Green tourism certification labels

The green tourism certification labels, also called eco-labels, play a very important part in greening the tourism industry. Some estimate that more than 140 eco-labels are active in all parts of the tourism industry. Focusing on the eco-labels that certify hotels on their green practices, there are a little over 50 active worldwide. DestiNet, the Knowledge Networking Portal for Sustainable & Responsible Tourism, provides a comprehensive list. Here we provide some eco-labels we have worked with before.

cert-biosphere-GSTC-larger Biosphere Responsible Tourism. The only GSTC-Recognized and GSTC-Approved certification scheme worldwide. A Biosphere Hotel is a sustainable accommodation centre integrated into its environment, promoting social and economic development of the local community. They minimize their environmental impacts and actively collaborate in the local development, offering the client a different product, based on the maximization of the tourism experience through the integration of the visitor in the environmental, cultural and social setting. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-fair-trade-tourism Fair Trade Tourism. A non-profit organisation that promotes responsible tourism in southern Africa and beyond. The aim of FTT is to make tourism more sustainable by ensuring that the people who contribute their land, resources, labour and knowledge to tourism are the ones who reap the benefits. This includes fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-great-green-deal GREAT Green Deal. This label was launched in 2009 in Guatemala, and is intended to cover the Central American region and The Caribbean. The program is intended to provide consumers with an independent guide to hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, tour operators, canopy parks, and tourist transportation companies, which are actively helping neighbor communities and the environment, as well as are implementing quality, safety & security policies and best practices. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-greenkey Green Key. Green Key is a voluntary eco-label for tourism facilities that promotes sustainable tourism and aims to contribute to the prevention of climate change by awarding and advocating facilities with positive environmental initiatives. Tourism facilities awarded a Green Key adhere to national or international Green Key criteria. The criteria have been designed to be easily understood by tourists, feasible for the tourism industry, and clearly verifiable through control checks. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-green-seal Green SealFor twenty-five years, Green Seal has been developing science-based programs to create a more sustainable world. The US nonprofit pursues their mission through standard setting, product certification, and public education. Their intent in developing standards is to help companies, hotels, restaurants, and cleaning services reduce their environmental impacts. Green Seal’s hotel standard – GS-33 – is used by hotels across the US as a best practices guidebook for sustainable hospitality operations. Hotels certified to GS-33 have proven that they are the sustainability leaders in their industry. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-hoteles-verdes Hoteles+ Verdes. The ecolabel is the badge that recognizes and certifies those Argentinian Hotels demonstrating a sustainable, friendly management environment and support a socially responsible community in the destination in which they operate. For granting of this Ecolabel, the hotel requires to comply with a set of criteria based on the GSTC standard and will receive an achievement level as Beginner, Advanced or Excellence. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-LEED LEED. As the most widely recognized and widely used green building program across the globe, LEED is transforming buildings, homes and communities in all 50 states and more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. LEED guides the design, construction, operations and maintenance of more than 69,000 projects worldwide, comprising 12.4 billion square feet of commercial and institutional construction space, and more than 181,000 additional residential units. Link to website
cert-italy-legambiente Legambiente Turismo. Legambiente (League for the Environment) is the most widespread environmental organization in Italy, with 20 Regional branches and more than 115,000 members. With the eco-label that bears his name, it tends to achieve the objectives of Legambiente to improve the livability of the city and the region, seeking convergence with the social sectors and create opportunities in the local economy. The label contributes to environmental quality of tourist accommodation which is growing in importance in the choice of vacation destinations. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-malta Malta ECO certification. The ECO certification is the national scheme for ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of hotels and farmhouses on the Maltese Islands and has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council as fully reflecting the GSTC criteria. The certification was launched by the Malta Tourism Authority in 2002 and today represents over 16% of hotel accommodations covering 5-star, 4-star and 3-star categories. The certification was extended for farmhouse accommodation in 2013. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
cert-myclimate myclimate. The non-profit foundation for climate protection offers a comprehensive range of options for hotels to measure and improve their carbon footprint. It aims to motivate hotels to contributre to the prevention of climate change by avoiding – reducing and offsetting CO2 emissions. In addition to offsetting all the CO2 of all overnight stays booked through GreenHotelWorld, myclimate also has its own certification label for 100% carbon neutral hotels. Link to website
cert-tanzania Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) is a non-profit organization that will encourage and promote a more sustainable tourism industry within Tanzania and it has four (4) levels of certification namely Seed, Sapling, Tree and Fruit and this move makes Tanzania, the second East African state to launch a voluntary certification scheme, after Kenya. Link to website
cert-tourcert TourCert. The non-profit company for certification in tourism, awards the CSR label to tourism companies. The CSR system for hotels increases energy and environmental efficiency and thereby reduces costs. It promotes the purchasing of high quality eco-fair and local products, offers fair working conditions and involves both employees and guests. Read more on DestiNet Link to website
 TripAdvisor-logo TripAdvisor GreenLeaders. The GreenLeaders Program recognizes hotels and B&Bs that engage in environmentally friendly practices, making it easier for travellers to find and book a greener stay. TripAdvisor has developed this program with help from national and international green industry experts including the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program, the United Nations Environment Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, and other sustainability experts Link to website
cert-vdr-greenhotel VDR Certified Green Hotel. Business and event participants do not only place high demands on their event location. They also increasingly expect that their hotel is managed for ecologically sustainable future. With the new “Certified Green Hotel®”, the customer can now see at a glance a hotel that exactly meets these requirements.
The German Business Travel Association (VDR) developed a test catalog with more than 70 criteria in the categories of energy, water, waste, food & beverage, mobility, social responsibility (CSR) and information & good governance. Most of these criteria may be tested directly by the guest. Read more on DestiNet
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