Hey Iceland Goes Gold with EarthCheck
| María Reynisdóttir
Hey Iceland has secured the prestigious EarthCheck Gold level of certification through the world’s leading certifier of travel and tourism organisations.
In so doing, Hey Iceland has joined an elite group of industry leaders who, over a period of five years or more, have consistently demonstrated their commitment to host communities and high standards of environmental management.
To gain EarthCheck Gold Certification, Hey Iceland have also had to report their environmental footprint and adhere to an internationally recognized standard of Best Practice.
Each year, leading up to certification, Hey Iceland submitted 12 months of operational data to EarthCheck, to be benchmarked against industry Best Practice. A number of key indicators were measured; including energy and water consumption, total waste production, and community commitment.
“Achieving EarthCheck Gold Certification is not an easy task to achieve,” explained EarthCheck CEO Stewart Moore. “There are no short cuts, no ways to buy your way in; it’s a matter of being able to prove the integrity of an organisation’s operational practices year-in and year-out, and then be willing to have everything verified by an independent, third party auditor.”
By taking a scientific approach to measuring the effectiveness of their sustainability practices, Hey Iceland was able to identify where they were out-performing others and where room for improvement remained.
“This requires a commitment across all levels of an organization, from the very top, all the way through to part time staff and even volunteers,” Moore continued.
For economies reliant on travel and tourism, EarthCheck’s benchmarking data provides the only historical record of the global environmental impacts of the industry over the past 12 years. More importantly, it rates the effectiveness of industry efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) and conserve natural resources at a project-by-project level.
For travellers the world over, it’s good to know there’s a credible body keeping track of sustainability claims. The EarthCheck logo represents travel and tourism’s efforts to come together and take meaningful steps to address the serious challenges faced by the planet.