EarthCheck Certified Badges

EarthCheck Sustainable
Destinations

“EarthCheck certification is the key to creating a world-class sustainable destination with the support of public policies and programs that foster regenerative tourism.”

Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo

General Director, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P. (GESG)

EarchCheck Bronze Benchmark 2022

“As a small city with huge ambition, the EarthCheck Destination Standard plays a key role in helping us to position Glasgow as an international destination for business, investment, and tourism.”

Councillor David McDonald

Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow Life, and City Convener for Culture, Vibrancy and International Co-operation

The sustainability certification used by the world’s leading destinations. It helps destination authorities demonstrate the leadership in sustainability that tourism stakeholders demand. Learn why.

About EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations

EarthCheck Sustainable Destination’s certification gives travellers the confidence that certified destinations and precincts are backed by a commitment to sustainable, high-quality tourism experiences.

Our rigorous science-backed, people-focused certification process has been taken on by the world’s most visited and loved destinations for over three decades.

EarthCheck’s sustainability experts work with you to:

  • Create your destination’s sustainability authority
  • Establish your Environmental, Cultural, Social, and Economic Sustainability Policy
  • Benchmark your destination or precinct
  • Certify your destination or precinct
  • Audit and promote your certification level annually
 

It means your destination and its stakeholders have a defined, actionable pathway to gaining and maintaining its sustainability certification.

But most importantly EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations can actively demonstrate their commitment to providing exceptional, sustainable travel experiences.

The process

1. Creating your Destination Authority

No matter where you are globally, EarthCheck’s experts help you engage stakeholders, appoint a destination representativez for the certification process, and workshop your sustainability aspirations and goals so all parties are on the same page. EarthCheck’s Relationship Management team works closely with the destination representative to assist with the application.

2. Your Environmental, Cultural, Social, and Economic Sustainability Policy

We’ll help you devise your destination Environmental, Cultural, Social, and Economic Sustainability Policy. This is where your destination or precinct commits to a sustainability pathway, and takes action on it.

3. Benchmarking and Performance Tracking

We’ll track your destination’s performance in real time, identify any critical issues and benchmark you across:

  • Energy efficiency, conservation and management
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Air quality protection, noise control, & light pollution
  • Management of freshwater resources
  • Wastewater management, drainage and streams
  • Ecosystem conservation and management
  • Land use planning and development
  • Transport
  • Solid waste management
  • Management of environmentally harmful substances
  • Cultural and social management
  • Economic management


Our experts document the findings so you know where your destination stands. This is where you can reach your EarthCheck Bronze Benchmarked status.

4. Implement your new management system

We’ll help your destination implement your sustainabaility management system. EarthCheck has criteria, guides, templates and people to guide your teams and departments through the process. Once implemented teams and individuals can easily measure and manage the sustainability activities of your destination.

You’re now ready for certification.

5. Certification

EarthCheck auditors will visit your destination and you’ll receive an audit report that shows your its performance against the EarthCheck Certified Standard.

If you meet the requirements, your destination will be awarded certification and use of the EarthCheck Certified logo to promote your achievement. And your certification level is upgraded the longer it’s maintained.

EarthCheck Certified Levels Diagram

Marketing and communication tools are provided to assist your destination to spread the news of your certification.

Why this is good for business
  • A better-operating destination tends to be more efficient and is reported to lead to more engaged and supportive residents and visitors.
  • Certification can provide a marketing advantage to certified destinations, as consumers learn to recognise credible certification brands. This in turn can encourage high-yield visitation by offering visitors an easy way of determining where genuine and authentic experiences are found.
  • Certification provides visitors and guests with environmentally and socially responsible choices.
  • Certification helps governments protect their market niches as sustainable tourism destinations, especially when the credibility of the destination is threatened by greenwashing.
  • By channelling economic benefits to communities, certification can help reduce poverty, especially in rural areas.
 
Why this is good for the planet

Destinations need to mitigate the negative impacts of exponential tourism growth, while still embracing the positives it delivers. Travellers seek genuine sustainability commitments from destinations. By becoming an EarthCheck Sustainable Destination, you’ll deliver for them, and your stakeholders who expect science-backed, sustainable tourism policy and procedure from their leaders.


By fully understanding a destination’s footprint, destination authorities, advocacy bodies and government at all levels can make informed decisions that enable tourism and investment, without harming the location that delivers it.

And you’ll be seen as a leading destination with a framework that drives real sustainability results, year after year.

Talk to our team about EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations certification today.

WHO’S USED THIS SERVICE

Huatulco,
México
Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Nuuk,
Greenland

YOUR EARTHCHECK TEAM

Melinda Watt
Romina Trossero
Jennifer Peiron Alonso
Sajita More
Bingni Wu

“EarthCheck certification is the key to creating a world-class sustainable destination with the support of public policies and programs that foster regenerative tourism.”

Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo

General Director, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P. (GESG)

WHO’S USED THIS SERVICE

Huatulco,
México
Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Nuuk,
Greenland

YOUR EARTHCHECK TEAM

Melinda Watt
Romina Trossero
Jennifer Peiron Alonso
Sajita More
Bingni Wu

“As a small city with huge ambition, the EarthCheck Destination Standard plays a key role in helping us to position Glasgow as an international destination for business, investment, and tourism.”

Councillor David McDonald

Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow Life, and City Convener for Culture, Vibrancy and International Co-operation

EarthCheck Logo

Acknowledgement
of Country

There are more than 476 million Indigenous Peoples, found in all regions of the world, from the Arctic to the tropical forests. They make up more than 6 per cent of our global population.

 

In the spirit of reconciliation, EarthCheck acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout the world and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous Peoples today.

 

EarthCheck acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are guardians of the forests and biodiversity hotspots we all depend on. Research shows that lands managed by Indigenous Peoples, with secure rights, experience lower deforestation rates, store more carbon, hold more biodiversity, and benefit more people than other lands — including protected areas.

 

We recognise and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration is a positive document that maps out a path for Indigenous Peoples to be free from discrimination and secure in their identities and life choices.

EarthCheck Logo

EarthCheck Certified: Aligned globally

EarthCheck science and products were developed by the Australian Government Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre (STCRC) over ten years. Our science is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets international standards relative to greenhouse gas protocols, responsible tourism, and certification.

EarthCheck products and services are built on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 and aligned to the SDGs.

EarthCheck Certified provides a framework for organisations to achieve the desired outcomes for sustainable development as set out in the final report of the World Summit for Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

EarthCheck Certified complies with the Mohonk Agreement (2000), which outlines the guidelines and principles for an international sustainable tourism certification program. It is also a Recognised program of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

EarthCheck Certified is a verification standard accepted by CDP. It is also an approved program of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), London & Partners, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) and the City of Sydney.

EarthCheck Certified is an approved program for meeting the EU Energy Directive for the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) in Germany and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) in the Netherlands.

EarthCheck partners with international research organisations to maintain the currency of EarthCheck science and our benchmarking systems.

The EarthCheck brand signifies scientific excellence, better environmental, economic, and social performance, improved community interactions, and savings through more efficient use of resources. It provides recognition and promotional support to a global consumer market.