Sustainability Certification for Hotels

A strategic investment in securing the success and resilience of the hotel business.

Sustainability certification for hotels is an evaluation framework that assesses a hotel’s commitment to adopting and practicing environmentally responsible and socially conscious practices. They define and guide an establishment’s progress toward achieving sustainable practices. They measure and verify their efforts through set standards and criteria that align with environmental and socio-economic aspects. Verification is done by auditors over some time. Some of the aspects they look into include resource efficiency, environmental impact, continuous impact, consumer and staff education, local community engagement, etc.

There are two different types of certifications regarding hotels:

  1. Environmental certifications for the hotel’s construction; materials used, location on land, etc. Examples EDGE, NEMA, etc.
  2. Sustainability Certifications for how a hotel is operated; looks at processes, materials used, relations with stakeholders, etc. Examples include Ecorating Certification, Green Key Global, Earth Check, B-Corp, and Travelife, among others. Each has its personalized methods of standards and criteria.

Sand River Camp- Gold Ecorated Facility

The Role of Sustainability Certification for Hotels

  1. Meeting Tourist Demand

Travelers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability when making travel decisions. 80% of travelers confirm that traveling more sustainably is important to them according to’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023. A growing number of consumers prefer hotels that demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Sustainability certification provides a clear signal to potential guests that a hotel aligns with their values.

2. Lucrative Competitive Advantage

In a competitive hospitality industry, sustainability certification sets a hotel apart from its competitors. It becomes a unique selling point that can attract environmentally conscious travelers seeking accommodation options that reflect their commitment to sustainable living.

3. Enhancing Reputation and Brand Image

Sustainability certification contributes to building a positive brand image for hotels. Guests and partners are more likely to choose hotels with a reputation for responsible and ethical business practices. 65% of respondents from’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023 would feel better about staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification or label. Positive associations with sustainability can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

4. Cost Savings and Operational Efficiency

Many sustainability initiatives recommended by certification programs are designed to improve operational efficiency and reduce resource consumption. Implementing energy-efficient practices, waste reduction, and water conservation not only benefit the environment but also lead to cost savings for the hotel in the long run.

Elephant Pepper Camp- Gold Ecorated Facility

5. Active Community Engagement

Sustainability certification often includes criteria related to a hotel’s engagement with local communities. This can involve supporting local businesses, preserving cultural heritage, and contributing to the well-being of the community. Positive community engagement can foster goodwill and positive relationships with local stakeholders.

6. Increase Risk Mitigation

Sustainability certification can help hotels mitigate risks associated with environmental and social issues. By proactively addressing these concerns, hotels reduce the likelihood of negative publicity, legal issues, or damage to their reputation. This provides a good level of assurance to investors and partners.

7. Encourages sustainable consumption and production

Sustainability certification encourages hotels to adopt responsible tourism practices. It fosters a culture of continuous improvement and incentivizes the industry to explore new ways to operate sustainably, contributing to broader environmental and social goals. 66% of respondents from’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023 say they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived.

Explore the Ecorating Certification

The Ecorating Certification Program run by Ecotourism Kenya, is a leading authority in the realm of sustainable certifications for hotels, providing a comprehensive framework to assess and validate your commitment to environmental responsibility. As the pioneer and the longest-standing initiative of its kind in the East Africa region, the Ecorating Certification has been instrumental in advancing the sustainability endeavors of renowned hotels such as Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Basecamp Explorer Kenya, and Saruni Camps, among others.

See more Ecorated facilities.

Consider the Ecorating Certification as a strategic move that can significantly elevate your hotel’s commitment to environmental responsibility and distinguish it within the competitive hospitality landscape.

Request an information pack on the certification program here.

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