The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) is pleased to announce that the Stay for the Planet Regulations and Technical Notes v.2.0, has gained GSTC-Recognized Standard status, meaning it has been fully recognized as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.
The recognized standard is used in the Stay for the Planet, which is a hotel management system launched by LifeGate in 2011. The tool provides a sustainability rating as well as some key environmental indicators. The aim of Stay for the Planet is to assess the sustainability performance of hotels in six areas (Energy, Water, Waste, Purchasing, Behaviours, People), attempting to analyse a number of aspects that contribute to defining each hotel’s approach to sustainability, with a view to continuous improvement.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the content of the standard equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles.
GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to the process of certification (which is a third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tourism enterprise for conformity to a standard). GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to accreditation (formal verification that a certification body operates in a competent and neutral manner according to international standards of how to properly certify, which is the highest level of assurance).
The stated scope of the standard is ‘Hotels’ and coverage is in Italy. The GSTC Recognition is valid until either the standard or the GSTC Industry Criteria are changed.
“We are honored to see Stay for the Planet Regulations and Technical Notes v.2.0 gain GSTC-Recognized Standard status. This project was launched many years ago as part of a broad-ranging sustainable tourism strategy, aimed at reducing the environmental impact associated with the sector, so that quality services can be provided while ensuring the utmost respect for the local area and population. Stay for the Planet is aimed at independent hotels, medium-sized hotel groups, but also large chains.” Said Erika Colciago, Head of Consulting and Business Development at LifeGate.
“By incorporating the principles of the Four Pillars of the GSTC Criteria into its core, Stay for Planet’s Standard displays its allegiance to a holistic and global strategy,” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.
Currently, 14 destination standards, 20 tour operator standards, 44 hotel standards, and 5 systems have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market 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 follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practices, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.
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 national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
Stay for the Planet is LifeGate’s sustainability initiative aimed at assisting customers in selecting environmentally friendly hotels and hotel chains. These accommodations are committed to monitoring their environmental performance, improving energy efficiency and minimizing carbon dioxide emissions.
LifeGate is a benefit corporation, considered the point of reference for sustainability in Italy, which brings together a community of over 5 million people interested or passionate about sustainability themes. LifeGate works with passion and determination to share information, projects and consulting services engaging an expanding network of people, businesses, NGOs and institutions that are committed to building a sustainable future.