Clef Verte / Green Key is a standard of excellence
The Green Key award (‘Clef Verte’ in French) is the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the hospitality industry (3000+ establishments in 60 countries). Green Key is managed by the Foundation for Environmental Education which is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation. The Green Key programme has been recognised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UN Environment (UNEP), and the Green Key criteria are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
What does the Green Key ecolabel mean?
This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by hotels that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. When establishments are awarded the Green Key, it is because these establishments have demonstrated to FEE and its member organisations that they comply with the stringent Green Key criteria at the time of the award. The compliance is third-party verified after on-site or off-site audits.
A Green Key stands for the promise to its guests that by opting to stay with the Green Key establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. The high environmental standards expected of these hotels are maintained through rigorous documentation and frequent audits.
Green Key puts huge focus on informing and involving visitors in the measures being taken by an hotel towards being more environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is also ensuring that the staff are well informed and trained in the fields of environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.
Green Key is constantly searching for new and sustainable methods of operation and use of technology in a bid to reduce the overall environmental footprint through lower use of energy, water and waste.
Green Key officially aims to:
- Increase the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable methods of operation and technology in the hotels and thereby reduce the overall use of resources.
- Raise awareness and create behavioural changes in guests, staff and suppliers of individual tourism establishments.
- Increase the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable methods and raise awareness to create behavioural changes in the hospitality and tourism industry overall.
How does the certification process work?
In order to be awarded, a Green Key applicant has to go through an application process consisting of four parts:
- Sending the application documents (criteria for hotels and hostels)
- Receiving the on-site audit
- Third-party decision about the award
- Annual renewal of the award
A more detailed description of how the application process works can be found here. The Green Key award is valid for 12 months and must consequently be renewed annually.