EKOenergy for the hospitality sector

Green Key's partner, EKOenergy launches a new campaign to introduce EKOenergy certified renewable energy to businesses in the hospitality sector

EKOenergy is the only international ecolabel for renewable energy. It is an initiative of 45 environmental organisations from 35 countries.

With its newest campaign, EKOenergy wants to encourage the hospitality sector to improve their sustainability score and switch to EKOenergy.

Green Key also suggests green energy, therefore EKOenergy wants to help tourism establishments fulfill this requirement and do even more. Because EKOenergy not only guarantees 100% renewable and environmentally friendly energy due to set environmental criteria, it also supports new renewable energy projects and ecological restoration through its Climate and Environmental Funds.

In addition, international standards such as CDP and Greenhouse Gas Protocol recommend EKOenergy, and switching to EKOenergy can score you extra points with LEED.

A growing number of hotels in Europe have already switched to EKOenergy and include the EKOenergy logo in their communication with their guests. Follow their lead and go the extra mile. For more information go to www.ekoenergy.org.   


Green Key launches its Best Practice Competition 2017!

This is the second year Green Key is running its best practice competition to find the Green Key Sustainability Champion 2017.

                      Hotel Chef visiting a local market in Switzerland

                      Hotel Chef visiting a local market in Switzerland

As 2017 has been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the UN to "support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute effectively to the Sustainable Development Goals" Green Key has decided to dedicate this year's best practice competition to the topic: 


Green Key awarded establishments are encouraged to share their activities, initiatives and best practices that promote sustainable social, cultural, environmental or economic developments in their local area. 

More information and the guidelines for participating in Green Key's Best Practice Competition can be found here. The deadline for submitting the story is 1 September 2017. The winner will be announced publicly on the World Tourism Day, 27 September on the Green Key website and in Green Key's social media. 

Read about last year's winner here

Good luck to all Green Key awarded sites that participate in the Best Practice Competition 2017! 

Two top hotels in London recognised for their green credentials

Keep Britain Tidy presents its first international Green Key awards to two top London hotels – the Sheraton Skyline and Le Meridien Piccadilly.

Mohamed Rahemanji (Chief Engineer, Sheraton Skyline), Paul Todd (Accreditations Manager, Keep Britain Tidy), Lynsey Atherton (Green Key National Operator, Keep Britain Tidy), Thierry Henrot (General Manager, Sheraton Skyline)

Mohamed Rahemanji (Chief Engineer, Sheraton Skyline), Paul Todd (Accreditations Manager, Keep Britain Tidy), Lynsey Atherton (Green Key National Operator, Keep Britain Tidy), Thierry Henrot (General Manager, Sheraton Skyline)

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is delighted to have presented its first two Green Key awards after taking on the management of this international award for the hospitality sector in England.

The Sheraton Skyline and Le Meridien Piccadilly now join more than 2,550 Green Key establishments across 55 countries. The Green Key is the leading standard of excellence for environmental responsibility and sustainable operation in the tourism sector.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “We are delighted to be presenting our first Green Key awards to two such deserving recipients. When you choose to stay in a Green Key accredited hotel, you know that you are reducing your environmental footprint by staying in an establishment that makes more sustainable choices.”

During the rigorous judging, each hotel is assessed against criteria including staff involvement, guest information and sustainable management of energy, waste, water, cleaning and food and drinks. Through making greener choices each establishment is able to significantly reduce their environmental impact, reducing the consumption of energy and water, and improve their guests’ experience.

Thierry Henrot, General Manager at Sheraton Skyline, said, “It is such an honour to receive this prestigious award and we, at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, are very proud to have been recognised and awarded with Green Key for this year.

“We are very committed to providing the most environmental friendly and sustainable establishment for our guests and we are very passionate in training and educating our employees to maintain our sustainable practices throughout the hotel.

“It is our goal to ensure that our guests are happy and their needs are met through our environmental practices and the values we strive to achieve.”

veline Noort (General Manager, Le Meridien Piccadilly) and Lynsey Atherton (Green Key National Operator, Keep Britain Tidy)

veline Noort (General Manager, Le Meridien Piccadilly) and Lynsey Atherton (Green Key National Operator, Keep Britain Tidy)

Eveline Noort, General Manager at Le Meridien, said, “We are really proud to receive the Green Key label for the fifth consecutive year. Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel is committed to preserving the environment and playing an active role in keeping Britain tidy.

“Since February 2012, Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel set up its own Green Team made up of hotel associates whose aim is to develop, implement and oversee numerous sustainable initiatives. The results of our efforts and determination were recognised in November 2012 by becoming the first hotel in the UK to receive the Green Key Award, a step-by-step environmental management programme specifically designed for the hospitality industry. This award marks the fifth consecutive year Le Méridien Piccadilly has received the Green Key.

“Thanks to the hotel’s guests’ and associates’ efforts, Le Méridien Piccadilly is continuously achieving significant environmental achievements. In 2016 the hotel managed to save an estimated 2,190 m3 of water, the equivalent to an Olympic-sized swimming pool”

Green Key contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030

In connection with United Nations having declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Green Key would like to highlight its contribution to the achievement of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030. 

When approving the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations nominated 2015 as a landmark year for sustainability. The new agenda is transformative, people-centred and with bold and ambitious targets. 17 goals and 169 targets are set to frame the global development agenda for the coming 15 years. The economic, social and environmental dimensions of the goals seek to address poverty, hunger, disease, fear and violence, education, healthcare, social protection, sanitation, safety, sustainable habitats and energy.

In July 2016, new Green Key criteria for its six categories took effect. Green Key has the potential to contribute directly or indirectly to the achievement of all the 17 goals. Goal 4 – Quality Education, relates to Green Key’s criteria on information, education and training of staff, guests and suppliers. Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, and Goal 13 – Climate Action, relate to the reduction of carbon emissions and lowering environmental footprint through a high level of environmental management of especially water, energy and waste, and are also central requirements in the Green Key programme.

The new Green Key criteria also focus on CSR related issues, such as job creation, local community engagement, equal opportunities for all (including vulnerable groups) etc. - and many of these issues are included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The full document describing Green Key’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here. In the coming months, Green Key will in more detail present its commitment to each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Pennsylvania Suites in Mexico City is going green!

Green Key awarded Pennsylvania Suites have embedded green initiatives in a very visible way

Pennsylvania Suites is a business hotel located centrally in Mexico City. The establishment has implemented many environmental initiatives while joining the Green Key programme: the hotel uses LED lighting everywhere, there is a waste sorting system for guests, and the hotel has established a collaboration with companies that can receive recyclable waste. A range of food 

roducts in the breakfast come from local sources, and the establishment is considering solar panels as the next step in the continuous improvement of its environmental performance.

The most obvious symbol of the environmental thinking in Pennsylvania Suites is however their “green wall” that is visible from all guest rooms. Besides its beautiful appearance, the green wall assists in a healthy microclimate by keeping humidity and it is a perfect space for attracting birds in the middle of Mexico City. 

Ecobnb and Green Key entering into a collaboration agreement

Ecobnb runs a travel search platform that enables users to find and compare eco-certified accommodations. 


The website promotes responsible tourism with low environmental impact. It encourages stays in sustainable accommodations, organic food, environmentally friendly routes, green traveling, and the rediscovery of nearby and authentic places. Ecobnb itself has 0% CO2 emissions and uses 100% renewable energy. 

Ecobnb will highlight Green Key awarded establishments on their website www.ecobnb.com

Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center's fight against food waste

Posters and table tents in the Sheraton Buganvilians Resort and Convention Center in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico remind guests to enjoy the buffet responsibly. 

The campaign was implemented to create awareness about the amount of food waste that is produced every year on the global level and to encourage guests to think about it when enjoying the buffet in the hotel. 

According to the poster above, some 30% of cereals, 40-50% of cultivated roots, fruits and vegetables, 20% of oil seeds, meat and fresh produce and 30% of fish are thrown away each year.

Informing guests about the problematic of food waste does not only help to raise awareness, but also to reduce the costs for food and beverages for the tourism establishment. 

Green Key National Operator Meeting dedicated to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Green Key National Operators from 39 countries as well as Green Key’s corporate partners participated in the Green Key National Operator Meeting on 27-30 March 2017 in Athens.

The Green Key National Operator Meeting is an annual event where the status and developments of the Green Key programme are discussed. As the UN designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the NOM was dedicated to the celebration of this special year for sustainable tourism. 

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, and with each establishment joining the programme, Green Key helps transforming the tourism sector into a powerful tool for positive change. Tourism providers and tourists alike are becoming more and more aware of the need to change everyday habits to protect today what we would like future generations to enjoy tomorrow. This is why not only the number of Green Key awarded sites is growing year after year, but also the tourists' awareness of the ecolabel. 

During the National Operator Meeting Green Key International presented the planned activities to celebrate the IY2017 and encouraged all members to join the celebration in their countries all over the world. 

Green Key is actively participating in the IY2017 both through the daily work of the programme , but also through activities that will be specifically dedicated to the IY2017 this year. One of them will be a best practice competition that will highlight the contribution Green Key awarded sites are making to the sustainable development of their destinations. Follow our updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or in our News.   


Radisson Blu Frankfurt trials low carbon energy tech

The Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Frankfurt is becoming a low carbon hotel that will generate its own energy.

In partnership with the energy company E.ON, the hotel is setting new standards for sustainability in the industry via a recently installed fuel cell.

The fuel cell offers a huge advantage over conventional power generation systems as they generate electricity and heat in a non-combustion process which is virtually absent of pollutants such as nitrous oxide or fine dust particles. The use of fuel cell technology allows the Radisson Blu Frankfurt to generate a large share of the energy needed to run the hotel free of emissions.

With more than 400 rooms and suites the hotel has enormous energy needs which had previously been supplied entirely by the power grid. Starting in late summer 2017, the fuel cells will supply about three gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity and two GWh of heat to the hotel. The highly efficient technology also allows the Radisson Blu to reduce CO2 emissions by about 600 tons a year. This amount is equal to the CO2 emissions from 50,000 cars driving 100 kilometers.

Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President of Responsible Business at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “We are proud to help carry out such a pioneering project - the first of its kind in Europe. The project will help expand our innovative sustainability work and bring us an important step closer to achieving our ambitious Think Planet goal of reducing the CO2 consumption in our hotels by another 10 percent by 2020.”

E.ON believes there is enormous potential energy savings in the hotel industry: energy intensive processes such as heating water, lighting and cooling mean that a hotel requires substantial amounts of electricity and heat throughout the entire year. Compared to office buildings, the hotel industry has relatively high energy costs – on average between 5 and 10 percent of total operating revenue.

It’s estimated the German hotel industry alone emits about five million tons of CO2 annually. It’s an issue the world’s leading hotel groups including Carlson Rezidor are taking seriously and tackling together through collaborative work with the International Tourism Partnership.

At the same time, sustainability is becoming ever more important for hotel guests. Karsten Wildberger, member of the Executive Board at E.ON SE said, “The continuous growth in the hotel industry makes it an important market for E.ON's energy solutions business. Innovative energy solutions such as fuel cells can supply added value for hotels, as they significantly lower energy costs and dramatically increase environmental friendliness – up to the point of being climate neutral.”

The project is also receiving additional support of in total 800,541 Euros through the “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program” from the Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) GmbH is sponsoring the project with the goal of developing and marketing internationally competitive hydrogen and fuel cell technology products. FuelCell Energy Solutions will supply the fuel cells for the project and monitor the project remotely together with E.ON, to help make sure the system runs as efficiently as possible.

You can find more energy and low carbon solutions for hotels on the website of Green Hotelier.

Source and acknowledgement: Green Hotelier