The Future of Sustainability Certification: Micro-Certification?
— 14 experts shared their view
Over the past 20 years, the hospitality industry has experienced a continuous increase in various 'stamps of approval', especially at the sustainable front. A few large certification bodies with extensive criteria catalogues dominate the market but hoteliers and consumers alike are still struggling to differentiate the reputable and credible ones from the home-made seals of approval. A growing number of hotel chains and independent operators have opted for external, third-party certification in regards to their hygiene and sanitation standards in light of the current pandemic. Is there an increased interest in micro-certification? Why not look for a plastic-free certification? What about a carbon natural certification or a water-efficient certification? A plant-based restaurant certification? So micro certifications with low-barriers of entry for hoteliers who could build their sustainability endeavours along micro-certification, like pieces of a puzzle. Would micro-certification facilitate consumers' understanding of the meaning and intention of certification?
Assistant Professor at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
I believe micro-certifications will increase guests' confusion concerning sustainability engagement of the hotels. The majority of the clients have already had difficulties to differentiate among the various labels they may see at the hotels. I trust if some credible national or international certifications are pre-selected and imposed by tourism/hospitality authorities, not only guests would trust more in these labels, but companies would also have an easier task which one to choose. To sum up, there are already far too many certifications in the market, so it is better to pick few that are credible and also recognizable by the clients.