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?
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
Sustainability needs to be viewed from a large Ecosystem perspective and as such, certifying only hospitality needs to expand to everything that pollutes the world. When addressing the sustainability agenda in a multidimensional manner and across the whole supply chain, the onus is not on what you inspect but on what you expect. The natural progression, I believe, would be governments to start developing future cities, where they will have to create ecosystems and scaffolding that would supply for all needs of the different stakeholders, including energy, food, transport, etc.
Transformative experiences appearing due to the co-caring and co-sharing trends for collaboration, hospitality, and entertainment, the co-living space will increasingly combine heritage and forward-looking to the future where large ecosystems will replace the individual small components. With the latest changes occurring in the post-Corona marketplace, legislations will also need to be adjusted as the argument goes beyond hospitality certification and extends across all the elements in a project: such as hospitals, retail, wellness centers, food outlets, farms, construction materials, etc. Unless certification becomes the new normal, and gets introduced and defined by the country's visionaries, everyone will keep on doing as they please. In addition to this come the cost element and the lack of infrastructure, which further lead me to doubt that certification would be the answer.