In certain regions green accreditation schemes have been developed to certify eco-tourism destinations, tourism offices and meeting suppliers (such as hotels and conference venues).
The Green Tourism Business Scheme does offer a framework for convention and visitor bureaus to certify their offices and information centres for sustainable practices in the United Kingdom. The Scheme uses over 120 measures of sustainability that businesses can choose to implement in order to earn either Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation.
Travel Green Wisconsin is a state-based voluntary certification program that recognizes businesses that have made a commitment to continuously improving their operations in order to reduce their environmental and social impact. This state-based scheme has accredited convention and visitor bureaus for sustainable practice, although also certifies a diversity of tourism businesses.
Green Globe has also developed a Community and Destination Standard for cities that are marketing and managing themselves for sustainable tourism. The program presents a comprehensive list of criteria, although does not specifically consider services and products required by the meeting sector.
When selecting a product or service on the basis of an environmental certification caveat emptor should always apply, and this is no different in the case of green event destinations. Consumers are well advised to pay close attention to:
- The criteria adopted by the certification or eco-label.
- The degree of information disclosure required of the certified party.
- The frequency of re-certification.
- The involvement of a third-party in the development of criteria and the assessment process.