Resources to support your Hotel Sustainability Basics Verification

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 officially support the initiative and work across their networks to implement the criteria over the next three years.


Why is Hotel Sustainability Basics important?

The Travel & Tourism sector is taking important steps toward greater sustainability and net-zero operations. Yet many destinations, consumers, and accommodation providers 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. Together we need to take the first steps, irrespective of size, resources and progress made so far, to raise the base level of sustainability across the entire industry. 

Why should accommodation providers become verified?

Why should governments get involved?

How will verification influence consumer travel behaviours?


How It Works

Hotel Sustainability Basics can be implemented by hotels and accommodation providers through our verification scheme or by destinations, OTAs, investors, and industry associations via a commitment and tailored approach to get their network verified. Check out this video to see how easy it is to begin your Hotel Sustainability Basics journey if you are a hotel or accommodation provider. If you are a destination, OTA, investor, or industry association, please complete the form to receive information on how you can support your network of accommodation providers in taking their first steps on their sustainability journey.

Take the first step

Choose a verification partner

WTTC has two verification partners, SGS and Green Key, for you to choose from depending on your region. Discover the customer journey you will take with your chosen verification partner in the videos below.

Get verified with SGS

Get verified with Green Key


Meet the Hotel Sustainability Basics Criteria

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). Of the 12 criteria, hotels will need to comply with a minimum of eight criteria in the first year, with at least one mandatory criterium per area (Efficiency, Planet, People) while the others can be committed to and put in place within three years. 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.

Learn more about what can be submitted as evidence that your property(ies) are meeting the criteria in Hotel Sustainability Basics in these three videos.


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


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


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

11. Community Benefit
12. Reduce Inequalities



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.