Markets working to support sustainable development

Green Globe’s International Standard for Sustainable Tourism V1.7

Green Globe’s  International Standard for Sustainable Tourism V1.7 is a certification scheme that requires tourism agencies and businesses to report on their sustainability performance throughout their supply chains. It is designed to bring a competitive advantage to certified companies and encourage consumer demand for green tourism.

The standards are a collection of over 330 compliance indicators that are applied to 41 individual sustainability criteria - these can be divided into four themes:

  • Sustainable Management
  • Social/Economic
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Environmental

The certification is only awarded to members that have a compliance rating of at least 51 per cent. The award can then only be maintained if members continually improveme by 3 per cent every year. Once this has been shown, Green Globe members can then use the Green Globe  logo on their webpage to demonstrate and promote their sustainability achievements.

To ensure compliance, a third-party auditor is appointed to work with the clients on-site, using the international standard ISO 19011 as a guide. Annual recertification is mandatory. The Green Globe Standard is reviewed and updated twice a year.

Market coverage: 

There are 440 certified bodies around the world, including: Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Industry sectors include attractions, businesses, meeting venues, cruise ships, golf courses, hotels and resorts, organisations, restaurants, spas, transport and tour operators. 

Background information: 

Rather than being entirely new, Green Globe’s  International Standard for Sustainable Tourism V1.7 is an accumulation of different sustainable tourism standards, including:

  • Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
  • Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria (STC Partnership)
  • Baseline Criteria of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas
  • Agenda 21 and principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Governments at the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992
  • ISO 9001 / 14001 / 19011 (International Standard Organisation)
Funding source: 

Green Globe is funded by their partners - those that sign up to the standard. The joining fee varies depending on where the company is from and how big they are. This ranges from US$750 for companies with under ten employees, to US$5000 for companies with over 250 employees.

Notable information: 

Green Globe appears to make allowances for the regional differences among their members by contributing a core criteria, allowing companies to also adopt locally developed standards. This requires the Green Globe standard to work with other established sustainability certification programmes from around the world.