Sustainable Tourism Certification
How We Support You
Receive a personal assessment with a sustainability expert who will prepare a report and action plan to guide your green business actions.
Gain access to a members-only library of tools and resources, a peer-network, regular tips and check-ins from our team, and discounts on other services.
We’ll help you spread the word about your certification through our partners, with a blog post, through social media, and with web-links to your SEO.
You’ll receive a marketing toolkit full of ideas for how to share your achievements on your own website, social channels and other marketing materials.
Use your certification to help tell your story, attract great customers, win awards, secure new contracts and build partnerships.
You’ll get an outdoor sign, window decal, certificate and use of the Sustainable Tourism Certified logo for all of your marketing materials, website and more.
How It Works
Just five simple steps...
Join online to become a member of Sustainable Tourism, pay your annual fee, and gain access to the online portion of the assessment.
Work through the questions. Some businesses will do this in under two hours and some will take more time to gather responses from their team.
Schedule your assessment call to review your assessment. The call will last two to four hours and your assessor will review and discuss your responses with you in detail.
After the call you will be asked to submit evidence for a random selection of criteria. Once this has been submitted, your assessor will finalize your report.
Once your evidence is received, your assessor will finalize and send your report and sustainability action plan. If you have met the minimum points required, your score will determine your bronze, silver, gold, or platinum certification.
Membership fees for accommodation providers are based on the number of rooms. All other tourism businesses and organizations are based upon the number of full time equivalent employees (FTEs). Choose your size below.
Rooms: 1 – 10
FTE’s: 1- 5
Price: $500/ year
Rooms: 11 – 20
FTE’s: 6- 25
Price: $800/ year
Rooms: 21 – 150
FTE’s: 26- 75
Price: $1,200/ year
Rooms: 151 – 300
FTE’s: 76- 100
Price: $1,800/ year
Price: $2,400/ year
Want to learn more?
Sustainable Tourism is delivered by GreenStep Solutions, an award winning sustainability consulting firm and Certified B Corporation. We provide a variety of services to tourism operators and destination marketing organizations in the area of sustainable tourism.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike other sustainable business certification programs that allow self-assessments and grading, every one of our members are individually assessed by a trained sustainable business expert, who reviews everything from energy efficiency to food sources.
This thorough assessment process gives our members insight into how to further reduce their businesses’s impact, how to best manage future projects, as well as a personalized action plan about how to build their sustainable business.
Sustainable Tourism has assessed all types of businesses, including hotels, campgrounds, wineries, distilleries, tour operators, tourist attractions, visitor centres, and more.
Tourists are looking for ways to be more sustainable in their travel, and look for ways to verify businesses engaging in sustainable actions. Research shows that businesses who are actively trying to address social and environmental issues in their business retain employees better, and have a more loyal consumer base. All of this works to generate higher returns for tourism businesses by engaging in behaviours that are good for people, the planet, AND profit.
Sustainable Tourism helps you recognize the good things you’re doing, and gives you guidance and support to work on the initiatives you want to employ. The Sustainable Tourism Certification shows customers, employees, and fellow business owners that you are doing good things for the world, and have the credibility to prove it.
The Sustainable Tourism Assessment consists of approximately 81 questions related to various areas of sustainable tourism operations. Each question of the assessment has been assigned a specific point value based on the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the particular action.
Sustainable Tourism Grading Levels:
Sustainable Tourism Certified membership is an annual fee, which must be renewed on an annual basis in order to maintain your grading status and to continue receiving the benefits associated with membership.
Prices vary depending on the size of your business. See our pricing page for more information.
Yes! When you sign up for your free Sustainability Score you will work through all of the questions and then learn what your grading might be.
It depends on your primary goal for undertaking an assessment. Most of our members are seeking a benchmark, advice and roadmap for future improvements, while gaining recognition for where they’re doing well. A quick response to all of the questions should take under an hour. Mark the ones you’re unsure of for “review” then go and get the answers and complete the remaining questions.
Depending on the size of your businesses, assessments can take from two hours for a very small business, or up to four hours for a large business.
Members are strongly encouraged to involve their sustainability teams or committees in the assessment process, as well as department managers. These people are involved in the day-to-day employment of sustainability initiatives and often have the best insight on operations within their functional roles. This ensures that the answers provided for the assessment are reflective of current operations and details can be given from the direct and appropriate source.
The assessment call should include you or your Green Team leader, and any other staff you feel are important to attend.
The grading process is comprised of an assessment carried out by a trained Sustainable Tourism assessor, which lasts approximately 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your businesses. Most assessments are done remotely, via web-call, to keep our carbon footprint low and to ensure that the program remains affordable for small and medium-sized businesses! We will ask for evidence for some of the criteria to verify your grading, but reserve the right to complete an onsite assessment if deemed necessary.
In order to maintain your grading level and status, you will need pay an annual membership fee which includes a reassessment every two years to ensure that you are continuing to meet the Sustainable Tourism Certified standard.
Sustainable Tourism Certified businesses are promoted through online Sustainable Tourism platforms. Businesses will receive a certification announcement through social media platforms, and mentions in Sustainable tourism newsletters and blogs. Members will also be listed in the online Sustainable Tourism Certified directory.
Businesses should use their certification as grounds for their own personal marketing efforts through the use of logos and promotion of completed certification and achieved grading. Certification includes the use of the Sustainable Tourism Certified logo (with associated graded) in online and printed marketing materials, a window decal for display, and aluminum sign to post onsite.