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This article gives the framework of how to apply for a badge and the application process. It also explains the badge selection criteria, including the sustainable practices that can qualify a property for a Travel Sustainable badge and the certifications recognised in the Travel Sustainable programme.

How the badge application process works

Property submits their practices

The property management uses the extranet to submit which sustainable practices they are following.

An assessment is conducted

Our sister brand Booking Holdings performs an assessment of the property’s submitted practices against their independently validated criteria model, which takes into account geographic factors related to accessibility and costs to implement certain practices. Based on this assessment, the model calculates an overall impact score for the property, which determines badge eligibility.

The property is notified

The property management will receive an email with the assessment outcome within 24 hours of submitting their practices.

There are two possible outcomes

Badge success: If the impact score is high enough, the property will receive the badge, which will automatically be added to its listing within 48 hours.

Advice and resources: If the impact score is not high enough to be eligible, the property will receive advice and resources on implementing additional sustainable practices. The more practices the property follows, the higher its score and the closer it gets to receiving the new badge.

Qualifying sustainable practices

Susitainable Resort Bedroom in Krabi Thailand

In order to qualify for a Travel Sustainable badge, the property must practice a significant number of initiatives in the following categories:

Water – Simple efforts, like washing towels less often, save significant energy and water.

Practices are:

  • Single-use plastic miniature shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles not used
  • Option to reuse towels
  • Option to opt-out of daily room cleaning
  • Water-efficient toilets
  • Water-efficient showers

Waste – Offer recycling options and cut down on plastic and food leftovers to make a big impact.

Practices are:

  • Single-use plastic straws not used
  • Single-use plastic cups not used
  • Single-use plastic water bottles not used
  • Single-use plastic beverage bottles not used
  • Single-use plastic cutlery/plates not used
  • Single-use plastic stirrers not used
  • Recycling bins available to guests and recycling of waste
  • The property making efforts to reduce their food wastage
  • Water cooler/dispenser

Nature – Respect local wildlife and nurture the accommodation’s green spaces.

Practices are:

  • Bicycle rental
  • Wild (non-domesticated) animals are not displayed/interacted with while captive on the property or harvested, consumed, or sold
  • Green spaces such as gardens/rooftop gardens on the property
  • Most food provided is organic

Energy and greenhouse gasses – Minimise operational emissions with measures like switching to renewable energy.

Practices are:

  • Key card or motion-controlled electricity
  • Most food provided at the property is locally sourced
  • Most lighting throughout the property uses energy-efficient LED bulbs
  • All windows are double-glazed
  • Offsets a portion of their carbon footprint
  • 100% renewable electricity is used throughout

Destination and community – Promote local small businesses, such as tour guides or restaurants.

Practices are:

  • Invest a percentage of revenue back into community projects or sustainability projects
  • Tours and activities organised by local guides and businesses offered
  • Local artists are offered a platform to display their talents
  • Provide guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture, as well as visitor etiquette

Qualifying certifications

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In order to qualify for a Travel Sustainable badge, the property has either been certified through the Travel Sustainable programme or through one of the following accreditation bodies:

  • Green Tourism
  • EU Ecolabel
  • Green Seal
  • Nordic Swan Ecolabel
  • Green Hospitality Ecolabel
  • Ibex Fairstay
  • Fair Trade Tourism
  • LEED
  • Edge
  • All certifications accredited or recognised by the GSTC

For more information about the Travel Sustainable programme, the benefits of having a badge and how you can apply, please click here.

About the author

Jeanifer BreklingGrowing up in Alaska, Jeanifer took the beauty of its nature for granted. Now that she lives in a more cosmopolitan place, Jeanifer loves to get back to nature wherever she goes, with hiking, camping, snowboarding and diving always a highlight. As a mother of three, Jeanifer is always looking for new places to go that the whole family will enjoy. Follow Jeanifer onLinkedin for more travel inspiration.

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