Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool - Glossary & Resources

Find the Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool and other GBTA assessment and benchmarking tools here:


  • Health-related absence

Carbon Footprint

  • A carbon footprint is historically defined as “the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an (individual, event, organization, product) expressed as CO2e.

Carbon/CO2 Emission

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and wood products, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (or "sequestered") when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.

Carbon Offsets

  • Carbon offsetting activities include anything that is undertaken to offset/compensate carbon emissions made elsewhere. This could include efforts to plant trees (which negates a quantifiable amount of carbon emissions), purchasing off-sets via a carbon market, or purchasing renewable energy credits (which financially support renewable energy projects such as wind farms, biomass, solar, etc). The ultimate goal is to undertake enough offsetting activities (by reducing the impact of the company and/or supporting the offsetting of carbon emissions) to counteract the carbon emissions made by the company.

(The) Climate Registry

  • Non-profit collaboration between North American states, provinces, territories, and Native Sovereign Nations to record and track the greenhouse gas emissions of businesses, municipalities and other organizations.


  • Corporate Social Responsibility – Refers to business practices involving initiatives that benefit society

Diversity & Inclusion

  • Diversity – the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
  • Inclusion – Inclusion is state of being valued, respected and supported.


  • Environmental management system

External Resources

  • These are resources outside of your organization such as consultants, non-profits & GBTA Project ICARUS

Flexible mobility

  • A program that provides a car when needed as long as there is one available (if you have a sudden need of transportation, it’s possible there is no car available).

GBTA Hotel RFP Global Format

  • The GBTA Hotel RFP (request for proposal) is a standard, commonly used RFP format developed by GBTA and its volunteers. It includes and quantifies vendor sustainability practices in the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ section, and is the preferred way of obtaining sustainability data about hotel stays. Hotels are used to this format, and obtaining information this way makes the process easier for both hotels and their buyers.


  • Millennials
    • Also known as Generation Y (Gen Y). There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends. Typically Millennials describe people between early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to the early 2000s as final birth years for the Millennial Generation.
  • Generation X
    • Generation X typically describe people between early-mid 1960s as starting birth years and the late 1970s to early 1980s as final birth years for the Generation X.

GHG Protocol

  • Standards and guidance regarding corporate greenhouse gas accounting and reporting.

Green Certifications

  • Green hotel certifications are a way in which some hotels communicate their sustainability efforts in an official way. Certifications vary widely, and there are many available to hotels in the market. There is not currently one industry wide, global certification that is considered best practice. Some certifications are self-reported questionnaires, some are internal management systems/platforms, some are completely third party run and include on site audits. While certifications recognize sustainability efforts of these hotels, often hotels that have not pursued certification are undertaking meaningful sustainability activities. Green Certifications are one way to recognize this, but an emphasis on outcomes, such as reduced carbon and water footprints, can ensure that the hotel is reducing its impact on the environment.

Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative

  • The Hotel Carbon Measurement initiative is a common methodology for measuring and communicating carbon emissions related to hotel stays. If was developed by the World Travel & Tourism Council and the International Tourism Partnership by working with KPMG and 23 global leading hotel companies. It is considered the industry standard for measuring and reporting carbon emissions.

Internal Resources

  • These are resource inside your organization in areas such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Well-being, and Travel amongst others

Internal Stakeholders

  • These are individuals in key areas that can assist you such Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability or Well-being, HR, Procurement, IT/MIS, Finance, and Travel amongst others.


  • Internal company web pages, typically found behind the firewall


  • Key-Performance-Indicator

LEED Rating

  • LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program for buildings and communities that guides their design, construction, operations and maintenance toward sustainability. It is based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.


  • Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events


  • Online Booking Tool

Renewable energy

  • Energy that is collected from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.


  • Request for Proposal

Sustainability Elements

  • There are many elements of sustainability although you can group them into several categories such as Sourcing (RFP, Contract, T&Cs), Organization (Recycling, Reuse, Reduce), Travel (Emission Tracking), Venue (bulk dispensers, paperless, Cloth-free), Measurement (Carbon emission reporting, Water conservation reporting, Energy Management).


  • Travel Management Company


  • World Health Organisation definition of health as contained in its constitution:
    • "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
  • Robertson Cooper – the leading wellbeing specialists in Europe say:
    • We believe there is nothing more important than investing in the health and wellbeing of employees to create more good days at work. Healthier, happier people can do great things. It’s simple - a business filled with happier people having good days at work is a better business.