Sustainability management

The purpose of the Sustainability Management requirements (criteria) is to assess if a business is operating in a way that ensures they are continually monitoring and measuring their sustainability work, that it is adequately resourced and that they are complying with all relevant legislation. Another important reason is that good sustainability management practices ensure that their sustainability programme is meaningful, built around sound objectives and shows transparency and accountability.

Travelife is looking for good management practices in the following areas:

Community engagement and support

Quality assurance procedures

Health and safety policies*

Legislation and licensing compliance

Reducing, minimising and managing environmental impacts

Supporting and respecting labour and human rights

*It is important to remember that Travelife does not conduct health and safety audits. We simply need to see that there is a health and safety policy in place, and that any areas relevant to sustainability (e.g. hazardous substances, water quality, staff safety) are being complied with.  Travelife does not want auditors to evaluate the adequacy of health & safety procedures as this is outside the scope of a Travelife audit.

Travelife looks for evidence of compliance in the form of documentation that covers the following areas as these all ensure that good sustainability management practices are in place:

Policies: These should include written statements of commitment, an outline of how the business will meet this commitment and be signed by a senior manager.

Goals & targets: Whilst these can be threaded throughout other parts of the Standard, Travelife wants to see that properties are continually setting goals and targets that minimise negative impacts and increase positive ones. Sometime these are included in policies.

Procedures: These can show us if a business has integrated certain sustainability practices into their day-to-day operations. For example, a guest complaints procedure can show us one aspect of how the property manages quality assurance and how well they are performing in this area.

Reporting: Regular internal and external reporting that includes an analysis of how well the business did against their commitments, goals and targets is essential. Having these reports reviewed by senior management and available for the public to view is the best way to ensure transparency and that sustainability work remains on track and continues to improve.

Legal compliance: No business can claim to be operating responsibly if they are not aware of all relevant laws and can demonstrate they are complying with them. Travelife asks to see evidence that this is being carried out and that compliance is being monitored on a regular basis.

Resourcing: A business will only be able to adhere to their policies and achieve their targets if they have ensured their sustainability work is adequately resourced in terms of having dedicated staff to work in each of the core sustainability areas and ensured that all staff are provided with the necessary information and training to support the business’ work.

Much of the terminology used in this lesson is self-explanatory, however, here are some of the terms that we know our Members can be confused about, particularly as some of our requirements cross over different areas of the Travelife Standard.

Environmental impacts: These are the effects the operations of the business have on air, soil and water quality, along with biodiversity and animal welfare. They also include the use of hazardous substances, although there are some health and safety considerations here too.

Community engagement and support: This refers to the people and places in the business’s location. It includes things like local biodiversity, animal welfare, economic development, community relations, cultural heritage, protecting vulnerable people in the community along with things like planning permissions and access. Many Travelife requirements relating to community cross over into other areas such as environmental impacts, human rights and legislation.

Legislation: This refers to laws and regulations. They could be international, national, local or even specific to an industry body that the business belongs to. Where no local or national law exists, Travelife looks to either international laws or guidelines from respected and reputable NGOs and international bodies. For example, if a country has no minimum wage law, Travelife will look to the ILO (International Labour Organisation) for guidance.

Licensing & permits: These are documents that the business must have in order to comply with legislation.  For example, a local law might require that all bars have a liquor licence from the local authority.

Quality assurance: This refers to how a business maintains high standards of quality across all of their operations. At Travelife, we want to see that some core procedures are in place to address that and we specifically want to see that there is a method of collecting feedback from guests and staff, and that procedures are in place to ensure that feedback is reviewed and, where necessary, acted upon.

E-learning

These online courses are free for all Travelife Members.  They are designed to be short and to give more information about Travelife sustainability requirements that will help you prepare for your audit, or simply to increase your general knowledge of sustainability.

View available courses

Legislation

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
9 - 14 + 76 - 77 + 116
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
10 - 15 + 91 - 92 + 137
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
10 - 15 + 99 - 100 + 150
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
10 - 15 + 99 - 100 + 150
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

An important part of responsible business is making sure you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, and have all the necessary permits to operate. If this is not being done it can indicate that your business is not showing proper care for people and the environment, and it also leaves you vulnerable to risk.

Objectives

  • To ensure your business is aware of all relevant legislation you need to comply with
  • To have a plan in place for checking that you are always compliant
  • To regularly check for any new legislation or codes of practice that might apply to your business
  • To ensure you have all the necessary licences, permits and permissions to operate your business

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

13 + 77

Small

14 + 92

Medium & Large

14 + 100

Mega

14 + 100

TOOLS

GUIDES

Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare checklist English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Quick guide: Recording legislation and licences English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

14

Small

15

Medium & Large

15

Mega

15

TOOLS

Click here to view and download the Travelife Declaration of Compliance

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

76 + 116

Small

91 + 137

Medium & Large

99+ 150

Mega

99+ 150

TOOLS

GUIDES

Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare checklist English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Quick guide: Recording legislation and licences English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Biodiversity, wildlife and animal welfare English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human Rights English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Policies

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
1-8 + 109 + 111 + 121
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
1 - 9 + 115 + 127 + 129 + 142
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
1 - 9 + 125 + 138 + 140 + 155
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
1 - 9 + 125 + 138 + 140 + 155
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Having written policies that state your commitments, goals, targets, and the steps you will take to achieve these, are one very important way to ensure that everyone at your business understands what is required to operate responsibly. They also show your guests, suppliers and community what you are doing to improve your environmental and social impacts. Being able to refer back to your policies also helps you to track your progress.

Objectives

  • To ensure that senior management understand and support the commitments your business has made
  • To ensure that responsible business practices are incorporated in your day-to-day operations, rather than something you only think about once or twice a year
  • To have written goals, targets and procedures that you can track and measure to see what things you are doing well and what further improvements can be made
  • To help keep you accountable to your guests, stakeholders, staff and community by making the important and relevant parts of your policies public

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

 1 + 6

Small

1 + 6

Medium & Large

1 + 6

Mega

1 + 6

GUIDES

EXAMPLES

Quick Guide:  Environmental Policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Environmental policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

2 + 6

Small

2 + 6 + 115

Medium & Large

2 + 6 + 125

Mega

2 + 6 + 125

GUIDES

EXAMPLES

Quick Guide:  Human rights and labour policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed Guide:  Fair labour practices English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human Rights English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Avoiding discrimination English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Example: Labour and human rights policy English | Español | Türkçe Coming soon:  Ελληνικά 

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

3 + 6

Small

 3 + 6

Medium & Large

3 + 6

Mega

3 + 6

GUIDES

EXAMPLES

Quick guide: Community engagement policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Community integration and support English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement (includes buying local) English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Example: Community integration and support policy English | Español | Türkçe Coming soon: Ελληνικά

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

109 + 111

Small

127 + 129

Medium & Large

138 + 140

Mega

138 + 140

GUIDES

Quick guide: Child safeguarding policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Safeguarding children English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human Rights English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

4 + 6

Small

4 + 6

Medium & Large

4 + 6

Mega

4 + 6

TEMPLATES

EXAMPLES

Guest feedback survey English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Quality assurance policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Guest feedback survey English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Telling guests how to give you feedback English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

GUIDES

Quick guide: Quality assurance policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Guest feedback English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

7 + 8 + 109 + 121

Small 

7 + 8 + 9 + 127 + 142

Medium & Large

7 + 8 + 9 +138 + 155

Mega

7 + 8 + 9 +138 + 155

If you do not have a website then Travelife or an auditor can provide you with advice about how to comply with the requirement to publish policies online. We can also help you understand which languages should be covered in terms of your guests, but generally we recommend you cover the languages that around 80% of your guests speak.

Assessing and communicating your progress

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
15 + 16 + 17 + 68 + 122
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
16 - 25 + 29 + 81 + 143
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
16 - 27 + 31 + 43 + 63 + 87 + 156
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
16 - 27 + 31 + 43 + 63 + 87 + 156
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Producing reports ensures that you are regularly assessing your progress against your targets and can make adjustments where necessary. Producing a public report that your guests, staff, community and other stakeholders can see helps to promote your achievements, and ensures you are being transparent about your sustainability work.

Objectives

  • Produce regular internal reports that assess your progress against your sustainability goals and targets
  • Share internal sustainability reports with management and make sure they are discussed
  • Regularly review your targets, adjusting them when needed along with the steps you are taking to meet them
  • Have a process in place to collect general feedback from your guests and making any necessary changes or improvements that this feedback identifies

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

Not required

Small

19 + 20 + 21 + 22 + 23

Medium & Large

19 + 20 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 24

Mega

19 + 20 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 24

TEMPLATES

EXAMPLES

Internal sustainability report English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Internal sustainability report English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

GUIDES

Quick Guide:  Internal sustainability reports English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

15 + 16 + 122

Small

16 + 17 + 18 + 143

Medium & Large

16 + 17 + 18 + 27 + 156

Mega

16 + 17 + 18 + 27 + 156

GUIDES

Quick Guide:  Public sustainability reports English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Micro

17

Small

24 + 25

Medium & Large

25 + 26

Mega

25 + 26

TEMPLATES

EXAMPLES

Guest feedback survey English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe 

Guest feedback survey English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Telling guests how to give you feedback English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

GUIDES

Quick guide: Quality assurance policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Guest feedback English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA/CRITERION

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

Micro

68

Small

81

Medium & Large

43 + 63 + 87

Mega

43 + 63 + 87

GUIDES

Detailed guide: Energy English | Español | Ελληνικά

Detailed guide: Water English | EspañolΕλληνικά

Detailed guide: Hazardous substances English | Español