Becoming Certified as a Sustainable Hotel/Accommodation
Increasingly, travelers and your fellow travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place (Booking.com Sustainability Report 2021). Also increasingly, travel companies are looking for a product that is not only certified sustainable, but certified sustainable by a Certification Body that is GSTC Accredited (Trivago recommendation).
Being certified by an Accredited Certification Body means that your tourism product or service complies with the highest social and environmental standards on the market. As public concern grows about the harmful effects and the positive impacts of travel and tourism, certification provides you a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues.
Travel providers should proudly display information regarding their certificate and the certification body that issued it. Doing so informs your stakeholders — from customers to ownership and to your supply chain — that your business is operated with sound management that looks to the future and not merely at today. Businesses certified by an Accredited CB can use the GSTC logo along with the Certification Body’s mark.
Many owners and buyers of hotel spaces use the GSTC framework and highlight those accommodations certified by GSTC Accredited CBs. Here are a few of them:
- Hilton: “We continue to identify opportunities to achieve GSTC certification for our hotels to ensure the sustainability of our operations.”
- TUI Group “encourages all hotels offered to its 27 million customers to obtain certification that meets the GSTC Criteria.”
- easyJet holidays “is focused on supporting tourism destinations by committing to encouraging 100% of its contracted hotels to achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification body […] by the end of 2025.”
- 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.”
- Booking.com is currently highlighting hotels certified by GSTC-Accredited CBs along with other standards that are Recognized by GSTC.
How to become certified as a Sustainable Hotel
To become certified, travel and tourism companies and touristic destinations must:
1 – Choose a Certification Body (CB) from the list below — these are organizations that have been accredited based on the quality of their certification process
2 – After working with a CB towards achieving full GSTC requirements compliance, your operation will receive its Certification by an Accredited CB.
The Certification Bodies listed below have gained Accreditation to certify hotels as sustainable. As such, these Certification Bodies and their certificate-holders are authorized to display the designated GSTC Logo (upon completion of a licensing agreement with the GSTC).
To be clear: GSTC does NOT certify anything. GSTC provides accreditation to Certification Bodies through our partner ASI, Assurance Services International. Certification and accreditation are different things.
GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies for Hotels/Accommodations
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in testing, inspection and certification services. Since its creation in 1828, Bureau Veritas has been supporting its clients on every continent to continually improve their performance via certification of management systems, product certifications and customized audits. The Group has more than 78,000 employees located in more than 1,500 offices and laboratories around the globe. Bureau Veritas helps its clients improve their performance by offering services and innovative solutions, in order to ensure that their assets, products, infrastructure and processes meet standards and regulations in terms of quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.
Get certified by Bureau Veritas
Control Union Certifications offers a global one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programmes with a global presence that spans more than 70 countries in six continents. We understand the importance of impartiality and objectivity, and how to professionally manage conflicts of interest. From the beginning, sustainability has been the main focus of our certification services. Control Union Certifications presents a wide range of programmes in agriculture, food, feed, forest products, textiles, bio-energy, and tourism. In 2016, Control Union Certifications became the first Accredited CB for the GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, and currently work with a dedicated sustainable tourism team on GSTC Certification, providing the highest level in terms of credibility within the GSTC Assurance Program. This means that Control Union Certifications can certify hotels and tour operators directly against the GSTC Criteria.
Get certified by Control Union
United Certification Systems Limited
UCSL United Certification Systems Limited is an independent international certification body with Headquarters in EU and operating globally. UCSL is accredited for various volunteer sustainability certification schemes including Hotels & Tour Operators (GSTC), Marine (ASC, MSC), Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES) etc. The team of certification body involves numerous experts and professionals with vast local and international experience in the auditing and sustainability sector. UCSL aims to contribute to the UN SDGs, environmental well-being of the planet through provision of excellent services to like-minded sustainable businesses. Get certified by UCSL United Certification Systems Limited
Vireo Srl is a certification company whose commercial activities consist of providing Italian and foreign companies with environmental certification services. Vireo provides worldwide recognized environmental certification schemes such as FSC, MSC, and GSTC – as a GSTC-Accredited certification body. The professional approach and deep knowledge of standards are the key elements that mark Viero’s services. Based in Padova, Italy, Vireo has international experience and works with professional and highly qualified auditors.
Get certified by Vireo Srl
- The above Certification Bodies have been Accredited for compliance with the requirements of the Manual for GSTC Accreditation. GSTC-Accredited mean that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.
- Certification by a Certification Body whose standard is “GSTC Recognized” does NOT carry the same meaning as certification by a Certification Body that is accredited by GSTC. “GSTC Recognized” relates to a published set of standards and NOT to the process of certification or accreditation.
- List of standards that are recognized by the GSTC as adhering to the GSTC Criteria is available here.