Because of our longstanding commitment to sustainable operations
and ecotourism principles, Natural Habitat Adventures has earned the prestigious STEP eco-certification label. The Sustainable Tourism Education Program
, or STEP, is a rigorous sustainability assessment that monitors our impacts and resource consumption across the triple bottom line (environment, social, and economic factors). Administered by the non-profit leader in sustainable tourism development, Sustainable Travel International (STI), STEP is considered the leading international eco-certification program for travel and tourism, and is one of the first to be fully accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Why is Eco-Certification Important?
With green business practices on the rise, consumers are constantly bombarded with products claiming to be eco- or environmentally friendly, “natural,” or “green.” While it’s great that customers are demanding products that align with their environmental and social values, many companies are jumping on the “green” bandwagon with their marketing efforts but not necessarily with their actions. This trend is particularly prevalent in the tourism industry, and as a result, it can be very difficult for travelers to identify which tour operators are actually eco-conscious and which properties actually implement sustainable practices.
Enter eco-certification. Quality certification programs conduct detailed assessments of a company’s operations, relationships, resource use, and triple-bottom-line impacts. Looking beyond mere marketing claims, certifiers are able to determine whether a company is actually “walking its talk.” If the company is able to verifiably demonstrate adherence to a set of high sustainability standards, then the certifier grants the company an eco-certification label. This outside verification holds a company accountable for its environmental, social, and economic practices, and provides an additional level of confidence for consumers seeking truly sustainable products.
Our Commitment to Raising the Bar
At Natural Habitat Adventures, we are very proud of the reputation we’ve earned
as a leader in eco and sustainable tourism. But as a company dedicated to constant improvement, we feel that earning outside validation of our sustainability efforts is the right thing to do, not only for our brand, but to encourage the industry to follow suit.
Natural Habitat Adventures has earned Second Party (Bronze) STEP Eco-certification – this means that we have conducted a rigorous sustainability assessment of our operations, and provided documentation and evidence of our practices to the auditing committee at STI, who then reviewed our submission and granted us the STEP eco-label. In the future, we plan to pursue higher levels of certification (Third Party), which will provide us the opportunity to reach Silver, Gold, or Platinum levels.