International auditing company supports Green Key with on-site audits

Control Union and Green Key have formalised a cooperation with the aim of having Control Union conducting Green Key on-site audits.

Control Union logo.jpg

Control Union is an international auditing company founded in the Netherlands in 2002, but today Control Union has national offices in 70 countries around the world. The company has a long track record of conducting audits in many areas of operation, including sustainability audits within the hospitality industry. 

Johan Maris, Director at Control Union, says: “We are happy to be able to extend our large portfolio of services to include Green Key onsite audits, and with the Control Union offices in many countries around the world, we are often able to identify a local auditor to reduce travel costs and carbon emission.”

Through the agreement, Control Union is offering its service of being able to conduct Green Key onsite audits at applicant establishments located in countries without a Green Key National Operator.

Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Director at Green Key adds: “We are experiencing a growing interest in Green Key from establishments all over the world, and with our strict system of having regular onsite audits we will need additional third-party auditors, so Control Union with its large network of national offices fit well to our needs.”  

Carmarthenshire glamping site gains international eco award

Larkhill Tipis & Yurts have been recognised for their sustainability efforts and have become the latest businesses in Wales to achieve the Green Key award.

Carmanthenshire glamping site.jpg

“Glamping” is created from the words “glamorous” and “camping” and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with traditional camping. Glamping has become particularly popular with 21st-century tourists seeking the luxuries of hotel accommodation alongside with the adventure recreation of camping.

The site was established in 2003 as one of the first glamping sites in the UK. Tucked away on the edge of a 20-acre smallholding and woodland in West Wales, Larkhill Tipis & Yurts offers a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This family run site prides itself on providing an eco-friendly holiday with a focus on their guests enjoying the nature and wildlife that surrounds it. The site is off grid and all the electricity is generated by harnessing wind, solar and water power.

Owner Fran Wintle says:

We are delighted to be awarded Green Key certification. As a business we have been self-sufficient in power since we started in 2003 and have always worked with an eco-ethos, recognising that ecological sustainability is essential for the following generations and for the health and vitality of our planet. With Green Key Certification we are clearly able to demonstrate to our visitors the importance that we place on ethical and green matters. By joining Green Key we aim to develop our mission to not only achieve as many green targets as we can as a business, but to inspire our guests to make better decisions, choose ethical and green products for their own homes and consider power and water consumption in their own lives

Nick Ashby, Green Key Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy says:

We’d like to congratulate Larkhill Tipis & Yurts on their success. We’ve seen mounting concern recently about the damage that’s being caused to our natural environment, so it’s important to recognise and celebrate Welsh businesses that are taking the lead on sustainability.  Larkhill Tipis & Yurts have put caring for the environment at the heart of their lives and business for the last 15 years. As well as producing their own electricity they are passionate about recycling, they compost all food waste and use it to grow their own vegatables. Guests can also enjoy honey and eggs produced on the site.

For further information about the Green Key awarded establishment, go to

Calculate the benefits of switching to green cleaning products

As climate, energy, and plastics problems are being discussed across the globe, it is getting more important to point out existing solutions of environmental pioneers. The PERFORMANCE CALCULATOR of our partner green care PROFESSIONAL is a tool that shows the exact savings on crude oil, plastics and CO2 when products from the green care PROFESSIONAL line are used.

Hotel Example_GreenKey.JPG

The green care PERFORMANCE CALCULATOR ascertains the crude oil savings from the packaging weight, product ingredients and the share of recyclates contained in the packaging and converts them into CO2 equivalents. The customer obtains a summary of a measurable, certified value and meaningful evidence of the actual efficiency of green products. The calculator is available free of charge at

After a period of use of green care PROFESSIONAL products, the real savings can be certified and added to any CSR report or used in marketing of a tourism establishments. Many products of the green care PROFESSIONAL range trust on the EU Ecolabel certification and the additional circular label of the Cradle-to-Cradle® Institute.

Even if an establishment doesn’t plan to replace its cleaning products with green care PROFESSIONAL products, the calculator is a useful tool to estimate the environmental footprint of its conventional cleaning products.

The calculation was validated by environmental auditors and acknowledged as one the first footprint calculation tool for recycled plastics:

Nominations include the Amsterdam Innovation Award at the INTERCLEAN exhibition and best practice example at the Circular Economy meeting in October 2018 run by the French government. Most recently it received the silver prize for innovative solutions in cleaning services at the Europrope cleaning fair in Paris.

The manufacturer behind the brand is the Werner & Mertz Group and well known across Europe for its pioneering cleaning eco-brands like “Frosch”, “Rainett” aside green care PROFESSIONAL.

It also received many packaging prizes for its first-time developments of 100% recycled plastic materials and is one of the highlighted partners within the Ellen MacArthur foundation looking to preserve the oceans.

GEPC footprint_4.jpg

Park Inn Duqm wins Sustainability Hotel of the Year Award

Green Key is proud to announce that the Park Inn by Radisson Duqm Hotel & Residence in Oman has been named the “Sustainability Hotel of the Year” at the Leaders in Hospitality Awards.

Park Inn by Radisson Duqm Sustainability Hotel of the Year Award 2019.jpg

The annual industry award is organised by the Hotel & Catering News Middle East magazine. The “Sustainable Hotel Award” demonstrates an excellence in sustainability practices across energy efficiency, waste management and social responsibility. 


Faiza Al Balushi Cluster HR Manager for Park Inn Hotels in Oman says “We are committed in educating and facilitating for our employees and to make a conscious decision in favor of environmental, ethical and social issues in their private and work lives. In addition, we Inform and make it easy for our guests to participate in responsible business and environmental activities at our hotels.

 “We creating awareness as environmental credentials are becoming more and more important to travelers when they are trying to decide on a place to stay. We will maintain and continue what we have started to provide the best service and facilities to our guests and employees.” Nuno Neves, Cluster General Manager for Park Inn Hotels in Oman.

 In 2017 Park Inn by Radisson, Muscat hotel, picked up at the same award and was the only hotel in Oman nominated in competing with the other hospitality industries in the Middle East. Both Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Oman are actively engaged in Radisson Hotel Group’s Responsible Business programme.


Green Key present at the Independent Hotel Show

At the Independent Hotel Show, Green Key’s International Director participated in a panel discussion about why sustainability is good for the hotel industry.


The Independent Hotel Show is a yearly tourism fair for hotels and other hospitality facilities. For the first time, the event was held in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and included a session about sustainability in the seminar programme. Finn Bolding Thomsen (Green Key International Director) was invited to participate in a panel discussion about why sustainability is good for the hotel industry.

The panel discussion was led by Marie-Noelle Keijzer from WeForest, and other panelists were Inge van Weert from QO Amsterdam and Marco Lemmers from Conscious Hotel Group. Both hotel groups have a very high focus on sustainability, and all hotels in the Conscious Hotel Group hold the Green Key award.


Finn Bolding Thomsen informed about the Green Key programme and how research (e.g. from shows that travellers are increasingly interested in staying in accommodations that work with sustainability. A number of companies have the requirement in their CSR policy to use sustainable accommodation and conference facilities, and in some countries, public authorities have similar requirements as part of their public purchasing policy.

To the question about whether implementing sustainability is expensive for hotels, Finn Bolding Thomsen highlighted that training and information lead to change in the behaviour of staff and guests and contribute to sustainability without other investments. Change of light bulbs and water saving devices have a cost, but as the price of energy and water is increasing, the return on investment is faster. More sophisticated changes require an investment, and there was a discussion about the possibility to charge guests a slightly higher price as a consequence of the work with sustainability. During the panel discussion, there was also a discussion about how hotels should lead the way in reducing their carbon emission before asking guests to compensate the carbon emission of their stay. The panel discussion was very well attended.


French Radisson Blu Hotel turns food waste into organic fertiliser

The Green Key awarded Radisson Blu, Paris, Marne la Vallée, located in the outskirts of Paris, has purchased a new machine to convert its organic waste to fertiliser.


Like most hotels, the Radisson Blu, Paris, Marne la Vallée has to deal with the issue of food waste. Besides using other smart methods to reduce the food waste, the hotel has purchased a machine that extracts water of the organic waste and turns the remains into powder that can be used as fertiliser. The hotel is also installing a water retention tank to recuperate the approximately 80 litres extracted from the food waste per load.  The system will allow the hotel to wash their docking bay and fill their cleaning machines.

Melyssa Cassin, Responsible Business Coordinator at Radisson Blu, Paris, Marne la Vallée says: “We are very focused on lowering our environmental footprint at our hotel in various ways, and we are very proud of having the machine that converts bio-waste into organic fertiliser. By converting the 100 kg of bio-waste created at the hotel daily, we avoid transportation of the organic waste, collected now only once a month and in a few weeks we’ll also be reusing the water from the machine, really zero waste.”


The hotel is also working on lowering its environmental footprint in many other ways, and the hotel has focus on the social aspect of sustainability. To support job opportunities for persons with challenges, the hotel hires a company that employs people with disabilities to be in charge of the management of the green areas of the hotel.

Paris hotel using innovative cleaning method without the use of cleaning products

Hotel Bel Ami is a Green Key awarded hotel in central Paris (France) since 2012, it is their heart to respect the environment, and it goes through the cleaning method.  They finally managed to find this revolutionary method for the benefit of the environment and the well-being of the staff.

The Delphin for the Lobby and the public spaces

The Delphin for the Lobby and the public spaces

Hotel Bel Ami has purchased two different cleaning machines that are used to clean the floors, carpets, furniture, bathrooms everything can be cleaned with cold steam or high pressure. With this new innovative cleaning solution, the hygiene standards are maintained without using any cleaning products. This reduces the use of cleaning chemicals for the benefit of the environment and the health of the cleaning staff.

Laurence Guinebretière, General Manager of Hotel Bel Ami, says: “It was a significant investment for us to purchase the cleaning machines, and we are fortunate that our B Signature CEO, Anne Jousse, is sensitive to the environment and has equipped the Bel Ami and all hotels in her group with these two machines.  Today, we save costs on the purchase of cleaning products and these new methods benefit the health and the environment. After a period of introduction of the new cleaning method for the staff, it is now as fast to clean with both technologies”.

The Vapodil for the rooms, bathrooms, furniture and the large windows of the hotel

The Vapodil for the rooms, bathrooms, furniture and the large windows of the hotel reveals key findings from its 2019 sustainable travel report

Over half of global travelers report being more determined to make sustainable travel choices than they were a year ago, but barriers include a lack of knowledge and available or appealing options when trying to put this into practice


As the world gears up to mark Earth Day on 22 April,, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, has released findings from its annual sustainable travel report. Research reveals almost three quarters (72%) of travelers believe that people need to act now and make sustainable travel choices to save the planet for future generations. While results were relatively consistent across ages, almost three-quarters (74%) of 46-55 year olds believe most strongly that this is needed, followed by millennials at 71%.


Consistent with overall intentions to make more sustainable travel choices, sustainable stays are growing in popularity, with almost three quarters (73%) of global travelers intending to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead. This is the fourth consecutive year that research has seen this figure trend up, from 62% in 2016 to 65% in 2017, and 68% in 2018.** Additionally, 70% of global travelers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not.

However, when it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, almost three quarters (72%) of global travelers say that they are not aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations, while well over a third (37%) of affirm that an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodation would help encourage them to travel more sustainably, and 62% would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label.

Sustainable Struggles

Despite the best intentions, it’s not all plain sailing for would-be green travelers. The report also exposes the common barriers travelers face when making sustainable travel choices (% of global respondents who agree):

  • I do not know how to make my travel more sustainable: 37%

  • Although I do see options to travel more sustainably, other options tend to appeal more: 34%

  • I cannot afford the extra expenditure of sustainable travel: 36%

  • My agenda constrains me in the sustainable choices I can make: 34%

  • Sustainable travel destinations appeal to me less than other destinations: 34%

  • I understand what I can do to travel more sustainably: 50%

Travel companies have an important role to play here in the eyes of travelers: 71% of travelers think that travel companies should offer consumers more sustainable travel choices. On the other hand, almost half (46%) of global travelers acknowledge that they find it harder to make sustainable choices on while on vacation than in everyday life. Almost a third (31%) of global travelers admit their vacation is a special time during which they do not want to think about sustainability.

Aspirations to Actions

Research results also indicated that travelers would be more encouraged to travel sustainably if there were economic incentives offered, such as tax breaks, when choosing eco-friendly options (46%). This is closely followed by online booking sites offering a sustainable or eco-friendly filter option (45%).

When it comes to in-destination experiences, over half (52%) of global travelers say they now alter behaviors to be more sustainable while traveling, such as walking, riding a bike or hiking whenever possible. Plus, 68% would like the money they spend on travel to go back into the local community. Likewise, almost three quarters (72%) of global travelers are seeking authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture, while two in five (41%) request that travel companies offer tips on how to be more sustainable while traveling and 56% of respondents say that if there was an option to offset the carbon footprint on their vacation accommodation, they would do it.

 “As a global travel leader, we are continuously looking at ways we can innovate across our platform, from accommodation to experiences and transport, testing different ways to best surface information and support customers in their sustainable travel choices, as well as providing support and investment to foster innovation in the sustainable tourism space through our Booking Booster, Cares Fund and Cares Lab start-up programs. It’s important that all those in the travel ecosystem, from established companies to start-ups, destinations, accommodation, transport and attraction providers as well as travelers themselves, come together, as it’s only through collaboration that meaningful change will continue to gain momentum.” says Pepijn Rijvers, SVP & Head of Accommodation at



Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,077 respondents were surveyed across 18 markets (1000+ from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, UK, USA. In Israel 883 respondents were surveyed). Respondents completed an online survey in February and March 2019.

** Although this year’s survey covers 6 additional markets, the figure is still up to 72% if we only consider the markets from last year’s survey.

To read the full story:  

Green Key featured on the Wayaj eco-tourism website

Wayaj is a US based company promoting earth friendly travel, and Green Key has been interviewed for their website.


As part of Wayaj’s promotion of sustainable tourism, Wayaj has prepared a news feature about Green Key being one of the few international and holistic labels in the hospitality industry.

Wayaj conducted an interview with the Green Key International Director, Finn Bolding Thomsen outlining his view on the trends and challenges regarding sustainable travel in the hotel industry. He also speaks about how Green Key is working with sustainability in the programme, e.g. in relation to awareness raising about sustainability, the support to interested establishments and the cooperation with various partners of the programme.  

You can read the full interview here:

Wayaj promotes sustainable travel both through their website and social media and by booking environmentally friendly accommodations through their app. The listing of sustainable hotels and resorts through Wayaj is free of charge.