An Overview of Ecolabels for Small to Medium Sized Tourism Enterprises

This report gives an overview of a substantial proportion of relevant ecolabels for small and medium sized tourism enterprises – especially pertaining to the PROWAD LINK project countries Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, England and Norway. The aim of the overview is to make it easier for small tourism businesses to choose which ecolabel suits their purpose. The ecolabels in the overview were chosen out of over 400 ecolabels from the Ecolabel Index1 and Destinet2 websites as well as ecolabels identified by partner organisations within the PROWAD LINK project.

Best ecolabel to choose depends on business traits and goals, marketing strategies and more generally what the business is looking for. Ecolabels vary substantially in how they are developed, managed, the criteria they assess, their emphasis, costs and more. Certain ecolabel characteristics, however, can be used to compare and contrast them. Some key questions are listed below:

  • What are the environmental and social focus of the ecolabel, and are these in line with what should be in focus of the enterprises’ work toward sustainability?
  • What types of business can the ecolabel certify?
  • What is the geographical scope of the ecolabel?
  • What are the monetary and human resource costs of certification and recertification?
  • How trustworthy is the ecolabel, was it developed by a well-known body?
  • How recognisable is the ecolabel for the business’ main market?
  • How many products/services does the ecolabel have?
  • How does the ecolabel fit into the business image?

This report is an excerpt of the report “Ecolabelling for tourism enterprises. What, why and how”. (Tippett et al., 2020). To have more background information about what ecolabelling is, why to certify and pros and cons of ecolabelling, we refer you to the main report.

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