If you’re planning a vacation and feel overwhelmed by the amount of greenwashing in the tourism industry, you’re not alone. Sustainable travel is a booming industry that continues to be bogged down by companies claiming to be eco-friendly to improve their marketing. This is often done with sustainable certificates that are paid for but don’t require proof of environmental policies.
Not long ago, the responsibility to wade through this greenwashing would have fallen heavily on travelers. Luckily, there are many credible sustainable certificates holding businesses to rigorous environmental standards while ensuring trust and transparency to consumers.
One of the major eco-labels meeting high global standards is Bureau Veritas. Since 1828, the company has been a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification. This is especially important for travelers to know so that they can identify the top certifications programs, such as Bureau Veritas, and make more informed decisions about eco-friendly hotels and tours.
What Exactly is Bureau Veritas?
Bureau Veritas is a company that helps businesses meet the highest standards of health and safety, environmental protection, and social responsibility through auditing and sustainable certifications. Not only do they hold the tourism industry to high standards, but Bureau Veritas is in almost every sector imaginable: automotive, food, finance, chemicals, and more.
They have helped over 400,000 clients in 140 countries to go from an average eco-business to a leader in the sustainable tourism industry. Bureau Veritas helps companies with their sustainability strategy, management processes, and even employee sustainability training.
Another reason Bureau Veritas sustainable certificates are so valuable is because they are GSTC- Accredited for hotels, accommodations, tour operators, and tourism land transport.
GSTC, or Global Sustainable Tourism Council, is responsible for establishing the global standards for sustainable travel. Currently, only three other certification bodies in the world hold this accreditation. This is because in addition to their standards meeting global criteria, they also had to undergo rigorous external review from a third-party to assess their evaluation process of certification.
How it Works:
Bureau Veritas has over 100 customizable certification products in every sector. To begin the process toward certification, first the company begins with a pre-audit. This initial inspection allows businesses to receive feedback and make changes prior to the official audit.
Once it is time for the official audit, Bureau Veritas inspects the facilities, interviews employees, and assesses whether the business meets international standards (the GSTC-accredited ones!), and if it complies, they are awarded a certificate which lasts for 3 years. To ensure they remain in compliance, Bureau Veritas performs additional annual audits.
How to Find a Bureau Veritas Hotel or Tour Operator:
When you’re viewing prospective hotels or tours, look for the Bureau Veritas logo. Businesses gain rights to the logo as well as the GSTC logo for all digital and print materials.
As you can see, knowing which eco-labels are credible gives a lot of power to travelers to make earth conscious decisions regarding their travels. Book your next vacation with Bureau Veritas certified travel companies to ensure your travels are as sustainable as possible.
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