Green Globe Certification
Green Globe Certification provides certification, training & education, and marketing services in 83 countries worldwide. Based in Los Angeles, California and with partners in Mexico, South America, South Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and Europe, Green Globe Certification provides certification for the sustainable operations and management of travel and tourism companies and their related supplier businesses. Green Globe Certification also maintains a global network of independent auditors who provide third party inspection and validation.
The Green Globe Certification Standard is based on internationally accepted criteria developed during the 15 years of the Green Globe program. Green Globe Certification is active in harmonizing with other established sustainability certification programs around the world. The process of harmonization contributes to maintaining core criteria and at the same time address regional issues through the adoption of locally developed standards.
Green Globe Certification operates under a twenty year license with a renewal option from Green Globe Ltd UK the owner of the brand worldwide.
Green Globe Certification participates at all the world’s leading travel and tourism expos and conferences, including World Travel Market – London, ITB – Berlin, IMEX- Frankfurt, Caribbean Marketplace among many others. Green Globe Summits are held throughout the year in key destinations to provide insight to the latest development in sustainability certification, provide training and education to auditors and discuss local issues confronting businesses and the communities they work in.
The Green Globe Program
The Green Globe program traces its roots back to the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, where 182 heads of state from around the world endorsed the Agenda 21 principles of sustainable development. The Earth Summit was unprecedented for a U.N. conference, as it was the first time world leaders acknowledged, as a group, that consumption of non-renewable resources was leading to environmental degradation.
In the early 1990’s the term sustainable tourism was in its infancy. Pioneering tourism operators concerned about the effect their operations had on the environment and how best to measure that impact, were often categorized into special interest tourism. Green Globe was developed to provide a way forward for tourism organizations who were interested in measuring their environmental impact and then developing and implementing strategies to reduce those impacts.
Following the Summit and after 2 years of additional development, a Green Globe membership program was established. By the end of 1994, 19 travel industry associations had endorsed the program and through joint marketing strategies, promoted Green Globe to their members.
By 1995, Green Globe membership had risen to 350 in 74 countries. Green Globe’s environmental program played an important role at World Travel Market and helped World Travel Market organize the exhibition’s first Environmental Awareness Day.
The Green Globe destination program was designed in 1997 to extend corporate improvement and Agenda 21 principles to communities. Pilot programs were initiated in Vilamoura (Portugal), Jersey, Crete and Corfu. The first regional partnership was established with Caribbean Hotel Association under the banner of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism CAST ( http://www.cha-cast.com). By 1998, membership in the Green Globe program had risen to 500 entities in 100 countries. Also in 1998, a strategic alliance was formed with the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) in Australia, in which STCRC would act as a global research facility on sustainable tourism, actively promoting the Green Globe program.
In March 1999, Green Globe presented its annual Green Globe achievement awards to 20 companies at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s leading trade shows for the travel industry. Under the WTTC umbrella and together with the International Hotel & Restaurant Association, Green Globe’s certification and destination management program was highlighted at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, which took place in New York in April 1999. Green Globe also became a separate and autonomous organization from the World Travel & Tourism Council in 1999.
In 2000, Green Globe Asia Pacific (GGAP), a joint venture involving Green Globe, Ltd. (UK), was launched at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Conference in Hong Kong.
The 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg provided the structure for Green Globe to assist businesses in achieving the desired outcomes for sustainable tourism. The program was also developed to comply with the Mohonk Agreement, which summarized the guidelines for an international sustainable tourism certification program.
Green Globe Accreditation was established in 2002 to maintain quality of assessment services offered through accredited certification bodies, including SGS (worldwide), AJA (worldwide) Groupa Mendez (Mexico) and GT Certification (South America). Assessors were trained on four continents to deliver local assessment services.
Leeds Bradford International Airport was the first airport to achieve Green Globe certification and Le Roche Hotel Management School in Bluche, Switzerland became the first educational establishment to achieve Green Globe certification.
A new Green Globe website was launched in 2004 with enhanced information on customers and support material to achieve benchmarked and certified status.
In 2008, the Green Globe program was revitalized with the purchase of Green Globe, Ltd. by Green Globe International, Inc., a U.S. public company. Under the combined leadership of Green Globe, Ltd. and Green Globe International, programs have been expanded to include additional worldwide certification programs, Green Globe branded tools for carbon calculation and offset, and a broad range of sustainability consulting services.
Since its inception, the Green Globe brand has represented the best in environmental responsibility. The brand and its associated programs hold even greater promise as the world further embraces the need for sustainability and response to global climate change as essential core values.