Six Senses’ sustainable operations gains GSTC-Recognised Standard status

by: Felicity Cousins | April 16, 2024

WORLDWIDE: The Sustainable Operations Guidelines of Six Senses, which is part of IHG’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio, has gained GSTC-Recognised Standard status.

This means the group’s operations guidelines document has been fully recognised as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.

Six Senses’ Sustainable Operations Guidelines have been developed to ensure that all Six Senses properties share the same commitment to balancing economic, environmental, and social profitability while remaining respectful of local communities and ecosystems.

The group will be able to closely monitor each property’s environmental footprint to aid in the conservation of cultural and natural heritage and contribute positively to the socio-economic of local communities through its ‘sustainability funds’, which are managed at each property.

Jeff Smith, vice president of sustainability said: “Sustainability is at the heart of all that we do, and it’s important to clearly define exactly what we aim to achieve. Over the past three years, my team, with great support from our operational departments, has been upgrading our policy framework, Six Senses Sustainable Operations Guidelines.

“The previous version has been in place since 2014, and with these extensive revisions, we have taken the additional step of requesting a review from GSTC. The feedback we received was valuable, and we are thrilled to have achieved GSTC recognition status for our guidelines.”

The GSTC-Recognizsd status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed its contents equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism.

It shows that the brand’s set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental Impacts.

The GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do – for more information on the council and its aims, see our Focus On feature.

FOCUS ON: The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)



Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses said: “Sustainability drives every decision we make at Six Senses. Quite simply, it’s non-negotiable. Sustainability has been ingrained in our DNA from day one in 1995, long before it became a focus for others in the luxury hospitality space. We lead by example through who we are, what we do, and the experiences we deliver to our guests. You could say Six Senses was a pioneer in that sense.”

Randy Durband, GSTC CEO said: “Six Senses adoption of the GSTC Criteria’s Four Pillars signifies their commitment to a thorough sustainability strategy, not only addressing environmental factors but also including the impact on communities, a range of social and cultural issues, and the development of effective management to ensure continual progress.”

Currently, 73 standards have achieved GSTC-Recognised status and GSTC-Recognised standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practices, transparency, and rigor.

The GSTC Recognition is valid until either the standard or the GSTC Industry Criteria are changed. Six Senses needs to “pursue Accreditation”  by December 31, 2024.

A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies can be found on the GSTC website.

Image  courtesy Six Sense: Six Senses La Sagesse, last week opened as the brand’s debut resort in the Caribbean