Green Globe History


Pathway to Sustainability is one of the newest additions to the branded programs licensed by Green Globe, Limited, a UK company that serves as steward of the brand, and owner of its trademarks and intellectual property.  With a history that spans more than two decades, the Green Globe brand and branded program include the worldwide leader in green business certification; sustainability standards for the global travel and tourism industry; member programs for a wide range of organizations; energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy storage solutions; advisory to governments, government agencies and non-governmental organizations; global sustainability standard development; branded tools for carbon calculation and offset; and a broad range of related sustainability consulting services.

To understand the depth of Green Globe’s credentials in sustainability, it is important to look back to 1992, long before global climate change, corporate social responsibility (CSR), triple bottom line, sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, socially responsible investing, or ethical consumerism had gained widespread recognition among most business leaders, consumers and the public.

History of the Green Globe Brand

The Green Globe brand was born out of the 1992 United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, where over 180 heads of state from around the world endorsed the Agenda 21 principles of sustainable development. The Earth Summit was unprecedented for a UN conference, as it was the first time world leaders acknowledged, as a group, that the consumption of non-renewable resources was leading to environmental degradation. In the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit, the UN came to define sustainable development in terms of economic development, social development, environmental protection, and culture.

GGL CoverIn the early 1990s, the travel and tourism industry was among the first to express concerns about the effect their operations had on the environment. The first Green Globe initiative was developed within the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to provide a way forward for pioneering tourism companies that were interested in measuring their environmental impact and then developing and implementing strategies to reduce those impacts.


The Green Globe program for travel and tourism operators grew, rapidly, and by 1998, members were active in over 100 countries around the world. The Green Globe destination program was designed to extend corporate improvement beyond just individual companies and to communities, including in some cases, entire island nations.


During this period, a strategic alliance was formed with the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) of Australia to act as a global research facility on sustainable tourism. Green Globe’s certification and destination management program has been highlighted at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.


green_globe_resortGreen Globe became a separate and autonomous organization from the World Travel & Tourism Council under management of Green Globe, Ltd. a UK company that owns the Green Globe brand. Green Globe continues to be the dominant sustainability brand and program for the travel and tourism industry with two licensees, Green Globe Asia Pacific (GGAP) and Green Globe Certification (GGC) providing sustainability certification services. Certification members include major hotel chains, smaller chains and individual hotel properties, resorts, tourism attractions and other industry businesses.


Certified Logo


Gold Certified Logo – 5 Consecutive Years


Platinum Certified Logo – 10 Consecutive Years

In early 2007, a majority interest in Green Globe, Ltd. was acquired by Green Globe International, Inc., a U.S. public company. Under the combined leadership of Green Globe, Ltd. and Green Globe International, uses of the brand have been expanded to include member programs for businesses and organizations outside of travel and tourism; energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy storage solutions; Green Globe branded tools for carbon calculation and offset; and a broad range of related sustainability consulting services.


Green Globe became a founding partner in the Los Angeles Green Business Certification Program and partner in the Los Angeles Green Lodging Program. The brand is leading efforts to develop and implement energy and community-building programs in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.

LA-Green-Business-Logo                                  LA Hotels sell sheet

Since its inception, the Green Globe brand has represented the best in environmental stewardship. As sustainability has developed to meet the world’s most urgent needs, Green Globe programs have expanded to address the need for community building and response to global climate change. The brand and its associated programs hold greater promise than ever before in its history as the world further embraces the need for sustainability as an essential core value.