What is it?
Our World Rating System is our secret weapon, and is the feature that really makes Eco Companion unique. The system allows you, the user, to see how sustainable experiences really are, empowering you to be able to make informed travel choices.
So how does it work?
We gather a large amount of information directly from companies about each accommodation, tour and project that appears on our website. Using this information, we then use pre-set internationally accepted criteria to come up with an eco-rating of either Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Elite Green.
We use our ‘world’ logo to represent this rating – a Bronze world indicates that the experience has made some initial steps in achieving sustainability, while the supreme Elite Green world illustrates that a particular experience is delivering an innovative and top-class level of sustainability. And of course there’s the full spectrum in between!
How did you come up with it?
Over the past few years, we’ve worked tirelessly alongside international partner organisations in order to establish a set of criteria that, by asking the right questions, are able to assess how sustainable an experience is across five ‘pillars’ of ecotourism: socio-cultural, economic and environmental sustainability, conservation impact and education/interpretation.
Finally we look at the operational and management side for each operator, for a holistic approach to assessing sustainability.
So how do you verify what the operators tell you?
Put simply - we use you.
While our World Rating System is one of the main tools we’ll use to analyse sustainability, we still believe that ultimately you the user are the biggest driving force for change.
So we want to harness the power of you, our worldly, progressive and knowledgeable community of travellers, to create our very own eco-army.
You will be our ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, verifying just how sustainable each experience really is.
So, if you ever find an experience that you think doesn’t fully live up to its World Rating, or perhaps shouldn’t be on our website at all, make your voice heard by leaving a review on the experience, or emailing us directly at [email protected]
And what are your plans to develop the system in the future?
We felt that it was important to get this right, so we’ve taken the time to make the first edition of our World Rating System as strong as possible.
However, we recognise that there is always room for improvement, so we have brought on board a dedicated Sustainability Leader, Anais Heurtier, to develop and strengthen the system.
We are are now adapting and enhancing the way we collect information, so that we can incrementally improve the reliability, validity and effectiveness of our World Rating System.
This is the first step in what will be a long journey, as we’ll constantly strive to improve our processes and refine the system.
If you’d like to find out more about the Eco Companion story so far, then click here