Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #5

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 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".

According to the UN, "Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms."

Although women make up the majority of the workforce in tourism in most parts of the world, they are mainly employed in low-paid jobs and in those with a lower status, such as housekeeping. Furthermore, many women are engaged in unpaid work for family businesses, which excludes them from formal employment and the possibility to develop a professional career. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 5?

In 2016, Green Key expanded its criteria with a new section called "Corporate Social Responsibility" to make sure that the programme does not only consider environmental issues but also social responsibility.

Criterion 11.3 explicitly encourages awarded sites to be equitable in hiring women in all positions.

Furthermore, it is imperative for all Green Key awarded establishments, e.g. as part of their CSR policy, that their employees receive fair treatment without discrimination (criterion 11.1). 

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