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Sustainable Development Goal Resources

The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) underscored by The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. Green Key Global alerts travellers and planners that their accommodation choices can protect the planet.

Sustainable tourism development, and its impact at community level, can be linked with national poverty reduction goals, those related to promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses, and empowering less favored groups, particularly youth and women.

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Human Rights in Tourism

This Human Rights in Tourism webinar talks about the importance of a “living wage” and how the absence of one contributes to poverty and impacts many human rights. This can help combat the season nature of some tourism employees.

Tourism can spur agricultural productivity by promoting the production, use, and sale of local produce in tourist destinations and its full integration in the tourism value chain.

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Hotel Kitchen

Hotel Kitchen promotes a sustainable method of food waste, including community partnerships by donating safe leftover food to those in need.

Foreign earnings and tax income from tourism can be reinvested in health care and services, which should aim to improve maternal health, reduce child mortality, and prevent diseases, among others.

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The sector can provide incentives to invest in education and vocational training and assist labor mobility through cross-border agreements on qualifications, standards, and certifications.

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This TEDx talk from Milena Nikolova talks about educating people and employees using behavioural economics on sustainability in order to make substantial changes.

Recycle Smart

Recycle Smart provides a series of webinars for business owners to educate them on making sustainable business choices in today’s landscape.

Tourism can empower women in multiple ways, particularly through the provision of jobs and through income-generating opportunities in small and larger-scale tourism and hospitality related enterprises.

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The efficient use of water in the tourism sector, coupled with appropriate safety measures, wastewater management, pollution control and technology efficiency can be key to safeguarding our most precious resource.

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By promoting sound and long-term investments in sustainable energy sources, tourism can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change, and contribute to innovative and new energy solutions in urban, regional, and remote areas.

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Lightenco offers a free lighting assessment for hotels and meeting spaces. They offer energy efficient lighting solutions to use renewable energy that help cut costs long term.


EnergyStar offers many certified products that help save energy, and money in the long term. They also include a section with resources and tips for commercial buildings, like hotels.


EnerGuide helps Canadian’s shop for all things energy efficiency related. It is the official mark of the Government of Canada for its energy performance rating and labeling program for key consumer items.

Tourism currently provides for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By giving access to decent work opportunities in the tourism sector, society –particularly youth and women – can benefit from increased skills and professional development.

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Human Rights in Tourism

Human Rights in Tourism offers a guideline for decent work and socially responsible tourism. They are set up to provide productive employment in the tourism industry, promoting sustainability, and contributing to the achievements of the SDG’s.

Tourism development relies on good public and privately supplied infrastructure and an innovative environment making them more sustainable, resource-efficient, and clean, to attract tourists and other sources of foreign investment.

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CNTraveller explores several different hotels with innovative sustainable practices.

Global Sustainable Tourism Council

This talk by Dr. Xavier Font for Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) talks about influencing traveler’s preferences to sustainable choices and how to market sustainability. He explores ways that we can be hypocrites and how to hold ourselves and our business practice more sustainable.


The SustainAbility Institute by ERM offers many useful sustainability resources including up to date trend reports, webinars, and actionable insights.

Tourism can contribute to urban renewal and rural development and reduce regional imbalances by giving communities the opportunity to prosper in their place of origin.

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Sustainable tourism has the potential to advance urban infrastructure and universal accessibility, promote regeneration of areas in decay and preserve cultural and natural heritage, assets on which tourism depends.

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Green Cities Europe

Green Cities Europe talks about the science of greenery. It includes several reports about how to achieve more and better nature in cities and urban green spaces.


WWF explores the importance of nature being at the heart of our cities and shows their support for the implementation of urban nature-based solutions (UNbS). There is also a report on UNbS and an informational video series about what they are and why they are so important.

Oxford Academic

Green roofs provide ecosystem services in urban areas and would be a great sustainable addition to a hotel. Buildings cause a negative impact on the environment and flow of energy; the addition of a rooftop can lessen several negative effects of buildings on local ecosystems. Oxford Academic offers an article on green roofs and urban habitats.

A tourism sector that adopts sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices can play a significant role in accelerating the global shift towards sustainability.

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Sustainability Hospitality Alliance

Sustainability Hospitality Alliance offers a fact sheet on how responsible purchasing can positively impact hotel operations – including tips on how to get started.

Six Senses

Six Senses is a perfect example of including sustainably sourced, local produce. They take part in farming initiatives, harnessing renewable energy and more. Read more about their Earth Lab initiative to learn more.

Hotel Kitchen

The final step to consumption is food waste. Hotel Kitchen offers a measurement methodology on food waste for businesses in hospitality.

Winnow Solutions

Winnow Solutions provides businesses with sustainable food waste methods that help enhance productivity, increase profitability, and improve sustainability.

If you are located in Ontario, take some time to read over the Ontario Food and Organic Waste Policy from

Tourism contributes to and is affected by climate change. It is, therefore, in the sector’s own interest to play a leading role in the global response to climate change.

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Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance offers a Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). It is a free measurement tool for hotels and meeting spaces to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays.

Sheep Inc.

Sustainability doesn’t have to stop at carbon neutrality, Sheep Inc. explores the concept of Carbon-Negativity. This is the act of carbon offsetting more than you produce. It includes projects including tree planting, preventing deforestation, and community restoration.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

Greenhouse Gas Protocol is an excellent resource if you are looking to reduce your greenhouse gases. They are the most widely greenhouse gas accounting standard and offer tools and courses.

Project Zero

Landfill waste and food waste are both significant contributors to climate change. Hotels can take meaningful action to reduce their environmental impact through waste audits, these tools will provide you with tangible ways to reduce and divert your waste.

Tourism’s biggest segments, particularly for Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS), rely on healthy marine ecosystems. Tourism development must be a part of Integrated Coastal Zone Management to help conserve and preserve fragile marine ecosystems and serve as a vehicle to promote a blue economy.

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Sustainable tourism can play a major role, not only in conserving and preserving biodiversity, but also in respecting terrestrial ecosystems, owing to its efforts towards the reduction of waste and consumption, the conservation of native flora and fauna, and its awareness-raising activities.

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Responsible Travel

Responsible Travel has committed to becoming nature positive by 2030. Their site talks about the negative effect tourism can have on biodiversity and climate change and how becoming sustainable can help wildlife and natural spaces.

Hospitality Net

This article by Hospitality Net talks about the symbiotic relationship between nature and hotels and how a hotel can both contribute to and benefit from the environment.

CNN Travel

An idea of what you can do within the property if your hotel is in a city environment is beekeeping or “insect hotels” in the garden or on the roof of the hotel. This article by CNN Travel explores several hotels that have had success with this.

Travel Without Plastic

Travel Without Plastic offers many useful resources on reducing plastic in hospitality businesses. There is a toolkit for hotels to use to reduce waste, as well as many workshops and webinars on the subject.

Plastics Pact

Canada is working towards a ban on single use plastics. You may consider joining or watching the progress on the Canada Plastics Pact where other Canadian corporations are joining to work on zero waste solutions.


Professor Sara Dolnicar has an informative Tedx talk on how to waste less on a vacation. Through her tourism research, Sara develops and tests ways to encourage tourists to waste less water, energy, and food while on vacation.

University of Queensland

The University of Queensland also posted a video of Professor Sara Dolniclar talking about the impact reusable cotton can have compared to single use paper. This switch to reusable not only positively impacts the environment, but also the hotel’s bottom line.

Due to its cross-sectorial nature tourism has the ability to strengthen private/public partnerships and engage multiple stakeholders – international, national, regional and local – to work together to achieve the SDGs and other common goals.

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We Protect Children in Travel and Tourism

We Protect Children in Travel and Tourism talks about the Code that all hotels should know – it is a set of criteria members should commit to, to keep children safe.

They also provide an assessment for businesses to assess the risk for children.


This Case Study by ECPAT explores the risk for sexual exploitation among children as travel and tourism grows, and how we can prevent this from happening.

Sustainable tourism has the potential to advance urban infrastructure and universal accessibility, promote regeneration of areas in decay and preserve cultural and natural heritage, assets on which tourism depends.

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Green Seal

Green Seal is a universal symbol of health and environmental leadership. They have a certified directoryof sustainable products.


EcoLogo is another certification program for products and services that are certified for reduced environmental impact.