A Sustainability Certification for the Travel Industry.

Ensure your policies, procedures and activities, together with those of your supply chains, meet globally recognised standards of sustainability in tourism and demonstrate your genuine commitment to operating responsibly to your customers.

Our industry is increasingly aware of the shared responsibility on us all to protect the planet, our communities and cultural heritage for future generations.

SP Sustain provides certification for travel organisations who have begun their sustainability journey and are nearing – or at – the point where they are confident their practices meet globally-recognised standards for sustainability in tourism.  

For those who are looking for guidance on how to develop a strategy, or wish to start measuring their impact, we provide support and advice through our consultancy service, recommending experts to help in specific areas if required.

The SP Sustainability Certification.

The SP Sustainability certification process is an effective tool to measure your sustainability plan against globally recognised standards in tourism.   

Achieving certification demonstrates that your business has a comprehensive sustainability management system in place, appropriate to your size and scope. Certified travel businesses communicate policy, engage staff, listen to their customers and focus on continual improvement.

Certification confirms you have documented policies and plans in place and are following key sustainability principles at both your primary location/s and in the destinations you feature:

You can see the full set of criteria we use here

What are the benefits of becoming certified?

Having your activities independently verified for transparency and accountability against social and environmental best-practice criteria can help your business in a number of ways:

Development Tool

The audit process helps to refine and improve your sustainability plans and to measure their impact.


The three-year audit cycle ensures a focus on continuous improvement, creating long-term resilience for your business.

Consumer Confidence

Research shows that travellers are increasingly making more conscious decisions with sustainability and the environment in mind, and think more positively about brands that have genuine sustainability credentials*.

* YouGov survey June 2022.

Attract and Retain Talent

Employees are also actively choosing to work for companies that are aligned with strong sustainability and social responsibility principles.

Why Become Certified by Sanderson Phillips? 

Experienced Auditors

Sanderson Phillips has been providing risk assessment and travel safety auditing services to some of the most well-known and respected travel brands in the UK, USA, Middle East, Asia, the Indian Ocean and Africa for over 25 years.

Sustainable Remote Audits

We are reducing our impact on the environment by negating the need for international travel in order to complete our assessments.

Globally Recognised Standards

The SP Sustain audit process is based on globally-recognised standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, and we adhere to the ISO 17021 standard.  

What type of organisations can be certified?  

We operate globally and can certify almost any travel related business including: 

  • Tour Operators
  • Travel providers
  • Hotels and other accommodation types

 We can also support you to audit your own supply chains (accommodation, transportation and activities & excursions suppliers) if these organisations do not have certification in place. 

How Does the Certification Process Work? 

SP Sustain is a three-year sustainability audit cycle. 

Year One

Understanding the requirements

We will send the criteria and checklist questions to review to ensure that you have everything in place to start the audit process. 

Completing the self-assessment

Once everything is ready, you complete an online self-assessment checklist and assemble documentation, including photographs and evidence to support the submission.

In-depth gap analysis

Our team of sustainability consultants will undertake a gap analysis and provide an audit report summarising their findings. The report will detail any additional actions or evidence required. You will have the opportunity to respond and provide further evidence supporting your submission.  

Independent peer review

Once satisfied that all mandatory criteria are met, we will submit our recommendation to Global Secure Accreditation for an independent peer review.


Subject to GSA’s approval, we will then award a certificate of compliance valid for 12 months.

Year Two & Three

Intermediate self-assessment

You will complete intermediate self-assessments using the process described above to ensure that sustainability requirements continue to be in place and improvements made. Certifications are re-issued for a further 12 months should the criteria continue to be met.