Welcome to REST
The Responsible, Ethical, Sustainable Tourism (REST) Scheme was devised to assess and measure hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses, offering independent assessments, objective investigations and recommendations for change. The scheme was developed in response to growing consumer demand for an independent quality mark, alongside requests for a grading that supports business' RFP processes.
Developed by a team of experts, who boast a practical and in-depth knowledge of the industry, alongside environmental and sustainable practices, HR, RFP Management, quality grading, independent assessments, commercial applications and supplier selection, the scheme is fit-for-purpose and widely endorsed. It is the first of its kind to measure not only the environmental sustainability of your business, but also your commitment to staff and clients, your Corporate Social Responsibility practices, your HR policies and your supplier relationships, and the first to be compliant with RFP processes.
Director of Quality in Tourism, Deborah Heather discusses the REST accreditation scheme with Boutique Hotel News to explain the benefits and reasoning behind the scheme.
The REST scheme has been developed with four cornerstones, objectively measuring all aspects of your business. These cornerstones are:
- Environmental and Economic Management: measuring the way you do business, how you minimise environmental impact and how you develop the business sustainably.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: including your place in the local community and your pursuit of good practice external to the business.
- HR and Ethical Employment: measuring your legal compliance as well as your unique and innovative practices which make your business a premier employer.
- Supplier practices and business compliance: quantifying the impact your suppliers have and the way that this reflects on your business.
Tough but achievable...
We have designed the scheme to be an objective, independent quality grading for businesses. We've made it tough, but achievable, with four expectation levels for your business to pass.
- Mandatory - these must be fulfilled in order for the business to be labelled as responsible, ethical and sustainable.
- Expected - includes measures which are simple to implement, widely adopted in the marketplace, or are an expectation of guests.
- Optional - rewards businesses which are truly committed to being responsible, ethical and sustainable, recognising their endeavours to implement suitable strategies.
- Bonus - does not contribute to the overall score, but does provide opportunity to recognise outstanding pursuits, and ensures ongoing development of the scheme as initiatives grow in popularity.
Not 'just a mark'...
From day one, the ambition for the Scheme has been to make it useful and supportive for businesses, but also to ensure that it has the gravitas and awareness to make it relevant. We are ensuring that it is more than 'just another mark' by:
- Publishing percentage scores - rather than take a pass / fail approach, we use a percentage measure to show how well you meet the criteria, highlighting businesses which are exceptional, and / or exemplary in one of the four areas. This adds gravitas and helps businesses to stand out among peers.
- Developing partnerships - working to build public and professional awareness of the scheme, ensuring that it can be easily incorporated into business' RFP processes and encouraging informed choices to select a REST scheme member.