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Sustainability Management Policy

The Azores have a multiplicity of natural, historical and cultural resources that make it unique.

For more than two decades, initiatives have been privileged that lead to their protection and preservation, which has led to the continued development of sustainability policies:

    • Conservation of nature and protection of biodiversity
    • Energy production and management
    • Management and supervision of noise, air quality, waste and water
    • Environmental promotion and education actions
    • Appreciation of indigenous products, heritage and Azorean culture

Almost 25 of the archipelago's territory is classified as a protected area, managed by the natural parks on each island.


Protection + Management

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases

Air quality and light and noise pollution

Air quality and light and noise pollution

Potable water

Potable water

Wastewater and sewage

Wastewater and sewage

Ecosystem and biodiversity

Ecosystem and biodiversity



Territorial planning policy

Territorial planning policy

Environmentally harmful substances

Environmentally harmful substances

Solid waste

Solid waste

Society and culture

Society and culture




Management Structure for the Sustainability of the Azores Tourist Destination

Açores DMO is the entity responsible for the Sustainability Management of the Azores Tourist Destination. Under the aegis of the Government of the Azores and the Regional Secretariat for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure, the main function of the DMO is to coordinate sustainability efforts and initiatives, acting as a stimulus for the development of sustainable tourism with partners in the public and private sectors.

The commitment is to ensure that the development of the destination is supported in the sustainable development goals in the context of Agenda 2030 and is applicable to all initiatives and actions of tourism in the Azores, as well as the DMO and its collaborators.

The initiatives of the Azores DMO will be coordinated with the population, with members of the private sector and the public sector, both municipal and various departments of the Regional government, as well as associations and NGO´s.

Azores DMO


Plan, organize, implement and supervise the certification process of the sustainable tourist destination, following the criteria of EarthCheck, a member certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, based on the guiding principles of UNWTO and Sustainable development goals.

To consult, involve and educate local communities, partners and economic agents of the tourism value chain in decision-making related to the management of the sustainable development of the Azores destination.

A set of 23 sustainable commitments and 166 actions, duly articulated with the various regional secretariats of the Government of the Azores.

Identification of the current and potential level of risk of situations, planned, accidental or emergency, natural or anthropic, related to the scope of operation of the Azores destination.

Monitoring of actions, measures and policies adopted and/or implemented in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, in 2020, in favor of the sustainable development of the territory. Analyzes the evolution of actions provided for in the DMO Action Plan.


Monitoring + Development + Promotion



International body that defines the parameters for the sustainable development of tourism.



GSTC accredited entity for sustainable tourist destinations certification.

CCSDTA - Advisory Committee for the Sustainability of the Azores tourist destination

Entity with the objective of accompanying, issuing opinions and making recommendations on the certification process of the Azores, monitoring the activity of DMO and implementation of PEMTA.

GASDTA - Monitoring Group for the sustainability of the Azores tourist destination

Constituted by public entities, in order to operationalize the implementation of measures and actions aimed at fulfilling the requirements and goals of certification.

FASDTA - Forums for monitoring the sustainability of the Azores tourist destination

Consisting of entities representing local interests, in the figure of the Green Teams (in each of the nine islands) and meetings for the community, partners and economic agents.


Certification steps


Beginning the process



Take on a mission


  • Establish team
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Develop, adopt and promote an environmental and Social sustainability policy


Evaluate the performance


  • Access to real-time information
  • Identifying critical points
  • Prioritization of initiatives
  • Performance report


Achieve Bronze certification


  • Achievement of the first level-Bronze certification
  • Celebration with stakeholders
  • Sharing results


Manage and communicate the process


  • Risk Identification and management
  • Process Reinforcement
  • Development of action plan with objectives
  • Creating appealing initiatives
  • Development of Communication Plan
  • Involvement of external stakeholders
  • Transparency Demonstration


Check the compliance with commitments


  • Independent, experienced and credible assessment to verify established commitments.


Complete the journey


  • Conclusion of the results achieved

1-4 years old | Silver Certification

5-9 years old | Gold Certification

10-14 years old | Platinum Certification

+ 15 years | Master Certification


Update the process


  • Renewal every 12 months