Become Certified as a Sustainable Accommodation

Increasingly, travelers and fellow travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place.

According to Booking.com’s 2019 Sustainable Travel Report, 70% of global travelers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not. However, when it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, almost three quarters (72%) of global travelers say that they are not aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations, while well over a third (37%) of affirm that an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodation would help encourage them to travel more sustainably, and 62% would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label.

Being certified by a GSTC 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 a GSTC-Accredited CB can use the GSTC Chain of Custody logo (CoC) along with the Certification Body’s mark.

How To Become Certified

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 GSTC has 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 GSTC-Accredited CB.

The Certification Bodies listed below have gone through GSTC Accreditation to certify hotels as sustainable. As such, these certifying 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. Certification and accreditation are different things.

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GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies for Hotels/Accommodations

Bureau Veritas

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

control unionControl Union Certifications offers a global one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programmes. 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 and bio energy. In 2016, Control Union Certifications became the first Accredited CAB for the GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which provides the highest level in terms of credibility within the GSTC Integrity 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 registered in Cyprus and operating in Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and China. UCSL currently provides forest (FSC, PEFC), marine (ASC, MSC) and tourism (GSTC) certification services and develops its involvement in other spheres such as biofuel, water, metals and sustainable enterprise schemes. The team of certification body involves over 100 professionals with a vast experience in the sustainability sector. UCSL aims to contribute to the 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

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

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Another option is to seek certification to a GSTC-Recognized Standard

These are sustainable tourism standards that adhere to and are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. This means that the GSTC Criteria are included within the set of standards owned by a Certification Body or a local, national, or specialized tourism organization.

GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel, and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism and is administered by a standard owner that meets GSTC requirements. This means that the GSTC has verified that the standard aligns with the GSTC Criteria and that any additional clauses do not contradict GSTC Criteria requirements. 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. A Certifying Body that utilizes a GSTC-Recognized standard may apply for GSTC-Accreditation which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process.

The following standards have been Recognized as aligned with the GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels and Accommodations

NOTE:

  • This is a list of standards.  GSTC has NOT analyzed the quality of the process of certification of these standards except those that have been accredited by GSTC: Accredited CBs for Accommodations; Accredited CBs for Tour Operators.
  • GSTC does NOT certify directly. The GSTC Criteria appear in this list to clarify the point that Certification Bodies that gain accreditation have the option to certify by using their own GSTC-Recognized standard or by using the GSTC Criteria.

Actively Green

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. Another component of the Program is the Mountain IDEAL destination standard for mountain resort communities.