The desert flower symbols of the Eco Awards Namibia programme are the proof to everyone, staff as well as guests, that an establishment is doing something for the future of tourism, the future of its community and itself.
The Eco Awards Namibia certification system assesses each applicant on a range of criteria. You can download the full criteria here. Each assessment is done on site by an independent trained Eco Awards assessor and the applicant must provide evidence to the assessor to verify their fulfillment of the criteria. Ideally, an establishment is assessed every two years. The criteria assess the following aspects.
Goal: To promote management processes for long-term improvements in sustainability performance
Goal: To promote sustainable management and development of the area and the wise and ethical use of its natural resources, including landscapes, ecosystems and indigenous biodiversity, so that these may be passed on to future generations in a productive, diverse, aesthetically attractive and healthy condition.
Goal: To reduce the local & global environmental impact of the tourism industry in Namibia by promoting the reduction of energy use as well as changes to more environmentally friendly & renewable energy sources
Goal: To promote the wise use of water resources & the acceptable recycling or re-use of water.
Goal: To reduce pollution, energy wastage & waste of resources by encouraging better waste control
Building & Landscaping
Goal: To safeguard the natural and cultural environment in tourism areas from negative impacts of construction and landscaping developments and to protect the valuable asset of the "sense of place".
Staff & Health
Goal: To encourage establishments to commit their own resources to formally train, improve, and recognise the skills of staff, rural partners and new entrants to the industry.
Goal: To ascertain whether the establishment has made an effort to adequately train its field guides in order to ensure a quality guided experience for its guests that would include information on natural resources, environmental issues and the local environmental setting.
Goal: To encourage efforts by establishments to adequately address their social responsibility towards local communities
Legal & NTB Compliance
Goal: To ensure that all legal requirements are complied with. If the establishment has an up to date NTB Registration Certificate, then all points are awarded.
Eco Awards Certificate Categories
Five Green flowers
90% or more overall, plus an average of 90% or more for the environmental criteria
What makes the achievement of Five Green Flower Awards so special? A few years ago, Eco Awards Namibia made some changes to its existing criteria following requests from other African Sustainable Tourism Certification Programmes with the aim of having mutual recognition of various programmes across borders. The result was that it became relatively easy for some of the Namibian tourism businesses to achieve the top tier, namely Five Flowers, since they were adhering to the set standards for Staff, Health and Social Responsibility anyway.
The Five Green flowers were introduced in order to give special recognition to those establishments who scored Five Flowers overall, but on top of that, scored 90% or more for the environmental criteria sections, namely Water, Energy, Waste Management and Conservation.
90% or more
The establishment is performing well in most of the sustainability criteria, using natural resources responsibly and looking after its people and the surrounding communities.
80% or more
The establishment is operating according to its Environmental Management Plan, and that some monitoring is taking place, to ensure improvement in performance.
70% or more
The establishment is making an effort in most Criteria Sections, and is well on the road to operating sustainably.
55% or more
The establishment has a basic Environmental Management Plan, which it is using as a guideline, but can still improve in many sections.
40% or more
The establishment is making some effort towards operating sustainably in some areas of its operation.