Singapore gains global destination sustainability certification

sustainability certification

Singapore has achieved sustainability certification based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Destination Criteria.

The GSTC Criteria are global standards for sustainable travel and tourism and Singapore was certified based on performance in four pillars: sustainable management, socio-economic sustainability, cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability.

Singapore’s achievement reflects the commitment towards the Singapore Green Plan 2030, and is also in line with the Singapore Tourism Board’s Tourism Sustainability Strategy. Launched in 2022 it sets out actionable strategies for the tourism industry so that Singapore can become a sustainable urban destination.

Singapore’s sustainability certification follows similar achievements by key tourism partners such as Sentosa Development Corporation, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands Singapore, which had also achieved certification based on the relevant GSTC Criteria.

 “We are proud to receive this certification, which reflects Singapore’s commitment to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and becoming a City in Nature, where large experiences come with a small footprint,” said Keith Tan, chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

“Achieving sustainability certification is just the beginning of our journey. Tourism businesses must do more to internalise sustainability as part of their offerings, so that they can contribute to making Singapore greener and more liveable. Our vision is to become one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations and we now know we are on the right track.”

Mr Randy Durband, CEO, Global Sustainable Tourism Council said, “The commitment from Singapore’s tourism sector to support their national Singapore Green Plan 2030 is apparent based on their holistic approach to sustainable tourism. We see first-hand some of their efforts to engage key subsectors of tourism in meaningful ways. Gaining destination certification requires that level of commitment and holistic approach. We commend them and are pleased to support their efforts for continuous improvement.”

STB will continue to engage its partners, build on the destination’s existing strengths and ramp up efforts in areas of improvement.

Singapore has implemented a range of measures to enhance greenery, strengthen ecological connectivity between green spaces, and conserve its biodiversity. For example, the OneMillionTrees movement, launched in 2020, aims to plant one million additional trees across Singapore by 2030 and the target is on its way to being met. The country is also charting concrete targets and demonstrating real-world sustainability applications to manage its scarce resources. Singapore enhanced its international climate commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It has committed to green 80 per cent of buildings by Gross Floor Area by 2030 and has already done so for over half of its buildings to date.

Tourism products and experiences have also been built with sustainability in mind. Many Singapore hotels are incorporating sustainable features into their design with some winning awards for their eco-friendly efforts. In 2020 the Sands Expo and Convention Centre became the first carbon-neutral MICE venue in Singapore. Tour operators are also offering sustainability-focused tours showcasing Singapore’s rich biodiversity, its journey with water, power, waste management, and local culture.

The country is implementing multi-year strategies and action plans on sustainable management. Announced in 2021 the Green Plan charts Singapore’s ambitions and targets over the next ten years, strengthens its commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement, and positions the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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