The Municipality of Baião received, between the 16th and 18th of May, an international auditor belonging to the entity EartCheck, who travels annually to the certified territories, in order to assess the evolution of performance, according to the criteria defined by this institution, which is world leader in scientific benchmarking and tourism certification.
As it is a process that involves continuous improvement, the destinations that have made this commitment are subject to annual audits based on rigorous standards that are recognized and accredited by the Global Council for Sustainable Tourism, which in turn is mandated by the United Nations.
The audit evaluated a series of environmental indicators, such as energy consumption, quality and rationalization of water consumption, waste recycling, chemical emissions and the destination’s safety environment, commitment to the community, among others.
This data is then compared with the global average of other sustainable destinations and crossed with those that have the best practices worldwide.
This time, the audit focused on equipment such as the Municipal Auditorium, the Monastery of Ancede Cultural Center of Baião (MACC Baião), the Municipal Covered Swimming Pool, a local company (pharmacy) and the Municipal Library António Mota.
In addition to visiting the field, the auditor met in the Town Hall with the team that manages this process, the “Green Team”, which is made up of technicians from the municipality and external entities, including schools and associations.
Baião’s certification as a Sustainable Tourist Destination has maintained its “Silver” status since 2021. These annual audits verify compliance with the criteria and their positive evolution, which could allow reaching the next level of certification, the “Gold” status.
The results of this audit should be known during the next month of June, after validation by EarthCheck, and will be decisive for the revalidation of the certificate, since this is only revalidated after verification of compliance with the defined criteria and demonstration of project evolution.
BAIÃO JOINS THE GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE TOURISM COUNCIL
From the 25th of February, the Municipality of Baião became part of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (Global Sustainable Tourism Council – GSTC).
The Global Council on Sustainable Tourism was established in 2007 by the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and 32 partners in the tourism industry, with the aim of promoting the adoption of universal principles of sustainable tourism.
This entity manages global criteria and standards for sustainable travel and tourism, in addition to providing international accreditation to certification bodies, in a worldwide effort to develop a common language on sustainability in tourism.
Destination certification is centered on a balance between four fundamental pillars: environmental, social, cultural and economic, in an integrated development approach in which all assets and actors in the territory must be mobilized for sustainable development.
This membership makes it possible for Baião to be more widely involved, consequently increasing its sphere of influence, by allowing it to participate and vote in meetings of the Board of Directors, issue opinions with regard to sustainable tourism policies, express positions on policies and sustainability practices, participate in the meetings and events of the body that brings together members and interested parties (stakeholders) of the sector for meetings and exchange of ideas (networking).
In addition, it enables participation in training programs on sustainable tourism and in exclusive working groups and seminars, as well as access to educational and research materials on topics related to the development of sustainable tourism, sustainability practices, certification and international standards. .
LEARN MORE ABOUT CERTIFICATION AND GIVE YOUR OPINION
The Municipality has developed an internet page (https://baiaosustentavel.pt) dedicated to this certification process, where the interested public can obtain information on tourist resources in the municipality, vision and policy adopted in the context of sustainability, description of the certification process , communication of initiatives and events related to the same themes and a space dedicated to public participation.