Gardens by the Bay to join sustainable destinations programme

The programme provides operators with a framework to benchmark and certify their environmental and social performance. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Gardens by the Bay is the first destination in Singapore to be included in the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Programme, which is accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), said EarthCheck and Gardens by the Bay in a joint statement on Wednesday (April 13).

The programme, which started in 2003, works with tourism destinations to facilitate and foster responsible environmental and social planning and management practices.

A total of 27 destinations are included in the programme, among which are Glasgow, Nuuk in Greenland, and two places in Australia: the Whitsunday Region near the Great Barrier Reef and Rottnest Island.

EarthCheck was created in 1987 as a scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.

The programme provides operators with a holistic framework to benchmark and certify their environmental and social performance, in an effort to address some of the challenges facing the planet such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Another similar benchmarking programme is by Green Destinations, a non-profit organisation for sustainable destination development and recognition based in the Netherlands supporting more than 200 destinations.

The Green Destinations Certification Committee supervises certification and benchmark awards based on the GSTC-recognised Green Destinations standard and other standards.

It helps destination managers and stakeholders enhance the destination's sustainability and tourism quality.

"As we mark the 10th anniversary of Gardens by the Bay this year, we are renewing our commitment to being part of Singapore's sustainability story. We aim to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism by benchmarking against GSTC-recognised international standards through the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Programme," said Mr Felix Loh, chief executive officer of Gardens by the Bay.

The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Programme is in line with Gardens by the Bay's sustainability road map, which was recently developed based on the ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) model to drive the destination's sustainability efforts in the future.

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