Scuba Divers Get Green Certified

A new green standard for the scuba diving industry will promote businesses that protect the ocean.

Ocean First Divers, Scuba Schools International and Sustainable Travel International jointly designed new green certification standard specific to the diving industry to protect the world’s oceans.

Ocean First Divers has been working in earnest for the last five years to shift the paradigm in the dive industry and establish a precedent for accountability and preservation.  

They’ve developed a wetsuit reclamation program and carbon calculator for liveaboards, which for the first time, assesses the footprint of these highly desired dive vacations. They’ve  invested over $200,000 in renewable energy retrofits that include solar PV and thermal, high-efficiency boilers, variable speed pool pumps and a heat exchanger.

Scuba Schools is a world leader in dive education and Sustainable Travel has created certification for Global Sustainable Tourism.  These organizations provide the support systems, expertise and recognition needed to create a certification standard for the dive industry.

"As my passion grew for scuba diving and exploring the magic of our ocean, I quickly realized that the dive industry needed to thoroughly reevaluate the way it approached transforming customers into impassioned stewards for the very resource that we, as an industry, depend on for our livelihood. There has been a disregard for this fragile ocean ecosystem and developing personal accountability for it," says Graham Casden, Owner of Ocean First Divers, who initiated the partnership.

The three groups plan to work with dive centers and dive tour operators to better inform them on industry best practices that are aligned with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, a set of globally accepted best practices that define what sustainable tourism should look like. 

Those criteria form the baseline to the Dive Center and Shore Excursions Standards, and they’ve included numerous best practices specifically related to these unique activities.  These include ocean conservation, boating regulations, health and safety training and more.  

"We will attract dive centers and dive operators from around the world to take part in the program, self-assess their current activities and proceed to higher levels of certification through second and third party evaluations," says Robert Chappell, Director of Standards Development for Sustainable Travel.

"The certification will provide customers with a degree of trust that these operators are doing all they can to minimize negative impacts and improve positive contributions to the environment, society and local economies. The certification will also create stronger brand recognition as a sustainable operator, increasingly important to today’s conscious traveler," he adds.

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