Two of the world’s leading sustainable tourism organisations, EarthCheck and TourCert, have reached an agreement to collaborate on dual certification and destination management services. The move marks the first step in a broader strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will allow customers around the world to take advantage of their full suite of services.
Initially focusing on three sectors; Lodging, MICE and Tours, the companies plan to upskill and appoint respective consultants, coaches and auditors. In the coming months, synergies will be announced in the Americas and Europe where mutual recognition of both brands is intended.
EarthCheck is one of Asia Pacific’s longest running dedicated tourism consulting firms, with 30 years of experience in destination management and strategic planning for tourism destinations. Their team have a wealth of practical experience in a variety of fields including certification, strategic planning and destination management, GHG reporting, environmental management, project feasibility, social and environmental planning, tourism, events and risk management.
Its flagship product, EarthCheck Certified, is recognised for its depth of scientific benchmarking which allows companies and destinations to understand their operational performance. EarthCheck has helped clients in more than 70 countries realise over $500 million in operational savings by benchmarking their environmental, social, energy, legal and community performance and the design aspects of hotel buildings and their operations against peers in their sector, region and climate zone.
Founded on the principals of Agenda 21, EarthCheck Certified is aligned to the Mohonk Agreement and Approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. EarthCheck performance software complies with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 14064 range of standards for greenhouse gas accounting, the CDP and the HCMI.
CEO and founder of EarthCheck, Mr Stewart Moore welcomed the collaboration, a first for the industry. “We are very excited about this partnership. EarthCheck recognised a long time ago that as a company we need to continually evolve to meet new markets and to refresh and invigorate our global products and services. By working with leaders such as TourCert we can reach a new set of customers and most importantly have trusted partners in market to support their needs at an enterprise and destination level.”
Founded in 2009, the TourCert system (www.tourcert.org) is based on the international ISO standards for quality and environmental management as well as on EMAS and the ISO guidelines for Corporate Responsibility (ISO 26000). TourCert also has its own software for the mapping of their certification processes, data collection, benchmarking and reporting. This is where naturally synergy effects are possible.
As a sector-oriented system, the TourCert criteria catalogue for tour operators is officially recognized by the GSTC. It also certifies travel companies and agencies, hotels, destinations and tourism businesses.
TourCert is (still) predominantly at home in Europe. In addition to its offices in Stuttgart (Headquarters), Berlin and Cologne, as well as their Preferred Partnerships in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, more partners in France, Portugal and the Benelux countries will soon be joining. Their currently ongoing project “TourCert Danube” includes sustainability checks and the minimisation of environmental impacts along the Danube. "On top of this there is our international project, ‘TourCert Andina’ which will see the first TourCert office opening in Quito, Ecuador. Through a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, about 250 companies are to be certified. The expansion of our presence in Latin America is currently being planned" reports Marco Giraldo, who, together with Dr. Peter Zimmer, has been leading the company since 2015.
Partnerships with companies such as TourCert are central to EarthCheck’s strategy to work with industry leaders around the world to meet the needs our joint customers.