Sustainability Best Practices for Hotels

The GSTC Sustainable Hotels Course is designed for hospitality and accommodation professionals, and provides practical insights into sustainability practices for hotels.

  • Deepen your understanding of sustainability for hotels.
  • Learn to apply the globally recognized standard of sustainability
  • Find practical insights based on real-life cases and lessons

Delivered as an on-demand self-paced online course, the GSTC Sustainable Hotels Course features expert presentations, useful resources, and real-life industry examples and lessons on applying sustainability best practices.


This course is for you, if you …

  • Want to improve your performance by learning practical how-to’s on sustainability.
  • Are looking for real-life examples and actionable tips on sustainability solutions.
  • Need a flexible and convenient learning option that fits your busy schedule.
  • Want to systematically and efficiently approach your sustainability journey by aligning with the globally recognized standard of sustainability best practices (GSTC Industry Criteria).


What does the course cover?

The training follows the GSTC Industry Criteria with the Performance Indicators for Hotels, providing best practices for sustainable hotel management.

  • Lessons on each section of the GSTC Industry Criteria, with examples relevant to hotels.
  • Expert tips and resources introducing key solutions around current issues and trends.
  • Tools to help you practice applying the Criteria to your own situations.
  • Opportunities to learn from GSTC experts and fellow hospitality professionals from around the world.


This course is offered as an on-demand course. Registration is processed through the GSTC.

For questions or booking support, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

Course ID: SHC
3 - 5 hrs
On Demand
Price:95,00 €

The GSTC Sustainable Hospitality Course is designed for hospitality and accommodation professionals, and provides practical insights into sustainability practices for hotels.

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The training follows the GSTC Industry Criteria with the Performance Indicators for Hotels, providing best practices for sustainable hotel management.

Download Course Syllabus

Building a Solid Foundation

  • GSTC-I A1 (Sustainability management system)
  • GSTC-I A7 (Building & infrastructure)

Stakeholder Engagement

  • GSTC-I A4 (Staff engagement)
  • GSTC-I A5 (Customer experience)
  • GSTC-I A10 (Destination engagement)

Marketing & Communications

  • GSTC-I A3 (Reporting & communication)
  • GSTC-I A6 (Accurate promotion)

Local Economic Opportunities:

  • GSTC-I B2 (Local employment)
  • GSTC-I B3 (Local purchasing)
  • GSTC-I B4 (Local entrepreneurs)

Do No Harm

  • GSTC-IN B5 (Exploitation and harassment)
  • GSTC-I B8 (Community services)
  • GSTC-I B9 (Local livelihoods)

Do The Most Good

  • GSTC-I B1 (Community support)
  • GSTC-I B6 (Equal opportunity)
  • GSTC-I B7 (Decent work)

Protection of Cultural Resources

  • GSTC-I C2 (Protecting cultural heritage)
  • GSTC-I C4 (Artefacts)

Presenting Cultural Heritage

  • GSTC-I C3 (Presenting culture and heritage)
  • GSTC-I C1 (Cultural interactions)

Conserving Resources

  • GSTC-I D1.2 (Efficient purchasing)
  • GSTC-I D1.3 (Energy conservation)
  • GSTC-I D1.4 (Water conservation)

Reducing Pollution

  • GSTC-I D 2.1 (Greenhouse gas emissions)
  • GSTC-I D 2.3 (Wastewater)
  • GSTC-I D 2.4 (Solid Waste)

Conserving Biodiversity

  • GSTC-I 3.1 (Biodiversity conservation)
  • GSTC-I 3.4 (Wildlife interactions)

About the GSTC: Global Authority on Sustainable Tourism

The GSTC is an independent and neutral organization, legally registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. 

As the global expert in standards for sustainable tourism, the GSTC pursues the goals of:

  • Promoting sustainable tourism knowledge and practices;
  • Facilitating the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles; and
  • Building demand for sustainable travel.

At the core of this work is the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC was founded in 2007 by the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), among others.

Johanna Meissner
Questions? We Are Here To Help
Email Johanna Meissner with your questions or to schedule a call.

Facilitators and Contributors

Dr. David Ermen

Managing Director
Destination Capacity

Ayako Ezaki

Director of Training Strategy and Development

Randy Durband

Chief Executive Officer
Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Emma Jacobs

Social Purpose and Sustainability Manager
Legacy Vacation Resorts

Steve Noakes

Chair, Director
Binna Burra Lodge & Ecolodges Indonesia

Maria O'Connor

Head of Community
Good Hotel

Brent Hyde

Managing Director
Zhiwa Ling Hotels

Jeffery Smith

Vice President Sustainability
Six Senses

Olivia Ruggles-Brise

Vice President, Sustainability
BCD Travel

Frequently asked questions

To complete the course, you need to have all units and knowledge checks marked complete. You can mark each course unit complete by clicking on the little checkbox in the top right corner. You can move to the next unit without completing one, and come back later to complete the unit. This will be a useful way for you to remember which units you’ve completed, and which ones you didn’t, or wanted to revisit because you weren’t sure if you understood everything properly. Knowledge checks are short quizzes at the end of each module, designed as exercises to help you re-visit key learning points. Knowledge check quizzes are not scored, and you get an unlimited number of tries at each question. Once you complete a course, you can download your copy of the Certificate of Completion (available in PDF format) from the course dashboard.
Yes, current GSTC members can register at a discounted Member rate for all STTP training classes (onsite and online). In addition, we offer a limited number of need-based discounts to support those who are unable to pay the full price. You can find eligibility and application details linked from the online registration form for each class.