of GSTC Industry Criteria to look at how to create a new model for of business travel that harnesses the real value of a sustainable business travel program that respects the new needs of travel.

Training participants who the 4-week online GSTC Sustainable Business Travel training class have the opportunity to take the official GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course Exam, which is offered in an online and open-book format. Upon successful completion, you (as an individual) are awarded with the Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Travel by the GSTC to demonstrate your knowledge of sustainable business travel knowledge and practices. Learn more about the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Travel.

✓ Take a new look at sustainability best practices in Business Travel – post-pandemic
✓ Focus on corporate and business travel management and helping companies recover successfully and in a balanced way.
✓ Make informed decisions on how to implement sustainability practices in business travel

Upcoming GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Courses

We currently don’t have planned dates for public sessions of our Sustainable Business Travel class for the remainder of 2023, but we still arrange private sessions for companies and suppliers.

I am now more aware of what needs to be done within the travel space with applicable knowledge of where to start. The team was very knowledgeable, with prominent speakers and elaborated discussions.

Bindu Dominic, Global Travel Operations Manager, Cisco Systems

…I have enjoyed the course very much and look upon it as very educative enriching the knowledge and insights which are currently developing in the global market on this topic. In case there are plans to develop and provide a follow-up course or any other type of follow-up I’m happy to participate again….

Gert van Spijk, Senior Specialist Travel Technology, MSD

The GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course is a great way to get an overall view of the tasks that lie ahead, when turning Business Travel green. Highly recommendable.

Peter Skieller, CEO, Nordic NDC

This is the definitive go-to guide for sustainable business travel and was incredible opportunity to learn about the future of travel at a global scale.

Daniel Nettuno, Consulting Engagement Manager, American Express Global Business Travel

The course helped me become much better informed, learning about new reporting criteria, what official institutions there are for certification and how companies can best share their activities and reports. Interaction with other participants was useful, the speakers and presentations were very useful with great tips about books and articles. It definitely increased my awareness that sustainability is not just about the environment but also about people and culture. Taking the exam is a good opportunity to practice what you learn with a real case from your own company or clients.

Marijke Poppink, Owner, Poppink TRVL Projects

This first GSTC Sustainable Business Travel training course has definitely exceeded my expectations. As the world has changed due to covid, this course provides practical steps for corporates around the globe on how to build a responsible and sustainable corporate travel program to make positive contributions to the destinations. I found the relevant and up-to-date teaching materials, interactive style of training by two industry experts Horst and Bernard, and live breakout sessions where industry participants share ideas and formulae solutions to today’s problems particularly helpful.

Benjamin Wong, Co-founder and CEO, Tricolage

If you ever want to expand your knowledge or organize your existing knowledge in the field of sustainability, gain a broader perspective on various sustainability topics from every possible angle, exchange experiences and best practices during live sessions in an international environment, get the knowledge from professional mentors, and additionally gain knowledge where to look for valuable content on the Internet concerning current news on sustainable tourism – I wholeheartedly recommend the GSTC Sustainable Business Travel training. There will be a lot of reading, a lot of watching, but the more time you spend working at home during the course the more you will get out of the live classes.

Monika Górnik, Customer Care Manager, Meetings & Incentives, Weco-Travel

The GSTC Business Travel course is very well geared towards the needs of travel managers. The content of the course is very helpful and entertaining. At the end of the course, everyone is able to realistically classify themselves and their company in terms of sustainability.

Albert James Küng, Head of Global Travel Management, Siemens

This was an eye opening course! I thought I knew what will be taught, but there is much more to sustainability than I expected. The trainers and guest speakers clearly know what they’re doing and the wisdom they can instill is inspiring.

Matt Lewis, Sales Representative, Alta Group

While most often focus within sustainability is around CO2 reduction, however, this course really brings out the other pillars of sustainability (socio-economical, cultural, management). The use of the small group discussions opens up the communication, and allows you truly listen to other views and insights.

Howie Honeycutt, Senior VP, Global Operations and Shared Services, ATG Travel

I decided to attend the course to better understand the post-pandemic scenario in the business travel industry. The course was far beyond my expectations, it has been a great occasion for networking with professionals from all over the world but most of all I must say that the knowledge and inputs shared by the GSTC trainers will surely be of great help to improve not only my professional skills but also to engage colleagues in exploring the sustainable and responsible best practices for the industry.

Enrico Presicci, Event Manager, Indigenus Experiences

The enthusiasm of the trainers – Horst and Bernard – made a difference. The course was one of the best learning experiences I had in my career.

Sesilia Kalss, Senior Consulting Manager, American Express Global Business Travel

The GSTC program has a rich pedigree, evolving as it has from a United Nations sustainability initiative. This, coupled with an existing history of pursuing sustainability initiatives in tourism and leisure travel, has provided a rich foundation for the corporate travel course. The instructors likewise bring a history of expertise and passion in the area of corporate travel sustainability. This converges into a course that can dramatically impact the role that corporate travel takes in combatting climate change, inequity, and other sustainability shortfalls in the corporate travel industry.

Michael Hall, Senior Manager, Global Travel, llumina

Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to take GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course. I cannot express how enjoyable I feel the course was and the passion Bernard and Horst feel for the material was contagious. I found the final exam both challenging and invaluable.

Katie Romanko, Travel & Events Sourcing, Dropbox

It was a great course, especially for a tour company like ours that is thinking of expanding to Business Travel. For us, it is important to start working with the pillars of GSTC as a lighthouse. Have the opportunity to share with colleagues from all over the world and enjoy the leadership during the course of two great sustainability professionals and speakers was indeed the best scenario!

Raffaele Di Biase, Co-Founder, BirdsChile

Certification of Businesses

Increasingly, both leisure and business travelers are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. Also increasingly, travel companies are looking for a product that is not only certified sustainable, but certified sustainable by a certification program that is GSTC Accredited.

For example, AMEX 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. is currently highlighting hotels certified by GSTC-Accredited CBs along with other standards that are Recognized by GSTC. Hilton continues to identify opportunities to achieve GSTC certification for their hotels to ensure the sustainability of their operations. TUI Group encourages their hotels to become certified to GSTC-Recognized Standards, with a mandatory clause in contracts with their accommodation suppliers requiring them to work towards certification to GSTC-Recognized Standards.

Certification by an Accredited Certification Body (CB) provides business hotels and corporate travel companies a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues, while informing your stakeholders — from customers to ownership and to your supply chain — that the business is operated with sound management that looks to the future and not merely at today.

Join GSTC as a Member

Join GSTC as a member organization to stay informed of key developments, and to learn from others in our network. As a corporate or an organization that is involved in business travel, being a GSTC member means actively participating in our global community who represent a wide range of tourism stakeholders – leading international tour operators, government organizations, multinational corporations, and international hospitality brands.