Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #8

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 8: "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all".

According to the UN, "increasing labour productivity, reducing the unemployment rate, especially for young people, and improving access to financial services and benefits are essential components of sustained and inclusive economic growth." In this context, sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products has been identified as one tool for achieving goal 8. The more a tourism business is integrated into the local social and economic environment, the more benefits will be generated for the whole local community. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 8?

Green Key gives a frame for the implementation of sustainable tourism as the programme helps to reduce the use of sources and to increase the environmental efficiency of tourism establishments. Furthermore, Green Key encourages the support of local economies and promotes equality and inclusiveness in working environments. 

  • Many of Green Key's criteria aim at improving the resource efficiency in consumption of water, energy, food and other resources to lower the environmental footprint of the tourism establishments
  • All establishments must be in compliance with international, national and local legislation and CSR policies regarding enviornemnt, health, safety and labour (criterion 11.1)
  • Green Key promotes equality in the work space (criterion 11.3) 
  • Establishments awarded with the Green Key are encouraged to support the local economy by purchasing and offering local products and services (criterion 8.1, 11.5, 13.7)
  • Suppliers and third-party businesses in the Green Key establishments are encouraged to follow the same spirit as the Green Key awarded establishments (criterion 13.3 &13.5)

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