Hey Iceland Goes Gold with EarthCheck

Hey Iceland Goes Gold with EarthCheck

01.01.2015 | María Reynisdóttir

Hey Iceland has yet again 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 has also had to report their environmental footprint and adhere to an internationally recognised 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 shortcuts, 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 organisation, 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.

EarthCheck certified companies and communities in Iceland

EarthCheck is one of the world's largest certifiers of sustainable travel and tourism operators; with more than 1,200 clients in over 65 countries. EarthCheck certified entities within Hey Iceland include the Hey Iceland administration office in Reykjavík and Hotel Hellnar in West Iceland. Other EarthCheck certified entities in Iceland are Elding Whale Watching in Reykjavík and Snæfellsnes Peninsula (community) in West Iceland.

Icelandic Farm Holidays is EarthCheck certified

Hotel Fljótshlíð Nordic Swan certified 

Hey Iceland is also proud to have three Nordic Swan certified members within its ranks; Hotel Rauðaskriða in North Iceland, Hotel Eldhestar in South Iceland and the latest one to receive Nordic Swan certification is Hotel Fljótshlíð in South Iceland, which has had an active sustainability policy since 2007. 

Hotel Fljótshlíð Nordic Swan certified

Photo: Arndís Soffía Sigurðardóttir, Hotel Manager at Hotel Fljótshlíð, receives the Nordic Swan certification from Environmental Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson in November 2014. 

Interested in sustainable travel in Iceland? See also our sustainability policy and tips on responsible travel in Iceland!

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