Our history

The Green Key eco-label for tourism facilities has been in existence for more than 20 years and has developed from a national initiative in Denmark to become the world's leading eco-label for accommodation.

Below you can find some important dates in relation to the history of Green Key:

  • 1994: Green Key launched in Denmark by HORESTA (Association of the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry in Denmark), the Danish Outdoor Council and the Association of Danish Tourism Executives.
  • 1998: FEEE France created a Clef Verte programme based on the Danish Green Key programme.
  • 2000: HORESTA exported the Green Key concept to Sweden, Estonia and Greenland.
  • 2002-2003: Green Key was formally approved as an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and the Green Key programme was offered to all FEE member organisations for implementation.
  • 2010: Green Key became eligible for hotels in international hotel chains, allowing Green Key International to manage hotels in international hotel chains also in countries without Green Key National Operators.
  • 2014: Green Key became eligible for all applicant establishments, allowing Green Key International to manage sites in countries without Green Key National Operators.  In most cases, a third-party auditor is in charge of the audits.
  • 2016: Around 2,400 Green Key awarded establishments in 52 countries.

Green Key Denmark has prepared a document describing the history of Green Key that can be downloaded here as a document (pdf file, opens in a new window).