Tourism and related services — Sustainability management system for accommodation establishments — Requirements

This document specifies environmental, social and economic requirements to implement a sustainability management system in accommodation establishments in the tourism sector. This document applies to the aspects that can be controlled by the accommodation establishments and over which they can exert influence. This document is applicable to any accommodation establishment, regardless of its type, size or location, that wishes to: a) implement, maintain and improve sustainable practices in their operations; b) ensure conformance with its defined sustainability policy.

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Publication Date
16-Dec-2018
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6060 - International Standard published
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17-Dec-2018
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17-Dec-2018
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 21401
First edition
2018-12
Tourism and related services —
Sustainability management system
for accommodation establishments —
Requirements
Reference number
ISO 21401:2018(E)
ISO 2018
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
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© ISO 2018

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ii © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Context of the organization ....................................................................................................................................................................... 6

4.1 Understanding the organization and its context ....................................................................................................... 6

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties .............................................................. 6

4.3 Determining the scope of the sustainability management system ............................................................ 7

4.4 Sustainability management system ...................................................................................................................................... 7

5 Leadership .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 7

5.1 Leadership and commitment ..................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.2 Policy ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3 Roles, responsibilities and authorities ............................................................................................................................... 8

6 Planning ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities ................................................................................................................... 8

6.1.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.1.2 Issue identification and evaluation .................................................................................................................. 8

6.2 Sustainability objectives and planning to achieve them ..................................................................................... 9

7 Support ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.1 Resources ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.2 Competence ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.3 Awareness ................................................................................................................................................................................................10

7.4 Communication ...................................................................................................................................................................................10

7.5 Documented information ............................................................................................................................................................10

7.5.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................10

7.5.2 Creating and updating ..............................................................................................................................................11

7.5.3 Control of documented information ............................................................................................................11

8 Operation ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................11

8.1 Operational planning and control .......................................................................................................................................11

8.2 Dealing with modified activities, products or services .....................................................................................12

8.3 Supply chain management .........................................................................................................................................................12

9 Performance evaluation ............................................................................................................................................................................12

9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation ............................................................................................12

9.2 Internal audit .........................................................................................................................................................................................12

9.3 Management review ........................................................................................................................................................................13

10 Improvement .........................................................................................................................................................................................................14

10.1 Nonconformity and corrective action ..............................................................................................................................14

10.2 Continual improvement ...............................................................................................................................................................14

Annex A (normative) Environmental requirements for sustainable accommodation

establishments ....................................................................................................................................................................................................15

Annex B (normative) Social requirements for sustainable accommodation establishments ...............20

Annex C (normative) Economic requirements for sustainable accommodation establishments .....23

Annex D (informative) Examples of practices for sustainable tourism .........................................................................26

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................29

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 228, Tourism and related services.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.
iv © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
Introduction

Tourism is one of the world's major economic segments and is a target of increasing attention due to its

potential to contribute to sustainable development and the impacts that it may have in environmental,

social and economic areas.

Organizations of all types in the tourism sector are increasingly recognizing the need to address

sustainability issues in their practices. This document provides requirements for a sustainability

management system for accommodation establishments that wish to develop and implement

sustainable policies and objectives in the management of their activities, products and services.

This document has been drafted to help accommodation establishments of all sizes, from different

geographical, cultural and social backgrounds, to improve sustainability in their related activities.

This document has four annexes. Annexes A, B and C are normative and refer to each of the three

dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). Annex D is informative and provides

examples of sustainability practices.

This document can also be used as a reference for accommodation establishments, in order to

consistently implement and maintain practices that contribute to a major goal in sustainable tourism.

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved v
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 21401:2018(E)
Tourism and related services — Sustainability
management system for accommodation establishments —
Requirements
1 Scope

This document specifies environmental, social and economic requirements to implement a sustainability

management system in accommodation establishments in the tourism sector.

This document applies to the aspects that can be controlled by the accommodation establishments and

over which they can exert influence.

This document is applicable to any accommodation establishment, regardless of its type, size or

location, that wishes to:
a) implement, maintain and improve sustainable practices in their operations;
b) ensure conformance with its defined sustainability policy.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http: //www .electropedia .org/
3.1
accommodation
provision of at least sleeping and sanitary facilities
[SOURCE: ISO 18513:2003, 2.1.1]
3.2
accommodation establishment
establishment providing tourist accommodation
3.3
artificial feeding

provision of food or bait to attract animals deliberately for the purpose of tourism

3.4
audit

systematic, independent and documented process (3.32) for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it

objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled

Note 1 to entry: An audit can be an internal audit (first party) or an external audit (second party or third party),

and it can be a combined audit (combining two or more disciplines).
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ISO 21401:2018(E)

Note 2 to entry: An internal audit is conducted by the organization itself, or by an external party on its behalf.

Note 3 to entry: “Audit evidence” and “audit criteria” are defined in ISO 19011.
3.5
business plan

document that describes and analyses business objectives and the actions to be taken, so that these

objectives are achieved, reducing the risks and uncertainties that contain financial projections and

economic viability
3.6
circular economy

economy that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components

and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and

biological cycles
[SOURCE: ISO 20400:2017, 3.1]
3.7
competence
ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results
3.8
conformity
fulfilment of a requirement (3.34)
3.9
continual improvement
recurring activity to enhance performance (3.29)
3.10
corrective action

action to eliminate the cause(s) of a nonconformity (3.24) and to prevent recurrence

3.11
danger

source or situation with a potential for harm in terms of injury, illness, damage to property, damage to

the workplace environment, or a combination of these
3.12
documented information

information required to be controlled and maintained by an organization (3.26) and the medium on

which it is contained

Note 1 to entry: Documented information can be in any format and media, and from any source.

Note 2 to entry: Documented information can refer to:
— the management system (3.19), including related processes (3.32);
— information created in order for the organization to operate (documentation);
— evidence of results achieved (records).
3.13
effectiveness
extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved
3.14
exotic plant

non-native flora, considered invasive species, which can cause imbalances in the ecosystem and

extinction of native animal and plant species in the region where they proliferate

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ISO 21401:2018(E)
3.15
guest satisfaction

guest’s perception of the degree to which the guest’s requirements have been fulfilled

Note 1 to entry: Guest complaints are a common indicator of low guest satisfaction, but their absence does not

necessarily imply high guest satisfaction.

Note 2 to entry: Even when guest requirements have been agreed with the guest and fulfilled, this does not

necessarily ensure high guest satisfaction.
[SOURCE: ISO 9000:2015, 3.9.2, term and notes to entry have been modified.]
3.16
handicraft

productive activity that results in objects or artifacts, done manually or with the use of traditional or

rudimentary means, with skill, dexterity, quality and creativity
3.17
interested party
stakeholder

person or organization (3.26) that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision

or activity
3.18
local community
people living in the area influenced by accommodation establishments

Note 1 to entry: The local community is composed of the inhabitants of a country's geographical microregion,

or by inhabitants of municipalities surrounding the municipality where the accommodation establishment is

located.
3.19
management system

set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization (3.26) to establish policies (3.30) and

objectives (3.25) and processes (3.32) to achieve those objectives

Note 1 to entry: A management system can address a single discipline or several disciplines.

Note 2 to entry: The system elements include the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, planning

and operation.

Note 3 to entry: The scope of a management system can include the whole of the organization, specific and

identified functions of the organization, specific and identified sections of the organization, or one or more

functions across a group of organizations.
3.20
measurement
process (3.32) to determine a value
3.21
monitoring
determining the status of a system, a process (3.32) or an activity

Note 1 to entry: To determine the status, there might be a need to check, supervise or critically observe.

3.22
native population

community that maintains an ancestral and cultural relationship with the region in which it lives, using

natural resources and depending on it for its survival

Note 1 to entry: Examples of native populations are indians, caiçaras (original coastal population in Brazil),

maroon, riparian, jangadeiros and rubber tappers.
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
3.23
natural environment

all living and non-living things that exist on Earth affecting ecosystems and human life

Note 1 to entry: It consists of a set of conditions, laws of nature, chemical, physical and biological infrastructures

and influences that allow, house and govern life in all of its forms.
3.24
nonconformity
non-fulfilment of a requirement (3.34)
3.25
objective
result to be achieved
Note 1 to entry: An objective can be strategic, tactical or operational.

Note 2 to entry: Objectives can relate to different disciplines (such as financial, health and safety, and

environmental goals) and can apply at different levels [such as strategic, organization-wide, project, product and

process (3.32)].

Note 3 to entry: An objective can be expressed in other ways, e.g. as an intended outcome, a purpose, an

operational criterion, a sustainability objective or by the use of other words with similar meaning (e.g. aim, goal

or target).

Note 4 to entry: In the context of sustainability management systems, sustainability objectives are set by the

organization, consistent with the sustainability policy, in order to achieve specific results.

3.26
organization

person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships

to achieve its objectives (3.25)

Note 1 to entry: The concept of organization includes, but is not limited to, sole-trader, company, corporation, firm,

enterprise, authority, partnership, charity or institution, or part or combination thereof, whether incorporated

or not, public or private.

Note 2 to entry: In this document the term organization refers to accommodation establishments.

3.27
ornamental exotic plant

exotic plant grown for its beauty, widely used in interior architecture and outdoor spaces landscaping

3.28
outsource, verb

make an arrangement where an external organization (3.26) performs part of an organization’s function

or process (3.32)

Note 1 to entry: An external organization is outside the scope of the management system (3.19), although the

outsourced function or process is within the scope.
3.29
performance
measurable result

Note 1 to entry: Performance can relate either to quantitative or qualitative findings.

Note 2 to entry: Performance can relate to the management of activities, processes (3.32), products (including

services), systems or organizations (3.26).
3.30
policy

intentions and direction of an organization (3.26), as formally expressed by its top management (3.42)

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ISO 21401:2018(E)
3.31
procedure
specified way to carry out an activity or a process
Note 1 to entry: A procedure might not always be formally documented.
[SOURCE: ISO 9000:2015, 3.4.5, modified — Note 1 to entry revised.]
3.32
process

set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs

3.33
quality
degree to which a set of inherent characteristics meets the requirements

Note 1 to entry: The term “quality” can be used with adjectives such as poor, good or excellent.

Note 2 to entry: “Inherent”, as opposed to “assigned”, characteristics exist in something as an essential or

permanent feature.
[SOURCE: ISO 9000:2015, 3.6.2, modified.]
3.34
requirement
need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory

Note 1 to entry: “Generally implied” means that it is custom or common practice for the organization and

interested parties that the need or expectation under consideration is implied.

Note 2 to entry: A specified requirement is one that is stated, for example in documented information.

3.35
risk
effect of uncertainty

Note 1 to entry: An effect is a deviation from the expected — positive or negative.

Note 2 to entry: Uncertainty is the state, even partial, of deficiency of information related to understanding or

knowledge of an event, its consequences or likelihood.

Note 3 to entry: Risk is often characterized by reference to potential “events” (as defined in ISO Guide 73) and

“consequences” (as defined in ISO Guide 73), or a combination of these.

Note 4 to entry: Risk is often expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event (including

changes in circumstances) and the associated “likelihood” (as defined in ISO Guide 73) of occurrence.

3.36
safety and security measures

conditions and factors related to the level of

control and minimization of risks affecting workers, guests or others in accommodation establishments

or tourist operations
3.37
sustainability

state of the global system, including environmental, social and economic aspects, in which the needs

of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Note 1 to entry: The environmental, social and economic aspects interact, are interdependent and are often

referred to as the three dimensions of sustainability.
[SOURCE: ISO Guide 82:2014, 3.1, modified — Note 2 to entry removed.]
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ISO 21401:2018(E)
3.38
sustainability aspect

activities, elements, practices, products or services of accommodation establishments in the tourism

sector which can interact with the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social and economic)

Note 1 to entry: A significant aspect of sustainability is one that has or can have a significant impact.

Note 2 to entry: Some examples of sustainability aspects are energy consumption, solid waste generation,

recyclable packaging and water consumption.
3.39
sustainability impact

positive or negative change to society, economy or the environment, wholly or partially resulting from

past and present decisions and activities of an accommodation establishment
3.40
sustainability management system

set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization (3.26) to establish policies (3.30) and

objectives (3.25) and processes (3.32) to achieve sustainability objectives

Note 1 to entry: The system elements include the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, planning

and operation.
3.41
sustainability policy

intentions and direction of an organization, related to sustainability, as formally expressed by its top

management
3.42
top management

person or group of people who directs and controls an organization (3.26) at the highest level

Note 1 to entry: Top management has the power to delegate authority and provide resources within the

organization.

Note 2 to entry: If the scope of the management system (3.19) covers only part of an organization, then top

management refers to those who direct and control that part of the organization.
4 Context of the organization
4.1 Understanding the organization and its context

The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that

affect its ability to achieve the intended outcome(s) of its sustainability management system.

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
The organization shall determine:

a) the interested parties that are relevant to the sustainability management system;

b) the relevant requirements of these interested parties (i.e. their needs and expectations whether

stated, implied or obligatory).

NOTE The interested parties of an accommodation establishment are: owner, manager, employee, productive

chain, guests, suppliers, community, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

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ISO 21401:2018(E)
4.3 Determining the scope of the sustainability management system

The organization shall determine the boundaries and applicability of the sustainability management

system to establish its scope.
When determining this scope, the organization shall consider:
a) the external and internal issues referred to in 4.1;
b) the requirements referred to in 4.2.
The scope shall be available as documented information.
4.4 Sustainability management system

The organization shall establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a sustainability

management system, including the processes needed and their interactions, in accordance with the

requirements of this document.
5 Leadership
5.1 Leadership and commitment

Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the sustainability

management system by:

a) ensuring that sustainability policies and objectives are established and are compatible with the

strategic direction of the organization;

b) ensuring the integration of the sustainability management system requirements into the

organization's business processes;

c) ensuring that the resources needed for the sustainability management system are available;

d) communicating the importance of effective sustainability management and of conforming to the

sustainability management system requirements;

e) ensuring that the sustainability management system achieves its intended outcome(s);

f) directing and supporting persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the sustainability

management system;
g) promoting continual improvement;

h) supporting other relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their

areas of responsibility.

NOTE Reference to “business” in this document can be interpreted broadly to mean those activities that are

core to the purposes of the organization's existence.
5.2 Policy
Top management shall establish a sustainable development policy that:
a) is appropriate to the purpose of the organization;
b) provides a framework for setting sustainability objectives;
c) includes a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements;

d) includes a commitment to continual improvement of the sustainability management system.

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ISO 21401:2018(E)
The sustainable development policy shall:
— be available as documented information;
— be communicated within the organization;
— be available to interested parties, as appropriate.
5.3 Roles, responsibilities and authorities
Top management shall ensure that the responsib
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