Home Sustainability Huatulco Receives EarthCheck Master Level Certification

Huatulco Receives EarthCheck Master Level Certification

by Brent May

Earth Check Master level certification

Huatulco has again received Earth Check Master level certification, historically the first tourist destination in the world to have earned the prestigious qualification.

World-class environmentally sustainable destination

Huatulco has always been on the cutting edge of world-class environmentally sustainable practices. EarthCheck certified since 2005 and then became the first destination in the world to become Gold Standard certified, Huatulco was the 2nd tourist destination in the world to become EarthCheck Platinum certified after Kaikoura, New Zealand.  Huatulco was the first destination in the world to receive Master Level certification in 2021. This Master Level certification continues for 2023!

Read more: Ecotourism: How to Really Get to Know the Nature of the Oaxaca Coast


Earth Check masterEarth Check measures the level of sustainability in tourism destinations

In an interview with Forbes Mexico, Angélica Angón, Huatulco’s Sustainability spokesperson said, “Huatulco is the only destination in the world with an EarthCheck certification, Master Level, the highest (sustainability distinction) in the world, since over the years we have met very strict sustainability indicators and of course we are complying with important health and safety provisions based on these indicators and this is exactly what tourists are currently looking for.”

Earth Check Master level certification

Huatulco is a unique destination

Tucked into the Oaxaca Coast where the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range meets the Pacific Ocean, Huatulco is a unique outdoors destination for those who love nature. With 9 bays and 36 sandy beaches, a National Park, this master-planned community has green spaces set aside throughout the town and surrounding area. Huatulco’s commitment to EarthCheck certification is a guarantee for residents and visitors of a pristine destination and a clean and safe community.

Read more: Going Green in Huatulco

Huatulco’s Sustainability Initiatives

Obtaining and keeping the EarthCheck certification requires cooperation between the government, the private sector and the local community. Huatulco has obtained the certification based on many initiatives that deliver significant benefits to residents and visitors:

  • 100% clean electrical energy fed by wind farms
  • Wastewater treatment plants, water conservation, storm water runoff collection
  • 17 kms of storm protection channels
  • Rigorous environmental legislation
  • Waste reduction and recycling plans
  • Biodiversity protection
  • Beach protection programs
  • Constant infrastructure improvement
  • Huatulco Carbon Neutral program buying carbon bonds for reforestation and conservation of Mexican forests and jungles

Read more about Huatulco’s World-Class Water Treatment Systems

What is EarthCheck?

What is EarthCheck?

EarthCheck is the world’s reference in certification and consulting for sustainable tourism destinations. With over 30 years in guiding destinations in sustainability strategies and practices, EarthCheck works with local governments and communities providing cutting edge research and bench-marking information so that destinations can provide clean and sustainable destinations for both visitors and residents. The organization provides certification, consulting, training and software solutions.

Huatulco has been EarthCheck certified since 2005. Huatulco has remained committed over the years to environmental and sustainable practices. This certification is a guarantee of a high quality, sustainable tourism experience. Working with EarthCheck, Huatulco has a local sustainability authority and has clear environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability policies. Huatulco is audited yearly to review certification.

Huatulco is benchmarked across a variety of standards. These references allow the town to identify issues and track performance.

  • Energy efficiency, conservation and management
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Air quality protection, noise control, & light pollution
  • Management of freshwater resources
  • Wastewater management, drainage and streams
  • Ecosystem conservation and management
  • Land use planning and development
  • Transport
  • Solid waste management
  • Management of environmentally harmful substances
  • Cultural and social management
  • Economic management

This allows Huatulco’s local government to make informed decisions that enable tourism investment while protecting the location.

EarthCheck certifications

EarthCheck certifications

Huatulco has kept its Earth Check Master level certifications for 15+ years and has progressed across the Earth Check certification levels.

EarthCheck is a testament to a better-operating, more efficient destination where residents and visitors are more engaged. Visitors recognize the EarthCheck logo and know it is the symbol of a quality destination where they have environmental and socially responsible choices.

Huatulco shines in environmental initiatives. It has two Blue Flag beaches, Chahue and Tangolunda. The Blue Flag award is earned by adhering to a series of strict environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria. Barcelo Huatulco is a recipient of the Green Globe awards program. Numerous programs, both environmental and social, spear-headed by grass roots organizations make Huatulco a tight-knit community. Become involved by contacting individual organisations like the Huatulco Food Bank, Lupita Project Huatulco, Rotary Club, Bacaanda Foundation to name a few.

Read more about the history of Huatulco’s master-planning and environmental development here.

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