Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal

Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica

The environmental efforts of the Commonwealth of Dominica have been recognised by leading certification and benchmarking organisation EarthCheck. As a result of exceeding Best Practice standards in their annual Benchmarking Assessment Report, the Commonwealth of Dominica has been identified as an industry Star Performer. Dominica is currently featured on the EarthCheck Website as a Star Performer.

In 2004, the Commonwealth of Dominica recognised the need to measure, monitor and manage the environmental, social and economic impacts of its operations. Of the many management tools available in the tourism market, the Commonwealth of Dominica chose the EarthCheck Certification Program, which is trusted by more than 1300 travel and tourism organisations in 84 countries.

Today, EarthCheck helps the Commonwealth of Dominica to analyse operational data and generate meaningful reports on factors such as Greenhouse Gas emissions, Energy and Water Consumption, and Waste Sent to Landfill, among other areas.

Founded on the sustainable tourism principles of the Rio Earth Summit's Agenda 21, EarthCheck is one of just a handful of certification bodies that complies with internationally recognised standards such as the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 14064 range of standards for greenhouse gas accounting.

It requires the compliance of its Members and verifies their performance through a process of annual benchmarking and regular Onsite Certification Audits or Offsite Certification Assessments that are conducted by an independent third party.

To date, more than a decade of industry operational data has been captured by EarthCheck. This has helped them establish sector performance benchmarks for Baseline and Best Practice, against which each EarthCheck Member is rated.

The result is a report that contains an average of 10 indicators, which show if a Member is performing at or above industry Best Practice, and at or above Baseline for the sector.

To qualify as an EarthCheck Star Performer, the Commonwealth of Dominica had to achieve at or above Best Practice levels for eight or more benchmarking indicators. None of the remaining indicators were allowed to fall below Baseline; an overall achievement that exemplifies exceptional performance.

The Commonwealth of Dominica has achieved the prestigious Earth Check's Benchmarked status for the sixth year under the EarthCheck Benchmarking program. This program recognises that Dominica has taken the step to improve its communities' environmental, social and economic performance.

In particular, Dominica has achieved best practice results in sustainability policy, water consumption, green house gas production, air quality in Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) produced, habitat conservation (biodiversity), water saving, green space, and accredited operations at or above Best Practice level. These measures will ensure efficient practices, great cost savings and secure a sustainable future for the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Benchmark reports for EarthCheck's most recent Star Performers can be viewed on the newly-refreshed EarthCheck web site. This willingness to share what would normally be considered confidential information is an industry first by EarthCheck and its Members.

"EarthCheck's Star Performers have laid down the gauntlet and challenged the industry to show how they are performing against industry best practice," explained Stewart Moore, EarthCheck CEO. "Their willingness to make public factual information that reveals the true impacts of their operations signals strong confidence in their business and management systems."

The Commonwealth of Dominica has achieved Benchmarked, level in the EarthCheck Program. Achievements are awarded based on the continuous length of time an organisation remains committed to caring for the environment and submitting to the scrutiny of auditors.

Among EarthCheck's corporate Members are market leaders such as ACCOR, InterContinental, Taj, Langham Hospitality Group, Sandals Hotels & Resorts and Banyan Tree. Between them, they account for hundreds of thousands of guest nights annually and as such, any reduction in natural resource consumption has a ripple effect that can be felt across the planet.

Posted: 07/11/2011