The ECO certification is the national scheme for ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of hotels and farmhouses on the Maltese Islands and has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council as fully reflecting the GSTC criteria.
The scheme was launched by the Malta Tourism Authority in 2002 and today represents approximately 16% of hotel accommodation or 22 hotels, and 7 farmhouses in Gozo. The scheme was updated in 2008 and again in 2012 where it was revised to be in line with the GSTC criteria. GSTC fully recognised the updated criteria meaning that the new sustainable tourism criteria were reviewed by the Council’s technical experts and Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC criteria for sustainable tourism.
The new criteria follow a shift from an environmental scheme to a sustainable scheme covering environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality and health & safety. Third party audits are carried out every two years to ensure that hotels and farmhouses are meeting the requirements of the scheme. The scheme was extended for farmhouse accommodation in 2013 and the first farmhouses were certified in 2014.
The following are the main areas covered by the current criteria:
1. Sustainability management system
2. Waste management
4. Control of chemicals
7. Air quality
9. Building and green areas
10. Local culture & natural surroundings
11. Communication with customers
For more information on the scheme kindly contact the Quality Development Unit on 22915725 or firstname.lastname@example.org or view some Frequently Asked Questions.