EarthCheck partners with IPDT and Green Growth to deliver new sustainability products and resources for the Portuguese tourism industry

Aerial view of Porto
EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, has developed a new set of sustainability products and services to support the Portuguese tourism industry.
EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, has developed a new set of sustainability products and services to support the Portuguese tourism industry.

The new products and support services will be delivered  through Portugal’s Institute for Planning and Development of Tourism (IPDT), and EarthCheck’s long-standing partner in the region, Green Growth.

They include an EarthCheck ClimateGuardian Dashboard for tourism destinations, and Sustainable Storytelling guides to help tourism operators and destinations tell authentic, transparent and impactful stories about their sustainability initiatives. 

The world is changing, and the tourism industry is changing with it. Consumer concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability have reached unprecedented levels, leading travellers to seek out operators and destinations that can demonstrate and deliver a genuine commitment to sustainability.  

This growing demand is leading to an upsurge in ‘green’ claims by businesses – but not all of them are truthful. In fact, the European Commission has found that 53.3% of green claims are vague, misleading or unfounded. 

To combat this, the European Commission has introduced the Green Claims Directive – new laws that state that environmental claims can only be made if they meet certain criteria, and are independently verified by a third party assessment body.  

That’s why EarthCheck – known around the world for its rigorous, science-backed and independently audited certification programs – is working with IPDT to translate its Sustainability Storytelling Guides for Tourism and Hospitality Operators and Destinations, and offer dashboards that provide insight into sustainability performance over time. 

The new products and support services will sit beside EarthCheck’s existing suite of training, destination management and certification standards, which have been supported by Green Growth over the past ten years.

Stewart Moore, EarthCheck’s Founder and CEO, said the ClimateGuardian Dashboard and the Sustainability Storytelling Guides will help tourism and hospitality operators and destinations in Portugal to present and communicate their sustainable actions and ambitions authentically, without falling into the trap of ‘greenwashing’.

“The dashboard provides a clear performance based  reporting  platform  and the communication guides provide a practical framework, which includes templates and case studies, to help tourism organisations and destinations understand key audiences and amplify their message to a wider audience, without greenwashing,” Mr Moore said.  

“We are excited to partner with IPDT on the translation of the guides and with Green Growth to help deliver the guides to market. EarthCheck recognises the need to have experienced operators on the ground to assist local businesses and tourism destinations to become both more sustainable and more profitable.”  

A church on the beach in Portugal with tourist

With more than 500 projects under their belt, IPDT have over 20 years of experience in advising, developing, managing, promoting and monitoring the sustainability performance of Portuguese tourism operators and destinations.

António Jorge Costa, IPDT President, said the Sustainability Storytelling Guides will help Portuguese operators and destinations to craft and curate compelling sustainability stories. 

“These Guides will help organisations to evaluate their sustainability stories for authenticity and impact, and create a culture of storytelling within their business,” Mr Costa said. 

“The narratives, content formats and amplification tactics in these Guides will help Portuguese operators and destinations who are doing the right thing to get their stories heard by visitors and customers, and to get buy-in and engagement from their staff and their stakeholders.”  

Daniel Frey, the Founder and CEO of Green Growth, noted the timeliness of these new resources.

“They will be well received by operators and destinations who want to be properly recognised for their efforts,” Mr Frey said, “at a time when authenticity in sustainability storytelling is more important than ever.” 

In addition to collaborating on the Sustainability Storytelling Guides, IPDT will now join Green Growth as EarthCheck Ambassadors. Mr Costa said his organisation is looking forward to raising awareness and driving adoption of the EarthCheck Certified and EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programs within the Portuguese tourism industry. 

“We recognise the importance of establishing partnerships with international organisations such as EarthCheck that hold the same values we do, and are driven by the same purpose that we are,” Mr Costa said.  

Praia landscape

“Both EarthCheck and IPDT share a desire to help organisations develop a sustainability vision that protects and preserves local identity and local resources, and demonstrate their commitment to that vision through a trusted certification process.”

The partnership expands EarthCheck’s presence in Europe, which includes dedicated offices and support staff in Italy, Spain and Ireland.

Mr Moore said EarthCheck, IPDT and Green Growth are all working towards the same goal – to help operators in the Portuguese visitor economy do what’s Good for Business and Good for the Planet. 

“Sustainability is a journey, not a singular activity, and progress towards sustainable outcomes can be achieved in all visitor economy businesses,” Mr Moore said. 

“Through these Sustainability Storytelling Guides and the ClimateGuardian Dashboard, and our ongoing partnerships with IPDT and Green Growth, we look forward to being an active partner in that journey for businesses all over Portugal.” 

The Portuguese editions of the Sustainable Storytelling for Tourism and Hospitality Destinations and Sustainability Storytelling for Tourism and Hospitality Operators guides are available for download now. 


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