Hotel Sustainability Basics

Hotel Sustainability Basics is a globally recognised and coordinated set of sustainability indicators that all hotels should implement as a minimum. Developed by the industry for the industry, they represent the 12 actions that are fundamental to hotel sustainability. WTTC is calling on hotel operators, owners, associations, and investors around the world to implement the criteria over the next three years.


Strategically designed to help
hotels start their sustainability journey

The Travel & Tourism sector is taking important steps toward greater sustainability and net-zero operations. Yet many hotel companies and properties continue to face important challenges in starting their sustainability journeys, often due to financial and human resource constraints. It is vital to support and empower these stakeholders to embark on their sustainability journeys in an aligned and strategic manner. The global hotel industry has come together to identify the first crucial steps that all properties can and should take, irrespective of their size, resources and progress made so far, thereby raising the base level of sustainability across the entire industry. 


How It Works

The Hotel Sustainability Basics criteria are open source and freely available for any hotel company or property to adopt. They are intended as the first step of a progressive sustainability journey, that can then be expanded to follow more ambitious pathways (e.g.‘Pathway to Positive Hospitality’ or the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria). WTTC urges the sector to seek constant improvements beyond the 12 basic criteria so that every hotel, whether it's an individual business or part of a larger group, is always developing new ways to become more sustainable.

Step 1

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) introduces Hotel Sustainability Basics: consisting of 12 criteria, grouped into three areas: Efficiency, Planet and People.


Robust approaches to measuring and reducing energy and water consumption, waste and carbon emissions.

1. Measure & Reduce Energy Use
2. Measure & Reduce Water Use
3. Identify & Reduce Waste
4. Measure & Reduce Carbon Emissions
Step 2

Of the 12 criteria, hotels need to comply with 8 initially, while the others can be committed to and put in place within 3 years.


Fundamental actions to protect the environment.

5. Linen reuse program
6. Green cleaning products
7. Vegetarian options
8. No plastic straws or stirrers
9. No SUP water bottles
10. Bulk amenity dispensers
Step 3

The criteria can be implemented by any hotel worldwide. Those wishing for validation can go through an official verification process.


Fundamental actions toward a positive contribution to the communities in which they are located.

11. Community Benefit
12. Reduce Inequalities

Get Your Toolkit

What next?

Start the process to become Hotel Sustainability Basics verified!

Green Key is WTTC’s partner verifier who will take you through the validation process to ensure your business meets the criteria to receive the Hotel Sustainability Basics Verification stamp.

Click Here to Register

The Journey Ahead


Launch & Commitment

WTTC launches the Initiative at the 21st WTTC Global Summit, Manila for DMOs, Industry Associations and Hard Brand and Group HQS.



WTTC invited Hotels to participate in the Green Lodging Trends Report (GLTR) to access an insightful benchmark report.



WTTC launches the verification scheme for individual hotel properties that adopt the Hotel Sustainability Basics Initiative in Q1 2023.


2023 & Beyond

A global movement for Hotel Sustainability
with no property left behind 

Benefits of becoming Verified

By officially supporting the initiative and getting involved, you are strengthening a global call for an inclusive, more sustainable development in the hospitality industry and commit to lead by example by ensuring that your hotel(s) are or will implement the criteria as a bare minimum.



Strengthen your position as a sustainability leader by committing to ensure that your hotel(s) are or will implement the criteria as a bare minimum.


Be an integrated part of all global technical activities WTTC organises around this initiative and connect with like-minded businesses to share experiences and learn from each other to scale impact.


Better understand your impacts on resources, the planet, and people and identify opportunities for operational improvements thanks to the tracking and benchmarking of progress made.


Increase awareness about your sustainability commitment to a global audience on both the demand and supply side by being part of all WTTC communication activities.


Join a global movement

The hospitality industry is a force for good and while many companies are taking great strides and leading the way, others are only now taking their first steps. By offering an understanding of the simplest steps hotels can take to become more sustainable, the Hotel Sustainability Basics will help to raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry.

Wolfgang M. Neumann,
Chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA)
While Accor is actively working towards achieving carbon neutrality in line with its science-based targets, we welcome the WTTC's Hotel Sustainability Basics Initiative. We believe that this framework is a useful step towards ambitious sustainability goals and practices for the hospitality industry.

Sébastien Bazin,
Chairman and CEO, Accor
A deep sense of concern for the planet and the community has been at the very core of business for the Association's founder members who believe in sustainable and responsible growth.
It was only natural therefore for HAI to align with WTTC's Hotel Sustainability Basics Initiative and endorse it wholeheartedly at the first available opportunity.

M.P. Bezbaruah,
Secretary-General, Hotel Assoc.of India
Radisson Hotel Group has committed to Net Zero. We are setting Science-Based Targets and have an award-winning sustainability program focused on People, Planet, and Communities. With the Hotel Sustainability Basics, we have collectively defined the common starting point accessible to all hotels and the industry framework to grow sustainable travel. I am pleased to see the hotel sector take a coordinated and non-competitive way forward to facilitate a true and effective response to the climate change challenge we face.

Federico J González,
CEO, Radisson Hotel Group

Read all Testimonials




1. Why have 12 criteria been selected?

The 12 criteria have been selected following an intense process of industry review and based on their significance as actions which represent a base level of sustainability activity that all hotels should be undertaking. They represent both back of house and guest facing activities, both of which are critical to making real sustainability progress, and include both environmental and social aspects. During the review process it became clear that reducing the number of criteria would compromise the robustness of the initiative, by eliminating some key and fundamental actions, but a phased approach has been suggested to allow time for the full set to be implemented. Furthermore, any more would dilute the focus and overwhelm those trying to put them into practice. 

2. Why are some mandatory from the outset?

It is recognised that the 12 criteria although basic in nature, will still take time and effort to implement particularly in hotels which are starting out on their sustainability journey. For this reason, 8 of the criteria should be in place within the first year of implementation, and the remaining 4 by year three. There is flexibility in terms of which criteria hotels may choose to prioritise for year 1. 


Join the Hotel Sustainability Basics Community

The criteria have been developed under the leadership of WTTC and through a working group of 11 hotel companies, with the support of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. They have been reviewed, debated and reworked following several rounds of industry consultation so that they truly represent the common denominator and most transversal sustainability actions across the industry. The working group members include Accor, Barcelo Hotel Group, Huazhu Group Limited including their affiliate Deutsche Hospitality, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group, Meli Hotels International, Minor International, NH Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group.

Take The First Step

Strategic Partners:       Saudi_Arabia AMEX           global Rescue 

Strategic Partners:        AMEX  global Rescue   Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia