Kolarbyn Eco-lodge – As close as you can get to nature

Guests visiting the Green Key awarded Kolarbyn Eco-lodge contribute to the nature and culture of Skinnskatteberg municipality (Sweden). The hostel is an environmentally friendly accommodation built in natural materials, avoiding chemicals and toxins. Part of the profits received by the Kolarbyn goes directly to the conservation of nature and culture in different projects.

 Sauna at Kolarbyn Eco-lodge. Picture taken by Lennart Trollvad. 

Sauna at Kolarbyn Eco-lodge. Picture taken by Lennart Trollvad. 

The twelve huts are located in the middle of the wilderness, but just a 45-minute walk from Skinnskatteberg, the nearest town. There is no electricity or running water but the guests can relax in front of a crackling fireplace right next to their hut.

In August 2004 Kolarbyn started a project to reintroduce the tradition of charcoaling, an old-fashioned method of producing charcoal. This method has been used in the area for more than 400 years. The hostel is constantly working on developing additional opportunities to conserve charcoal culture for future generations.

 Charcoal hut at Kolarbyn Eco-lodge. Pictures taken by Lennart Trollvad. 

Charcoal hut at Kolarbyn Eco-lodge. Pictures taken by Lennart Trollvad. 

Plogging for Good - 20 hotels take part in Marriott UK’s day-of-action

As part of Marriott UK’s day-of-action,  staff from their central London hotels and our National Operator in the U.K. chose to go "plogging" on Clapham Common. 


This new craze, straight from Scandinavia, combines litter picking and jogging – so it’s great for people and the planet. Our National Operator in the U.K, Keep Britain Tidy, was joined by the Vice President of Marriott UK and 20 General Managers from Marriott Hotels in the centre of London. Together they plogged and collected bags of rubbish from this popular green space.

Amongst the usual plastic bottles and food packaging, the team found everything from a nappy to a hub cap. Leaving the common a cleaner place, everyone felt good (and fitter) by doing good. Paul Davies, General Manager Heathrow Windsor Marriott, said,

“At Marriott International - now the world’s largest hotel company - we have a ‘Spirit to Serve Culture’ and a global ‘Preserve 360 strategy ’. With our expanding global presence, we have an even greater obligation to operate responsibly." 

He went on by saying that, "while integrating sustainability across our value chain and mitigating climate-related risk, we are working to reduce our environmental impacts, build and operate sustainable hotels and source responsibly. We see plogging and working with Keep Britain Tidy as a key strategy to supporting this.’"   

Sino Hotels announces ban on plastic straws at all outlets

As a further step to support the group-wide pledge of Sino Group to reduce consumption of single-use plastic by 50% from 2017 to 2022, Sino Hotels announced the immediate ban on plastic straws in all of their hotels in Hong Kong last week. Four out of their six hotels in Hong Kong are Green Key awarded.

 Sino Group Plastic Awareness Campaign - Kick-off Ceremony held on the 18 April 2018. 

Sino Group Plastic Awareness Campaign - Kick-off Ceremony held on the 18 April 2018. 

With immediate effect, plastic straws are banned in all food and beverage outlets operated by the hotel group, and upon request, eco-friendly alternatives will be served. This is the latest in Sino Hotels' efforts in reducing single-use plastic consumption, including water bottles and bathroom amenities. 

'Sustainability is integral to our business. In every way we serve and operate, we aim not only to deliver customer satisfaction, but be responsible to the environment. We hope that by taking action in banning plastic straws, we are getting across the important message about sustainability and joining the global effort in creating a greener future,' says Mr. Kevin Chuc, Associate Director & Deputy Group General Manager of Sino Hotels. 

Green Key is proud that four out of six Sino Hotels in Hong Kong are awarded the Green Key

Source: Sino Hotels

Launch of the 2018 Green Lodging Trends Report powered by Greenview

Green Key is supporting the third annual Green Lodging Trends Report, powered by the Greenview Portal and managed by Greenview and Green Lodging News. The report is the lodging industry’s annual exercise to assess and benchmark sustainable best practices across hotels worldwide.

 Updated annually, the Green Lodging Trends Report helps discover innovative hotel efforts that should be recognized and can benefit peers, and shows what’s trending each year.

Updated annually, the Green Lodging Trends Report helps discover innovative hotel efforts that should be recognized and can benefit peers, and shows what’s trending each year.

Some reasons for participating in the Green Lodging Trends Report:

  •  Get a free compare report! Find out where your property is aligned with best practices, and where it is behind among peers locally and worldwide.
  • Discover new innovative practices that hotels are implementing.
  • Use information to improve and ultimately outperform your competitors.
  • Highlight your innovations to showcase to the world in the annual trends report.
  • The Green Lodging Trends Report is the lodging industry's annual exercise to assess and catalyse green innovation, best practices, and awareness regarding the state of sustainability across hotels worldwide.

Answer 100 questions covering the latest in operational practices, facility attributes, and outreach programs to conserve resources, reduce carbon emissions, increase guest experience, and make positive community impact. In year one, there were about 2,000 hotels in the data set.

Sign up your establishment by 10 August 2018.

Nordic Hotel Forum - Tallinn's front-runner in urban beekeeping

The Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn, Estonia is the first hotel in the country to support urban beekeeping.


With the help from the Tallinn Beekeepers Society, the Green Key awarded hotel installed 6 beehives with over 60,000 bees on their rooftop.

From the hotel - which has been Green Key awarded since 2010 -  the bees have access to Tallinn’s major parks such as the Tammsaare Park and the historical Kadriorg Park.

Guests can enjoy the best view of the hives from their Leisure Centre or from the guestrooms on the 7th and 8th floors that  look out across the  court yard. But anyone can watch the bees busily gathering honey by watching the set up live stream. Here you can observe the hives and Tallinn’s picturesque Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the background.

As soon as the honey is ready for harvest, it is offered at the breakfast buffet from time to time. 

Read these 8 facts from the Tallinn Beekeepers Society to get to know the bees better!



KolleKolle – more than 20 years of Green Key history

The KolleKolle conference hotel located just 16 kilometers from Copenhagen, Denmark is looking back on a long journey of sustainability. But their ambitions never stop. 

 Green Key International with KolleKolle hotel staff in front of the sustainability story in the lobby of the hotel

Green Key International with KolleKolle hotel staff in front of the sustainability story in the lobby of the hotel

The conference hotel KolleKolle is one of the few establishments that have been Green Key awarded for over 20 years. During the visit of Green Key International, Berit K. Leth – the hotel’s General Manager, explained that the Green Key criteria is part of the establishments DNA since its first award in 1996. 

The hotel proudly presents their sustainability history and achievements on a timeline in the lobby of the hotel where guests can go back in time and learn about KolleKolle's exciting journey to become one of the most sustainable hotels in Denmark. 

KolleKolle was built 1972 – i.e. before the 1973 oil crisis. Back then, there wasn't much emphasis on energy efficiency, which also influenced the way buildings were constructed. The hotel is still struggling with the decisions made in the past, but is therefore even keener on saving as much energy as possible, both on a daily basis and when extending or renovating the hotel.

In addition to showcasing their sustainability story, the Green Key working group of the hotel, which consists of one representative from each department, has created a "sustainability book" that links Green Key to the many environmental initiatives of the hotel. 


YRE International awarded with the Earth Prize 2018

One of Green Key International's sister programmes, also run by the Foundation for Environmental Education, is the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE). We are very proud to share with you that they have received the prestigious Earth Prize in Italy last weekend.


The YRE programme aims to empower young people to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. 

On 23-24 of June, YRE International Director Gosia Luszczek travelled to Luino, Italy to receive the very first edition of the Earth Prize on behalf of YRE International. She is extremely proud that the hard work of the National Operators, teachers, students, and the YRE International team has been recognized by WEEC (World Environmental Education Congress).

The Earth Prize was created by the WEEC Network as a prize for environmental education and landscape. “Earth Prize wants to be a multiplier of positive actions for the environment and the quality of life”, Luca Novelli, artistic director of the award, explains. 

Adriána Henčeková, a journalist student highly involved with YRE in Slovakia, was invited to report on the event as a Young Reporter.

Read more about the Earth Award and the event in Italy on the official website

Sinatur Hotel Frederiksdal has special focus on organic and locally sourced food

Green Key awarded Sinatur Hotel Frederiksdal, located north of Copenhagen (Denmark), is one of six hotels in the Sinatur Hotel Group that combines nature, gastronomy and hospitality with a personal touch.


Claus Nielsen, General Manager at Sinatur Hotel Frederiksdal, says that not only is the property Green Key awarded since 1995, but the hotel also has the bronze category in the Danish Organic label, Det Økologiske Spisemærke, for gastronomy establishments. This means that the hotel offers 30-60% organic food and beverages, while also focusing on purchasing local resources and decreasing their portions to reduce food waste.

"Nature is our unique selling point, so we should take care of it”, says Claus Nielsen.

Aside from focusing on organic and local food, the hotel has so replaced old light bulbs with energy-saving LED lamps throughout most of their property. They also have 30 solar panels on their roof, which covers about 15% of their total energy consumption and is used to heat their hot water. 

Portugal celebrates 127 Green Key awarded sites

Green Key in Portugal, managed by the Associacao Bandeira Azul da Europa (ABAE), announces that 127 establishments In Portugal are now Green Key awarded.


At a ceremony held on 7 June 2018 at the Lisbon Marriott, 127 establishments were awarded the Green Key for 2018. There was an increase in awarded sites of about 37% from last year. This suggests that the awareness of our ecolabel and responsible tourism in the Portuguese hospitality industry is increasing.

José Archer, the President of ABAE, added that the commitment to the criteria and best practices are part of the everyday tasks at all the Green Key awarded establishments.