Green-washing, hotels not practicing sustainability/ecotourism but claiming they do, is becoming more of a problem globally. What is to keep a hotel from claiming they practice Eco-tourism when all they do is offer tours in nature? There needs to be a way to combat this. Thus Eco Certifications were born.
By definition, the smaller lodges have less impact on the environment, that’s just common sense. It also follows that they have much smaller budgets. The cost for one of the Eco Certification places, like Green Globe, to come and rate the hotel is costly. The goal was/is to offer an alternative and we hope that this Lodging’s online Eco Rating Exam is part of the solution.
Most lodges want to show visitors that they do indeed practice Eco-tourism, if they do. They also want to show transparency. For the lodges, this is a low cost way for them to show the world they practice ecotourism. They have Eco Tropical Resorts at their backs. We have seen their Policies and Procedures and their measurement systems. We know they practice sustainability.
With this online Eco Rating exam that we have created, each resort/lodge/hotel shows us how they practice sustainability and to what extent. The scores from this Eco Rating are placed on a lodge’s page after completed so that visitors can see for themselves what steps are being taken to promote sustainability. A perfect score is 5 Butterflies. For lodges that score below 2 Butterflies we don’t post their scores or their listings.
Eco Hotels are led through the 5 parts of this Eco Rating and get a combined score based on all areas. The areas include:
Energy-Hotels will score higher if they use alternative, sustainable energy.
Water-With water shortages looming, lodges score higher if they are aware and conserve but not penalized if they live in the Tropics, with an abundance of water.
Recycling and Waste-Here hotels score higher the more they educate visitors and community, as well as handle trash responsibly and recycle in some form.
Land and Nature Conservation-By preserving land and nature we are sustaining our planet. No explanation needed.
Community-Unless the community is involved in some way there is no way to be sustainable. By involving community, via education or jobs, it means that local people are involved and aware of the problems and part of the solution.
Most of the questions are of a yes/no nature.
The logo received by the hotel for taking the Lodging’s Online Eco Rating Exam looks like the one on the left. Where the orange is would be the name of the hotel.
To take the exam, please go here: Online Eco Rating Exam.