Achieving the GSTC-Accredited status means that a certification program is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC Accreditation Panel and by ASI (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process, in order to provide an independent and trustworthy qualification of the GSTC-Accredited certification body.
Businesses and Destinations certified by a GSTC-Accredited certification program can also use the GSTC language and logo when they meet all GSTC Criteria. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
Vireo Srl is a certification body whose commercial activities consist of providing Italian and foreign companies with environmental certification services. Vireo began in 2006 providing FSC® and PEFCTM certifications. Since 2011 Vireo has expanded its services providing also MSC, ASC, CTS, ISO 9001 and 14001. In 2017 Vireo has decided to continue its own process of growth applying for the GSTC accreditation.
“After achieving accreditation to certify accommodations and tour operators last year, Vireo has taken another step this year, to be able to certify destinations, the first one in Italy,” says Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair.
“We believe GSTC is a very credible scheme that has a huge potential. We are extremely satisfied and ready for working with sustainable organizations that want to show their real commitment. We are also very proud to propose for the first time the certification for destination using the GSTC Destination Criteria. This is a common result that increase the credibility and international awareness of GSTC worldwide.” says Luigi Mazzaglia, CEO of Vireo.
To date, 5 accommodation programs, 6 tour-operator programs, and 3 destination programs have achieved GSTC-Accredited status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards certification bodies for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that their certification process is credible and adhere to international norms.
GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to join the leading GSTC-Accredited programs (accommodations, tour-operators, destinations) for and complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that their certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s role as the global Accreditation Body for Certification Programs that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
About Vireo Srl
Vireo Srl is a certification body whose commercial activities consist of providing Italian and foreign companies with environmental certification services. Vireo began in 2006 providing FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) and PEFCTM (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) certifications. Since 2011 Vireo has expanded its services, providing also MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), CTS (Carbon Trust Standard), ISO 9001 and 14001. In 2017 Vireo has decided to continue its own process of growth, applying for the GSTC accreditation. This import result was achieved in August 2018 becoming the second GSTC-Accredited certification body to certify to the GSTC Criteria.