Apply for STEP buttonOur Programs - Eco-certification


Video testimonial from Guinness Storehouse, Ireland's number one visitor attraction


"Thanks to STEP we are now able to monitor, measure, organize, and improve on our sustainability practices. We can rest assured that we are meeting the standards our guests expect, and taking the extra effort to become a leading responsible business in the tourism industry."

Wet Planet Whitewater

What is STEP?

Based on a comprehensive set of sustainability criteria and indicators, STEP is a suite of online tools that help businesses and destinations of all sizes manage their impacts.

Components include:

  • education and training programs
  • a self-assessment framework for measuring and benchmarking
  • an independently-verified eco-certification process

The only global eco-certification program in the travel and tourism industry managed by a non-profit organization, STEP is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and is quickly becoming the gold standard for the industry.

Incremental Approach

Businesses that successfully integrate sustainable practices into their operations typically take an incremental long-term approach, ramping up their initiatives as time and resources allow. STEP helps facilitate this process through its three primary components or "steps."

STEP 1 - Online STEP Access & Self-Assessment ($250-$750/annual fee)

Step 1 is the completion of a comprehensive online self-assessment tool that helps businesses begin to identify and measure key impacts, as well as become more informed about how to implement industry best practices.

STEP 2 - Apply for STEP Bronze Certification ($250-$750/one-time fee)

Businesses that complete the self-assessment have the opportunity to apply for the Bronze (Baseline) certification. Applicants submit the Required Policies and Documentation for review by an STI-Accredited Assessor. Upon approval, applicants may proceed to Step 3, though this is not required.

STEP 3 - Apply for STEP Silver/Gold/Platinum Certification via an On-Site Assessment (fees vary)

Bronze-level businesses are eligible for a third-party on-site assessment, performed by a local STI-Accredited Assessor. The assessor will verify adherence with STEP criteria and can recommend Silver (Intermediate), Gold (Advanced) or Platinum (Industry Leader) certifications.

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