Frequently Asked Questions

The Green Key ecolabel is a standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Green Key has certified more than 3,000 establishments in 60+ countries, making it one of the largest international tourism ecolabels for tourism accommodation. Establishments with the Green Key certificate can be recognised by this logo: 

The Green Key ecolabel means that certified establishments adhere to strict criteria as stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). These criteria ensure that sustainability is integrated at a very high level in the management and operation of the certified tourism establishment. The Green Key ecolabel also ensures verification of the sustainability performance by means of a third-party entity to prevent so-called greenwashing. All certified establishments receive frequent on-site audits and have to renew their certificate every year.

Establishments with a Green Key certification are closely monitored to ensure that they are adhering to the label’s strict sustainability standards. In addition, the establishments are required to continually improve their performance in line with the Green Key criteria. Prior to being awarded for the first time, an on-site audit of the applicant establishment is carried out. This audit is then conducted again in year two, and thereafter every third year. In years without on-site audits, the decision to certify an establishment is based on an evaluation of certain documents. In some countries, the audit process may even be stricter, but it will never be less stringent.

By deciding to join Green Key, your business commits to operating in a more sustainable and efficient way. Green Key gives you advice on how to monitor and reduce the consumption of resources and helps you to motivate your staff as well as your guests to act more responsibly. In the end, saving resources means saving money!

You would be surprised by just how many best practices are out there that reduce the environmental impact of your establishment without compromising the quality of the guest experience. With over 20 years of experience, Green Key has an extensive knowledge base of best practices that are shared within the network of certified establishments.

Green Key also increases the visibility of its certified sites. Once certified, your establishment will be displayed on our Green Key map. We also cooperate with several Online Travel Agencies that will add your Green Key certificate to your listing on their website (providing that your establishment is already included in the portfolio of the Online Travel Agency). We are also happy to promote your establishment by publishing your best practice stories in our news features, on our website, and on social media.

More and more consumers expect that the products and services they choose are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The Green Key ecolabel is considered a trustworthy symbol for consumers that your establishment meets their expectations

  1. In the majority of countries, Green Key is managed by nonprofit organisations, which means that the costs for the certification are relatively low compared to other international tourism ecolabels.
  2. Our vast network of national operators also ensures that the national context and legislation are taken into account.
  3. In most countries with national operators you can send your application and communicate with Green Key in your own language.
  4. With over 3,000 awarded sites in more than 60 countries, Green Key has an international reputation which can be more easily recognised by your costumers than other ecolabels.
  5. Green Key is recognised by the World Tourism Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.
  6. Green Key is a trustworthy and transparent ecolabel ensuring that all awarded sites receive regular on-site audits and are third-party verified.

All hotels, hostels, small accommodations, campsites, holiday parks, conference centres, restaurants, and tourist attractions worldwide can apply for the Green Key ecolabel. By using our self-assessment form, you can make a rough assessment of how ready your establishment is to apply for the Green Key certificate. As this form is only a rough guide, you should always contact your National Operator for a complete list of the criteria, you will need to meet in order to apply for a Green Key award.

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