February 25, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that GreenEarth.travel and VisionCSR’s Green Growth 2050 sustainable tourism standard has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status.
Green Growth 2050 Standard has been developed to meet the needs of tourism and travel businesses seeking today’s solutions to the issues driving social, cultural and environmental change.
The standard is designed to allow organizations to measure their global impact across a framework of over 200 CSR and sustainability related metrics. The addition of business intelligence and analytics provides Green Growth 2050 customers with new insights into their organization on both an individual basis and across their entire portfolio.
“When we developed our certification standard one of our primary goals was to identify and align our program with globally respected international conventions such as GSTC Criteria and the UN Global Compact. Green Growth 2050 is a proud member of the GSTC and we support their mission of making all tourism more sustainable by increasing the reach of sustainable tourism practices to traditional, small, and large-scale operations,” said Green Growth 2050’s CEO, Wayne McKinnon.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.
“We warmly welcome the Green Growth 2050 Standard as the newest in a growing list of GSTC-Recognized Standard,” stated Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair of the Board. “The broad standards adopted by Green Growth 2050, which include labor practices, human rights, social and community development, in addition to a wide range of environment and resources management related requirements, are in full synergy with the core values of GSTC. They respond to an increasing market demand while promoting tourism that creates wealth and sustainable development.”
These are the destination standards, hotel standards, and tour operator standards that have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms. 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 assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparent, and rigor. List of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide assurance through Recognition of Standards for sustainability in travel and tourism and Accreditation of Certification Bodies. Standard Owners and Certification Bodies are encouraged to complete these processes in order to achieve improvements in their sustainability frameworks, further distinction amongst other certification programs, and receive increased market benefits.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.