Do You Want To Improve Your Bottom Line While Protecting the Vital Resources the Dive Industry Depends On?
The dive industry relies on the pristine beauty and well-being of the oceans. Research shows that 40% of the world’s oceans have been strongly affected by human impacts, and nearly half of the world’s coral reefs have been heavily damaged.
Our solution: a sustainability management program specifically designed for marine tourism operations, to help curb harmful impacts, ensure the long-term health of global marine environments, and preserve the livelihood of the dive industry.
Four organizations have teamed up to create the STEP: Dive Center Standard, including Sustainable Travel International, Ocean First Divers, Scuba Schools International and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. This eco-certification is the gold standard for dive shops and operators, providing a sustainability management framework, educational tools and industry-verified certification for green operations.
The Case for the STEP: Dive Center Standard
- Incremental Approach: We provide you with the tools necessary to succeed at your own pace, achieving higher levels of certification over time.
- Management Tools: The STEP Sustainability Toolkit gives you the management tools you need to assess your operations, identify industry best practices, and emphasize positive returns
- Participatory and Collaborative: At each level you’ll be asked to gather input from your staff, guests, and community.
- Triple Bottom Line: STEP includes environmental, social and economic best practices to improve your bottom line and increase market strength.
- Return On Investment: Businesses that integrate aspects of the standard into their management plans realize cost savings through resource
efficiencies, lower operating costs, and supply chain optimization.
- Adaptability: Perfect for newcomers and seasoned sustainability experts in all sectors of the travel and tourism industry. STEP helps you identify and prioritize the right areas for your business.
- Flexibility: Submit your own criteria for approval if you do good work in areas not already covered by the program.
- Accessibility: STEP is an international standard available in multiple languages, and works well for businesses of all sizes, across all sectors of the travel and tourism industry.
- Advisory Services: Sustainable Travel International is staffed with global experts in the fields of sustainability planning and eco-certification.
- Marketing Benefits: Work with the Sustainable Travel International team to develop your online Sustainability Profile, and collaborate to communicate your efforts to current guests, future visitors and the industry at large.
- The Viability of the Industry: To ensure the long-term viability of the dive and shore excursion industry, tour operators must be committed to making a difference and be leaders in process. This program empowers businesses to be active participants in changing the world.
The STEP: Dive Center Process
The STEP: Dive Center Standard was designed exclusively for the dive industry.
More than just a checklist of best practices, STEP allows you to measure your impacts, identify your priorities and invest in real change. You’ll develop policies and action plans in areas relevant to your business, guests, and staff.
Successful businesses ramp up their sustainability investments and make incremental progress over time. Our easy 3-step process helps you set goals, track your progress and plan for the long term.
- Online Access to the
STEP Sustainability Toolkit & Self-Assessment
$250-$750/annual fee Sign up now!
- 1-2 hour Self-Assessment (required for eco-certification)
- Benchmarking and Performance Tracking Reports
- Policy and Guidance Templates
- 20-page Guide to Sustainability Planning & Reporting
- Yearly renewal fee includes online access and required annual monitoring
- Apply for STEP: Dive Center Bronze Certification
$250-$750/one-time fee Sign up now!
- Businesses that complete the self-assessment have the opportunity to apply for the Bronze certification via a remote Desk Assessment. (20-40 hours)
- Applicants demonstrate evidence of compliance with 20 universally accepted (GSTC) baseline best practices for any tourism business operating sustainably. Examples include:
- Mission Statement
- Code of Conduct
- Legal Compliance
- Environmental Management Policies
- Desk Assessment Report: Formal review of above documents, with feedback and advice on sustainability management plan by an accredited STEP Assessor
- Apply for STEP: Dive Center Silver/Gold/Platinum Certification via an On-Site Assessment
Fees vary; $400-$1200/day
- Sustainability management plan addressing additional criteria beyond the baseline efforts
- 3rd-Party Assessment
- Accredited STEP assessor comes on site and spends multiple days performing an objective assessment of operations
- Receive an in-depth assessment report with qualitative feedback on policies and plan, corrective actions and recognition for your efforts
“Now more than ever before, we must shift the paradigm and create a sustainable model that will ensure both the ocean’s and industry’s longevity.”
- Graham Casden, Owner, Ocean First Divers
Ready to get started on your path to sustainability?
Call or email Sustainable Travel International to schedule a consultation: