WTTC Launches Hotel Sustainability Basics Verification Program

WTTC Launches Hotel Sustainability Basics Verification Program

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched the Hotel Sustainability Basics verification scheme, dubbed Basics.

Basics will be an industry-wide supported initiative that helps tourist accommodation providers of all sizes begin their sustainability journeys. The coordinated set of criteria sets guidelines that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive a responsible and sustainable industry.


Made up of 12 key criteria, the Basics are achievable for all hotels to implement as a bare minimum and serve as a stepping-stone to more complex sustainability schemes and even greater sustainability.

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To ensure the validity of the program, WTTC partnered with Green Key and SGS to develop a simple online verification system that allows hotels and other tourist accommodations to be verified for meeting eight of the 12 criteria in the first year and demonstrate their commitment to working toward all 12 of the criteria by year three.

“We are incredibly proud to have launched the verification scheme for Hotel Sustainability Basics,” WTTC President Julia Simpson said. “The initiative is a response to the sector’s need for a baseline for hotels and other tourist lodgings to start their sustainability journeys.”

“Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but many sustainability practices such as efficient water use initiatives are patchy,” Simpson said. “Basics fills the gap by creating that level playing field for the sector.”

Six major international hotel groups—Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Melia Hotels International, Meininger and Radisson Hotel Group—have now joined Basics as inaugural partners.

In support, WTTC carried out a benchmarking exercise through the Green Lodgings Trends Report, which found that almost 100 percent of accommodation providers implemented at least one initiative to reduce inequality and 96 percent have adopted linen reuse programs.

As for changes being made, around 66 percent have already begun to eliminate the use of certain single-use plastics, while another 50 percent have replaced small plastic toiletry bottles with bulk dispensers. An estimated 33 percent now provide vegetarian options for every course in their food and beverage provision.

In addition to the Alliance, WTTC collaborated with other key leading sector figures, including representatives from Greenview, hotel members, Expedia, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and Trip.com Group, as well as the certification bodies SGS and Green Key.

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