Certifications to Identify Sustainable Hotels with Global Standard

The increasing prominence of green metrics, which encapsulate the concept of sustainability, is gaining significant recognition among specialized circles. Achieving these green certificates is considered a testament to the fact that brands within the hotel and tourism industry are progressively prioritizing sustainable development.

In today’s ever-evolving hospitality landscape, where sustainability and eco-friendliness have become essential aspects of the guest experience, hoteliers must strategically align themselves with the preferences of the emerging Gen Z demographic, which is anticipated to comprise a significant portion of service industry consumers. Research indicates that a notable 56% of Gen Z individuals express a preference for staying in environmentally conscious accommodations. Moreover, a staggering 70% of global travelers demonstrate a heightened propensity to book lodgings that align with eco-friendly principles.

It’s fascinating to note that guests who opt for green hotels tend to extend their stays by an average of three days, and almost half of these environmentally-conscious travelers are willing to pay a premium for a more sustainable product. The ever-increasing awareness surrounding ecological concerns has led to the creation of various eco-certifications, ranging from low-cost to high-cost options. However, it’s crucial that each certification aligns seamlessly with the intended purpose and ethos of the brand.

It’s important to recognize that not all certifications are universally applicable to all types of properties. For instance, LEED certification is most relevant for new builds and extensive renovation projects. Consequently, obtaining these green certifications can significantly enhance a hotel’s appeal, particularly to environmentally conscious guests who actively seek out eco-friendly accommodations.

How to Transition Your Hotel to an Eco-Friendly Paradigm

The journey toward an eco-friendly establishment involves several focal points that collectively contribute to your property’s sustainability goals. These encompass efficient water consumption, energy conservation, waste management, and optimizing socio-economic benefits for the local community. Reducing negative environmental impacts is equally pivotal. Furthermore, evaluating the sustainability of your supply chain is paramount, as this evaluation is often a cornerstone of any certification process.

The optimal path toward transforming your hotel into a green haven begins with selecting the appropriate certification(s) to pursue. Given that each eco-certification has distinct prerequisites, this approach ensures that you take the necessary steps to meet the criteria and earn the certification that resonates most with your brand. This targeted strategy safeguards against allocating resources to areas that won’t contribute to the prestigious recognition that bolsters your credibility with eco-minded travelers.

Exploring Noteworthy Eco-Certifications

Tailoring your certification choices according to geographical contexts and your establishment’s unique needs is vital. On a global scale, some prominent certifications include:

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): LEED focuses on acknowledging properties constructed with sustainability in mind. While it primarily applies to new properties, it remains a significant credential for highlighting your commitment to sustainability to conscientious travelers.
  • Green Globe Certification: This comprehensive certification evaluates the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of the business and its supply chain partners. Its holistic approach through 44 core criteria and 380+ compliance indicators makes it one of the most thorough certifications for green hotels.
  • TripAdvisor Green Leaders: Geared toward hotels and B&Bs with eco-friendly practices, this recognition is symbolized by a GreenLeader logo on your property’s profile. Criteria range from energy-efficient fixtures to wastewater treatment.
  • Green Tourism Active: Endorsed by the GSTC, this certification entails on-site verifications across energy usage, water conservation, sustainable procurement, cultural preservation, and staff practices.

Strategic Fit: The Key to Effective Certification

Aligning the right certifications with your hotel’s brand requires careful research and consideration. Experts at Ziva suggest the following for different types of accommodations:

  • Large Independent Chains: TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, Greenkey, Green Globe, LEED (new properties or renovations only), Green Tourism (UK and Canada).
  • Bed and Breakfasts: TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, Greenkey, LEED (new properties or renovations only), Green Tourism (UK and Canada).
  • Independents/Hostels: TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, ENERGY STAR, LEED (new properties or renovations only), Green Tourism (UK and Canada).

In Conclusion

Gaining green certifications isn’t merely about awards; it’s about embracing a sustainable approach for a better future. Achieving this involves building a robust hotel brand with a strong foundational focus on branding. These certifications serve as an affirmation of your commitment to a sustainable, eco-conscious journey, ultimately enhancing your reputation and contributing to a brighter future for both your establishment and the environment.