What is ISO 21401:2018 Tourism and related services-Sustainability management system for accommodation establishments-Requirements?
ISO 21401:2018 Tourism and related services specifies the criteria for a sustainability management system for accommodation establishments in the tourism sector. This standard aims to enable such establishments to develop and implement policies and objectives that take into account legal requirements, as well as information pertinent to environmental, socio-cultural, quality, and economic issues. Essentially, it provides a framework for achieving sustainable operation and continual improvement in these critical aspects.
- Scope & Applicability: ISO 21401:2018 is applicable to any type of accommodation establishment, regardless of its size, geographical location, or the complexity of its services. This could range from a small bed and breakfast to a large hotel chain.
- Sustainability Objectives: The standard helps establishments set objectives, implement plans, and take action related to sustainability. This encompasses everything from waste management and energy use to community engagement and employee welfare.
- Policy Development: The standard mandates the formulation of a sustainability policy that is consistent with the establishment’s purpose and context. This policy should be reviewed and updated periodically.
- Legal Compliance: Accommodation establishments must identify the legal requirements related to their operations, especially those focused on environmental protection, social responsibility, and employee rights. They must then take steps to ensure compliance with these laws.
- Performance Monitoring: Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be identified to measure the effectiveness of the sustainability management system. This data is used for continuous improvement and to assess the success of initiatives.
- Stakeholder Engagement: It advises organizations to involve relevant stakeholders in the planning and execution of sustainability initiatives. This includes not only employees but also customers, suppliers, and the local community.
- Documentation & Records: Proper documentation of the management system, including policies, procedures, and performance data, is essential for achieving and maintaining ISO 21401:2018 certification.
- Internal Audits & Reviews: Regular internal audits and management reviews are required to ensure that the management system is effective, and that it remains suitable, adequate, and effective in meeting its objectives and policy commitments.
Given the focus of Pacific Certifications on issuing management system certifications, ISO 21401:2018 could potentially be an area where your services could be of great value, particularly for accommodation establishments seeking to prove their commitment to sustainability.
For more information or to initiate the certification process for ISO 21401:2018, interested establishments can reach out to us at Pacific Certifications for our expert guidance and support!
What are the requirements for ISO 21401:2018?
ISO 21401:2018 Tourism and related services outlines a comprehensive set of requirements that accommodation establishments need to meet for sustainable operations. Below are some of the key sections that encapsulate the principal requirements:
1. Context of the Organization
- Understanding the Organization and its Context: Define the scope and purpose of the sustainability management system.
- Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties: Identify stakeholders and understand their needs and expectations related to sustainability.
- Leadership and Commitment: Top management must demonstrate leadership and commitment to the sustainability management system.
- Policy: Develop and implement a sustainability policy that aligns with the organization’s strategy.
- Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities: Clearly define roles and responsibilities within the organization for achieving sustainability objectives.
- Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities: Conduct a risk assessment focused on sustainability aspects.
- Sustainability Objectives and Planning to Achieve Them: Establish sustainability objectives and develop a plan to achieve them.
- Resources: Allocate adequate resources, including manpower and financial resources, to implement and maintain the system.
- Awareness: Raise awareness among employees and relevant stakeholders about the sustainability management system.
- Communication: Establish effective internal and external communication procedures.
- Operational Planning and Control: Plan, implement, control, and maintain the processes needed to meet sustainability requirements.
- Supplier, Contractor and Partner Evaluation: Evaluate and select suppliers, contractors, and partners based on their ability to meet sustainability requirements.
6. Performance Evaluation
- Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis, and Evaluation: Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor and measure the performance of the sustainability management system.
- Internal Audit: Conduct internal audits at planned intervals to provide information on whether the system is effective and being duly maintained.
- Management Review: Top management must review the sustainability management system regularly to ensure its continued suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.
- Nonconformity and Corrective Action: Identify and rectify any non-conformities and take corrective actions.
- Continual Improvement: Demonstrate continuous improvement in sustainability performance.
In summary, meeting these requirements will entail a comprehensive, multi-step process that involves participation from various departments and levels of management within an accommodation establishment. This often requires a holistic approach encompassing policy development, process transformation, training programs, and regular audits.
For organizations looking to be certified under this standard, Pacific Certifications can offer comprehensive services, from initial consultation to certification issuance and beyond. Our accredited body, ABIS, ensures that the certification process is thorough, impartial, and in accordance with international norms.
What are the benefits of ISO 21401:2018 Tourism and related services?
The implementation and certification of ISO 21401:2018 can bring about a wide array of benefits for accommodation establishments in the tourism sector. Here are some of the notable advantages:
1. Enhanced Sustainability
- The framework encourages a balanced approach to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, which in turn enhances the overall sustainability of the establishment.
2. Regulatory Compliance
- One of the cornerstones of the ISO 21401:2018 is ensuring legal and regulatory compliance. This significantly reduces the risk of legal liabilities and penalties.
3. Competitive Advantage
- Having ISO 21401:2018 certification can serve as a differentiator in a crowded market. It signifies a commitment to sustainability, which can attract a more conscientious clientele.
4. Stakeholder Engagement
- The standard encourages stakeholder engagement, which can improve relations with the local community, suppliers, employees, and customers. This enhanced stakeholder engagement can lead to long-term partnerships and increased trust.
5. Risk Management
- By compelling organizations to consider a variety of sustainability risks, the standard helps in better risk management and mitigation strategies.
6. Improved Operational Efficiency
- The standard’s focus on sustainability often leads to more efficient use of resources, which can result in cost savings. This includes energy, water, and other resource efficiencies.
7. Increased Customer Satisfaction
- By ensuring a higher standard of service quality along with environmental and social responsibility, establishments can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
8. Market Access and Brand Image
- Several travel agencies and tour operators are making sustainability one of the criteria for collaboration. Having an ISO 21401:2018 certification can open doors to such business opportunities and enhance the brand image.
9. Employee Morale and Retention
- An establishment’s commitment to sustainability can also be a strong motivating factor for employees, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.
10. Long-Term Viability
- By focusing on sustainable practices, an establishment is more likely to be viable in the long term. This prepares the business for future challenges and ensures a more stable and secure future.
In conclusion, achieving ISO 21401:2018 certification not only indicates an establishment’s dedication to sustainability but also makes compelling business sense. It can lead to both tangible and intangible benefits that contribute to the long-term success of the establishment.
Pacific Certifications provides comprehensive services that cover the entire certification process. Our credentials, backed by our accreditation body ABIS, ensure that the services we offer are of the highest standard and in line with international requirements.
Who needs ISO 21401:2018 Tourism and related services?
The ISO 21401:2018 is designed for accommodation establishments within the tourism sector that are seeking to manage and improve their sustainability practices. It is suitable for a broad range of entities, irrespective of their size, geographical location, or level of complexity. Here are some types of accommodation establishments that may find this standard particularly beneficial:
1. Hotels and Hotel Chains
- Large international or smaller regional hotels can use this standard to benchmark and continually improve their sustainability performance.
2. Bed and Breakfasts
- Smaller establishments like B&Bs can leverage this certification to compete with larger entities on the aspect of sustainable practices.
- Given that these establishments often consume a large amount of resources, the ISO 21401:2018 standard can be particularly beneficial in managing and reducing resource use efficiently.
- Budget accommodations such as hostels can also benefit from this standard, as it can enhance their marketability to a younger, more eco-conscious clientele.
5. Vacation Rentals
- Owners of vacation homes, cabins, or other rental accommodations can use this standard as a guide for operating in a more sustainable manner.
6. Serviced Apartments
- These types of accommodations can also achieve this certification to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices, an aspect that is increasingly important for corporate clients.
7. Eco-Resorts and Eco-Lodges
- These establishments already have a focus on sustainability, but the ISO 21401:2018 certification can provide an internationally recognized standard to benchmark their efforts.
8. Boutique Hotels
- Smaller, specialized hotels can use this certification to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace by showcasing their commitment to sustainability.
9. Campgrounds and Caravan Parks
- These establishments can use the certification to demonstrate a structured approach to managing environmental impact, particularly in natural settings where sustainability is crucial.
10. Cruise Ships
- While not traditional ‘accommodations,’ cruise ships offering lodging services can use this standard to guide their sustainability efforts, particularly in waste management and energy efficiency.
Overall, the standard is flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of the establishment, making it a useful tool for any accommodation provider seeking to enhance its sustainability efforts. For those interested in achieving this certification, Pacific Certifications offers a comprehensive range of services, from initial consultation to certification and beyond, to ensure that the standard is effectively implemented and maintained.
Also read: ISO 17679:2016- Tourism and related services