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 destinations and accommodation stakeholders around the world to implement the criteria and raise the bar of sustainability in the sector.


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Strategically designed to help
hotels start their sustainability journey


The Hotel Sustainability Basics 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).





WATCH: How to get verified in Hotel Sustainability Basics

Step 2

Choose a verification partner in your confirmation email*

Step 3

Get verified with your chosen verification partner

*Each verifier offers packages to choose from that vary in level of support during your verification process



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

Verification Timeline

Year 1

8 criteria

Year 2

9+ criteria

Year 3

12 criteria

Year 4

Advance on to greater sustainability

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.


Customer Demand

The Basics enables hotels to demonstrate their sustainability credentials and meet the needs of a growing traveller segment seeking sustainable accommodation options.

Brand reputation and positioning

Positive sustainability initiatives contribute to building B2B, B2C, and B2G trust and strengthening hotels' position as sustainability leaders.

Better management

Comprehensive tracking and benchmarking of progress allows hotels to better understand their environmental, and social impacts while identifying opportunities for operational enhancements.

Cost savings

Embracing sustainable business practices, such as resource efficiency and smarter supply chain management can lead to cost savings.

Get ahead of regulations

Having basic sustainability indicators allows hotels to take the first steps towards complying with evolving regulatory landscapes and mandatory reporting requirements.

Global alignment

Hotel Sustainability Basics is aligned with several national and international recognised schemes, allowing hotels flexibility to explore and adopt these schemes as part of their journeys to sustainability.

A global movement for Hotel Sustainability
with no property left behind


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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. 


Strategic Partners:        AMEX  global Rescue   Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia