Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #3

Green Key is a leading standard of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism, guiding tourism establishments to do their part in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. In our new feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide governments, the private sector and civil society in transforming our world into safer, fairer and more livable place.   

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, which is why the programme inherently contributes to all of the 17 goals. Today, we talk about Goal 3: "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages". 

According to the UN, Goal 3 "seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. The Goal addresses all major health priorities, including reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines. It also calls for more research and development, increased health financing, and strengthened capacity of all countries in health risk reduction and management."

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 3?

Green Key's criteria promote the health and well-being of the staff of the establishments, but especially helps to indirectly achieve target 3.9 which addresses death and illnesses due to environmental pollution: 

  • All Green Key awarded establishments have to treat their waste water to ensure that it does not enter into the sea or the groundwater body. (criterion 4.9) 
  • The use of hazardous chemicals must be kept at a minimum in awarded establishments. This especially applies to cleaning products. Green Key has its own blacklist of hazardous compounds that must not be found in these daily cleaning products. Disinfection substances may only be used in limited amounts, and it is also recommended to avoid fragranced products  (criterion 5.2, 5.3 & 5.8)
  • In addition, Green Key has strict criteria on the storage and transport of hazardous chemicals and waste in general (criterion 6.7 & 6.8)
  • Green Key expects a well-organised waste management from its awarded establishments to prevent environmental pollution (criterion 6.1-6.4)
  • Because CFCs contribute to ozone depletion,  pumps and refrigeration plants that use CFC or HCFC refrigerants are not allowed in Green Key awarded establishments (criterion 6.5)
  • Green Key promotes a smoke-free environment. At least 75% of the rooms in an awarded establishment have to be smoke free, and restaurants should be non-smoking or at least have a non-smoking section. (criterion 9.1 & 9.2)
  • If the awarded establishments are refurbishing their premises, Green Key also recommends to use environmentally friendly products such as paints e.g. (criterion 9.4)
  • In the garden areas of awarded establishments, it is not allowed to use chemical pesticides or fertilisers that could harm the environment. (criterion 10.1)
  • Concerning the health and well-being of the employees, Green Key expects that the establishments are in compliance with international, national and local legislation and its CSR policies regarding environment, health, safety and labour. (criteria 11.1)

 

A document describing Green Key’s overall contribution to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here.

Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria winning a responsible business award

The Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria in Spain is recognised for its recycling efforts

Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria has been selected among more than 70 properties as one of the top 5 best hotels in the island due to their recycling programme by Gran Canaria Recicla and Cabildo de Gran Canaria.  

The hotel has worked hard to be able to separate bins in more than four different types. They have specific recycling points for guests and employees all around the hotel and they train and inform everybody regarding the way of collecting the waste.

It is a pleasure to receive this award and the hotel would like to thank all of its team and specially the Maintenance Team and the Chief Engineer (Jaime Muñoz), as they have been the ones making this philosophy come alive!

Green Key award ceremony in Sint Maarten

Following the collaborative agreement between the foundation Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), National Operator of the Blue Flag and Green Key, and the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) to promote sustainable tourism, the partners organized a Green Key Award ceremony

From Right to Left: Paul Henriquez (SHTA Board Member), Lorraine Talmi (SHTA Board Member), Paul Boetekees (Princess Heights General Manager), Elisa Oldani (Green Key National Operator, EPIC St. Maarten), Arnaldo Phelipa (Holland House General Manager) and Laura Bijnsdorp (EPIC St. Maarten).

From Right to Left: Paul Henriquez (SHTA Board Member), Lorraine Talmi (SHTA Board Member), Paul Boetekees (Princess Heights General Manager), Elisa Oldani (Green Key National Operator, EPIC St. Maarten), Arnaldo Phelipa (Holland House General Manager) and Laura Bijnsdorp (EPIC St. Maarten).

The two establishments that received the Green Key Award were Holland House Beach Hotel, which obtained the award for the first time, and Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel, which is being awarded for the third consecutive year.

This event was a celebration of environmental sustainability on St. Maarten and the achievement by the two beautiful properties but also presented the opportunity for other businesses to learn about the importance of preserving the tourism product and profiting from it in a sustainable way.

 “The Green Key programme is not just a set of guidelines to follow, it is a comprehensive programme that ensures a reduction of waste and energy, which not only benefits the environment but it is beneficial to the cost of our business as well. It educates our staff, it educates our management and it drives a spirit into your organization. Going green for us it’s a rewarded investment and [one] that we attempt to keep up “said Paul Boetekees, General Manager of Holland House.

Princess Heights is the ground-breaking establishment which became the island’s first Green Key Hotel. Mr. Arnaldo Phelipa, General Manager of Princess Heights, congratulated Holland House for their achievements and urged other businesses to move towards a greener and more sustainable business attitude for the benefits of the community, the environment and the business itself.

The event was well attended by many trade and tourism businesses supportive of sustainable operations on St. Maarten as well as EPIC representatives Laura Bijnsdorp, Elisa Oldani and Kippy Gilders and SHTA Board Members Lorraine Talmi and Paul Henriquez.

Green Key Branding Guidelines explains the correct use of Green Key logos and standardised material

Green Key has prepared the "Green Key Branding Guidelines" document to follow for all involved in the programme at the international, national and local level

The Branding Guidelines for Green Key has been developed for the programme based on the overall guidelines of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE, the organisation behind Green Key). The overall guidelines were approved at the FEE General Assembly in September 2016.

After describing the importance of a unified brand identity in Green Key, the Branding Guidelines document describes:

  • Colour, appearance and specification of use of the Green Key logo and text below
  • Use of the “Green Key” name
  • Use of standardised Green Key material (plaques, stickers, certificate and flag)

If you are a Green Key awarded establishment or a partner of Green Key at the local, national or international level, and you are unsure whether you are using the correct Green Key logo or material, please contact your Green Key National Operator or Green Key International. The Green Key Branding Guidelines document can also be downloaded here

Tackling water waste whilst delivering a premium guest experience

Establishing responsible water usage can improve guests' shower experience

An increasing amount of travellers are opting for sustainable hotel and travel experiences and it's no surprise that hotel providers are looking at different ways to achieve a ‘greener’ rating. With a typical 300-room hotel using over 1 million litres of water per month, focusing on water waste is key in neutralising water and energy consumption.

Installing water saving shower heads is one solution but this usually also compromises the shower experience. Our vision at Orbital Systems is to totally transform how hotel water is consumed, whilst providing a premium shower experience. The average conventional shower uses 100 litres of water per session, that's 10x more water than we actually need. With Orbital System’s shower this reduces to 5-10 litres.

Our closed-loop technology continuously recirculates and purifies water reducing the risk of bacteria such as legionella. It also comfort-corrects the few litres of water you start with, whilst maintaining constant pressure, flow and temperature. Which means your guests can actually shower for as long as they want, without any of the guilt. And with our real-time, tracking app you will have complete visibility into water usage and savings, a great promotional tool that you can use to highlight your responsible water practices.

Find out just exactly how much water and energy you can save in your facility using our savings calculator or by getting in touch with the Orbital Systems team today: contact@orbital-systems.com.

Qatar Green Building Council starts national management of Green Key in Qatar

Qatar Green Building Council has decided to launch the national management of the Green Key programme in Qatar, making Green Key available to all hotels and tourism establishments in Qatar

W Doha Hotel & Residences

W Doha Hotel & Residences

The hotel, W Doha Hotel & Residences have been Green Key awarded since 2013. Other hotels in Qatar have expressed interest in achieving the prestigious Green Key label.

With Qatar Green Building Council reaching membership of the Foundation for Environmental Education, the organisation is now officially launching the work with Green Key. The Green Key management in Qatar will be changed to Qatar Green Building Council, and it is possible for all other hotels and tourism establishments in Qatar to apply for Green Key through Qatar Green Building Council. 

Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Green Key Director says: “I am very happy that Green Key is now offered to any hotel and tourism establishment in Qatar through Qatar Green Building Council. As the country is hosting the Football World Cup in 2022, it will offer the country a unique opportunity to showcase Qatar’s ambitions on sustainable development, including through having a range of hotels and tourism facilities in Qatar joining the Green Key programme. I would like to thank W Doha Hotels & Residence for being an important role model for other establishments in Qatar planning to join Green Key.” 

Hamoda Youssef at Qatar Green Building Council has been appointed as Green Key national operator in Qatar (contact details: E-mail: hyoussef@qf.org.qa or phone: (+974)  44541781.

Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #2

Green Key is a leading standard of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism, guiding tourism establishments to do their part in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. In our new feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide governments, the private sector and civil society in transforming our world into safer, fairer and more livable place.   

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, which is why the programme inherently contributes to all of the 17 goals. Today, we talk about Goal 2: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture". 

According to the UN, "Goal 2 aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It also commits to universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year. This will require sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices, equal access to land, technology and markets and international cooperation on investments in infrastructure and technology to boost agricultural productivity." In the link above, you can read about the targets and indicators to Goal 2. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 2?

The Green Key criteria include several requirements and guidelines that promote sustainable food production and support local agricultural businesses:

  • Each Green Key awarded establishment must purchase and register at least three types of food/drink products that are organic, ecolabelled, fair-trade labelled and/or locally produced. By this means, each establishment supports sustainable food producers and stimulates the local economy. (criterion 8.1)
  • In addition, Green Key awarded sites are encouraged to take initiatives to buy seasonal products, less meat products and no products from endangered fish, seafood or other species to make their meals more sustainable. (criterion 8.3)
  • The Green Key programme supports vegetarian alternatives on the menu card as meat-free dishes have a lower environmental footprint. (criterion 8.5)
  • The Green Key criteria also promote the active support of activities or initiatives for social community development including, among others, education, health, sanitation and infrastructure. This includes initiatives for the provision of basic food, water and energy services. (criterion 11.4)
  • The programme promotes the provision of means for local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products in the establishment. This includes the possibility for local farmers or food producers to either sell their products to the hotel or directly to the guests (criterion 11.5)

A document describing Green Key’s overall contribution to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here.

 

 

Green Key’s achievements in 2016 are proudly featured in the FEE Annual Report

Green Key is proud to have its 2016 activities summarised in the newly published 2016 Annual Report of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

There are the following highlights in the Green Key programme during last year:

  • Growth in the programme to around 2,600 establishments with first awarded establishments in Kenya, Mauritius and Hong Kong (China), and 57 countries now being actively involved in the programme. See the overview of Green Key sites here
  • New Green Key criteria and explanatory notes for hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, small accommodations, conference centres, restaurants and attractions took effect from July 2016 after recognition by Global Sustainable Tourism Council. See the Green Key criteria here
  • Development of carbon and water management tools (based on the HCMI and HWMI tools) that are freely available on the Green Key website. Read more about HCMI tool here and HWMI tool here
  • New cooperation agreements with online booking and travel companies (Expedia, Glooby, Travganic and TiCATi) and with various organisation partners (EKOenergy and Clean the World). Read more about our web partners here and NGO partners here 
  • Green Key actively contributes to the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030. More information can be found here
  • Green Key has been preparing to be an active participant in the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. More information can be found here

In the FEE Annual Report 2016, there is as well information about the activities in Green Key’s sister programme: Blue Flag (eco-label for beaches, marinas and boats) and FEE’s three school-based programmes: Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment and Learning about Forests.

You can download the full FEE Annual Report 2016 here!

Educational Green Day at Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa

On 4 May 2017, a Green Day took place at Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa in Estonia to raise awareness on important environmental issues among the employees as well as give an overview of Green Key activities.

Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa and Green Key

Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa has Green Key, an international environmental label awarded to accommodation establishments following the principles of a sustainable economy. Accommodation can be selected according to various criteria: it can be the price, location and more. When the essential needs are met, some people also consider reducing their ecological footprint. With Green Key, we want to educate our visitors on how to create the harmony between quality, comfort and eco-friendly.

The sustainable way of thinking is followed in every activity of Vihula Manor. We use ground source heating and solar energy, we have diminished the consumption of water and electricity and we also ask our guests to behave in an environment-friendly way and suggest them active movement in nature for vacationing. In addition, proper gardening products are grown in the garden of Vihula Manor for the kitchen of the hotel’s restaurant and eco-SPA, an eco-farm is opened with lambs, rabbits and chickens.

Green Day

The day started out with an informative lecture for all the employees about Green Key. Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa views and new development plan were introduced in connection with the renewal of Green Key brand. In addition, different changes were introduced that Vihula Manor has done to reduce the ecological footprint. Workgroups were formed to brainstorm ideas on how to collect and sort different types of waste in different departments and houses at Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa.

In the second part of the day, employees visited a very popular Seven Bridges walking path and it turned out that even the people who have worked the longest at Vihula Manor haven’t walked the trail before. It was a positive and new experience for all the participants. During the walk, different questions about the history of the manor, bridge names and Green Key were asked. Green Day ended with a lunch where all the important topics were summed up. Also, thoughts for the next Gren Day were collected!

Find more information about Green Key at Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa