100 companies and organisations in tourism to reduce plastic waste on holiday destinations

Green Key is joining over 100 companies and organisations from the tourism sector in signing the International Tourism Plastic Pledge today. In doing so, Green Key expresses its commitment to reducing plastic pollution at holiday destinations worldwide.

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Every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. The tourism sector also contributes to this. Think of bottles, straws and bags used by tourists. Research has shown that hotel room visitors generate much more plastic waste than a normal household in the same region.

The signatories include TUI Group, Radisson Hotel Group and Hostelling International. Together they represent around180,000 employees and 50 million holidaymakers. In the coming months, a plan will be developed to reduce the use of plastics and to prevent plastic pollution at destinations. This will be a collaboration with the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), UN Environment and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) is the initiator and guides the companies towards further steps.

As a signatory of the International Tourism Plastic Pledge, Green Key recognizes the urgency and the need to work together to reduce plastic pollution and keep our holiday destinations plastic pollution-free. We will continue our efforts to promote alternatives to single-use plastics by exchanging knowledge, best practices and tools for the hospitality industry in particular.

Signing the Tourism Plastic Pledge is another step forward to implement sustainable practices within the tourism industry. Green Key criteria are taking into account the establishments’ commitment to educate and provide their guests with alternatives to single-use plastic. Each action (or inaction) matters and we will continue our work to preserve our planet from plastic pollution. - Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director

Resources regarding best practices such as stories and news about eco-friendly initiatives from the 3,100 Green Key awarded establishments can be find on our website. For example, Green Key strongly supports world’s leading hotel companies which recently banned bathroom miniatures from their rooms such as establishments introducing alternatives to single-use plastic bottles to their guests.

Check the complete list of signatories of the International Tourism Plastic Pledge here.  Other companies from the tourism sector are also welcomed to participate. You can also sign the Tourism Plastic Pledge here: www.tourismplasticpledge.com.

Marriott Hotel saves water and energy by bringing laundry in-house

The London Heathrow Marriott saved 1.7 million litres water per year by opting for an on-site laundry

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Hospitality establishments have to deal with dirty laundry every day. 76% of them hand it over to expensive outsourced laundry business where laundry doesn’t always come back as clean as they would like. Moreover, an off-premise laundry emits carbon emissions from both washing operation and transport. That is why bringing laundry in-house could have multiple wins for both the establishments and the guests.

The London Heathrow Marriott has seen a return on investment within 8 months after installing a Hydrofinity washing machine in-house. The latter uses up to 80% less water, 50% less energy and 50% less chemistry than a conventional machine. By bringing laundry in-house, the hotel reduced its outsource costs, energy and water bills such as generated long-term savings in under one year. The 1.7 million litres of water saved would be enough to refill a reusable water bottle for 3.4 million Heathrow passengers every single year!

An on-premise laundry has several benefits that could push establishments to choose it instead of off-premise laundry. First of all, it can be quicker and easier, which also means more efficient. Investing in commercial laundry equipment permits to avoid breakdowns and downtimes of the domestic ones, just as reducing running and maintenance costs. Furthermore, it just requires a space with an access to services and plumbing so in the end would probably take up less rooms than expected. 

The London Heathrow Marriott commitment to sustainability also goes through two electric car charging stations, rooftop solar panels and reusable glass water bottles in-room and meeting room. The hotel’s practices are based on performance, guest satisfaction and sustainability.

Source: https://www.hydrofinity.com/blog/roi-8-months

NH Hotel Group is reducing its carbon footprint worlwide

The first Spanish hotel chain has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 20% by 2030, thus avoiding the emission of over 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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According to a recent press release, NH Hotel Group’s target is to cut direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 20% with respect to those registered in 2018. The project has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a leading alliance mobilizing the world of business to take action against climate change. SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In early 2019, the Group earned a score of A- from CDP Climate Change (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). Furthermore, this goal is aligned with the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting the rise in global warming to under 2ºC.

We have been actively supporting climate change mitigation since 2007, since when we have managed to reduce our operations’ carbon footprint by 67%. Moreover, in the last year, 70% of all of the energy we consumed came from renewable sources. However, now is the time to be even more ambitious with our sustainability targets” - Said Rufino Pérez, Chief Operations Officer & Global Transformation Leader at NH Hotel Group

With more than 370 hotels in over 50 countries worldwide, this new commitment framed by NH Hotel Group’s new Business Plan is another step forward to spread eco-friendly strategies within the hospitality industry. We are delighted to have 46 Green Key awarded NH hotels which will be part of this plan and in this way contribute to a large-scale transformation involving the entire hotel chain.

New global Responsible Business training programme for Radisson Hotel Group

Since the launch of its first environmental policy in 1989, Green Key partner Radisson Hotel Group never stopped paying attention to its commitment to sustainable development

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Known as “Living and Leading Responsible Business”, the new Responsible Business training programme is set to be rolled out worldwide over the next 16 months. First launched in 2001, the existing Responsible Business training programme has been revamped by a global and cross-departmental team as part of a five-year strategic plan.

The new global Responsible Business training programme provides team members in the near 100 countries where the group operates with the tools they need to drive standards and best practices. Training pilots have been completed to identify how the programme can help driving Responsible Business in every hotel and corporate offices. Moreover, all the participants have the opportunity to know how to put it into practice since the programme is available in 21 languages. Radisson Hotel Group aims to have trained its 1 100+ hotels in operation by the end of 2020.

Our responsibility for People, Community and Planet is borderless, so global alignment on our Responsible Business program is a key driver for Radisson Hotel Group. The new Responsible Business training program aims to engage and align all our team members – helping them to have a stronger impact on our group targets, as well as global efforts to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.” - Sven Wiltink, Director Responsible Business EMEA and Training Project Lead

This new strategy consists of two pillars: Living Responsible Business and Leading Responsible Business. On the one hand, all hotel team members are invited to follow classroom training. The latter deals with ethics, diversity, inclusion, community support, footprint reduction and sorting waste. More sensitive topics can also be evocated such as sex trafficking and forced labour. On the other hand, an e-learning tool permits group and hotel leaders to discover how Responsible Business can be integrated into all company departments. This part of the programme deals with footprint reduction, youth employability, responsible recruitment and sourcing, such as human rights.

This new Responsible Business training programme is such an inspiring strategy for hospitality establishments which want to be part of a more responsible and sustainable industry.

Radisson Blu Resort Jizan’s responsible initiatives to empower its local community

Radisson Blu Resort Jizan, Saudi Arabia, hosted a charity dinner for orphans during Ramadan last May


On May 29th, Radisson Blu Resorts Jizan hosted a charity Iftar dinner (the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan), welcoming 3 to 14 years old children for this event. The hotel management team joined the kids to share dinner buffet at the hotel’s restaurant after their arrival. This commitment to sharing joy and happiness during the holy month of Ramadan went on later in the evening, when the Hotel Manager, Khaled Alam, handed out gifts to the children. Moreover, a cartoon movie show was also organised after dinner.

Jizan orphanage dinner is part of Radisson’s responsible business activity strategy and its “Think community” pillar. Radisson strives to have a positive impact on its local community through initiatives such as Community Action Month or donations during times of crisis. The latter permits the collecting of clothes, furniture and serving food to the communities affected by the crisis. Thus, Radisson Hotels work to reduce food waste and increase recycling to have both global and local impacts.

The brand is committed to reducing the tourism industry’s negative impact on the environment thanks to environmentally friendly technology, thoughtful sourcing of products and responsible cleaning products. It also supports the involvement of the guests in towel reuse programme to reduce water consumption.

Radisson Hotel Group reported 32 000 volunteering hours in 2018 to benefit local charities around the world. It supports and partners with charitable organizations focusing on giving children food, shelter and a better future. Think community and environmental protection are definitely at the heart of Radisson Responsible business activity!

ACT.Global A/S and Green Key sign collaboration agreement

Green Key is happy to announce our agreement with ACT.Global. ACT.Global’s solution Premium Purity™ safely ensures low-microbial rooms and purified air while reducing the use of toxic chemicals for cleaning and disinfection, water, and plastic in the hospitality industry.


ACT.Global is a Copenhagen-based sustainable technology company that develops and advises about Premium Purity™. 

Premium Purity™ consists of ACT CleanCoat™, and the ACT ECA System™ combined with ACT Consulting and Monitoring.

 ACT CleanCoat™ is a coating based on a safe and advanced technology designed to decompose harmful microbes such as bacteria, virus, airborne mold spores, and chemical compounds such as VOCs and NOx. The coating is transparent, odorless, and can be applied to all types of surfaces. When the coating is exposed to light, a photocatalytic reaction starts, which decomposes microbes and purifies the air. Treating an area with ACT CleanCoat™ enables cleaning with the ACT ECA System™.


 The ACT ECA System™ transforms water and salt into a liquid detergent – ACT ECA Water. ACT ECA Water is produced at the client’s facility, and with ACT ECA Water there is not any need for protective gloves and masks during cleaning as the system replaces strong chemical detergents and disinfectants. The leftover will decompose, and only water and salt remain.

 More information about ACT.Global can be found on their website: www.act.global

Wales’ first contemporary art hotel ends up with Green Key

One of the finest hotels in Wales, the Twr y Felin Hotel, makes a difference on an environmental and sustainability level.

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Situated in a restored and extended windmill, Twr y Felin strived to develop a sustainability policy since its opening in 2016. Located in Britain’s smallest city, the hotel provides a complete retreat for guests close to St David’s cathedral and world-class beaches. It also proposes several options to discover the surroundings of the city by bike.

Furthermore, this singular hotel is Wales’ first contemporary art hotel. During your stay, you can easily discover over 100 original artworks from Welsh, British and International artists inspired by the local area .  

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This 2017-18 AA Hotel of the Year (Wales) combines art, welsh food and responsible practices. Its restaurant, Blas (“Taste” in Welsh), offers local and seasonal dishes. This practice reduces food miles since the ingredients come from the surrounding countryside and coast, permitting to reflect Welsh heart. Moreover, this two Rosette restaurant fits all dietary requirements such as vegetarian, dairy free and vegan diets.

We are delighted to be awarded the Green Key, which demonstrates our ethos of ensuring that our environmental footprint is as light as possible. We feel responsible for the impact we have on the world and are passionate about adopting initiatives that will reduce this. – Group General Manager of Twr y Felin Hotel, Roch Castle and Penrhiw
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The Twr y Felin adheres to Green Key strict criteria since it is promoting the reducing of water and energy, the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and sustainably sourced food products. It is now a leading business in the field of environmental responsibility and has a strong desire to positively influence the direction of the tourism industry.

No doubt, this new Green Key establishment knows how to match the luxury and environmental protection.     

Macau’s first and only company reaching Green Key award

Melco Resorts & Entertainment is so far the only one company having a full Green Key awarded hotel portfolio in the Chinese town of Macau.

This summer, Altira Macau has been the latest Melco hotel being Green Key awarded. Thanks to that, the company’s five hotel properties in the city have now achieved the eco-label.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment manages to embrace a responsible development impulsing positive and sustainable changes. Through its “Above and Beyond” strategy, it aims to become one of the zero waste resorts and a circular economy leader by 2030.  This plan includes the reducing of greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable sourcing into its supply chain. For example last year, the company added sustainable sourcing guidelines for cotton, seafood and cleaning products.

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“We are delighted that each of Melco’s five hotel properties in Macau have been honored with the esteemed Green Key standard, recognizing the Company’s strategic commitment to making our entertainment and luxury hospitality offerings sustainable, positive and rewarding for all those involved.”
– Mr. Lawrence Ho, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Moreover, the company contributes to the development of local talent by supporting personal and professional lifelong learning. As part of its “Above and Beyond” strategy, Melco sponsors learning programmes for local employees. Thanks to this sponsorship, 15 Melco employees graduated with bachelor degree last year. In total, a hundred employees benefitted from diploma programmes, the Back to School Education Program and the scholarships in 2018. Since its launched in 2010, it has offered 200 learning programmes per year.

A great initiative to shape a rising generation of hoteliers! At Melco, social and environmental issues go hand in hand.

Global Action Days celebrated throughout the FEE network

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is once again celebrating Global Action Days – a weeklong showcase of the amazing work carried out by FEE members.

The day culminates today, on 10 November, when FEE Head Office personnel across the five FEE programmes spend the day working with our social media platforms, sharing and promoting all of the positive actions you have organized, promoted and participated in throughout the year. The Global Action Days are aimed at raising awareness and achieving recognition on the international stage for our members and the invaluable work that you all do on a daily basis.

Lesley Jones, our President, has the following message:

“We’re delighted to be celebrating Global Actions Days and raising awareness of the positive action that is taking place around the world to create a more sustainable society.  

We’re proud to work with members in 73 countries – reaching out across the globe to thousands of businesses and organisations, as well as millions of students. The commitment and innovation of those involved in FEE programmes can’t be underestimated and deserves to be showcased on the global stage.

Hundreds of stories have already been shared – from students in Turkey using insects to protect forests, to a Latvian holiday park making the switch to locally sourced energy. I’d encourage everyone to make the most of this opportunity and take part in Global Action Days; promote positive action, share learning with international partners and help inspire the rest of the world.

Finally, on behalf of FEE, I’d like to thank our members, partners and programme participants. Thank you for everything that you do to bring about positive change. By working together, we can ensure a sustainable world for us, our children and future generations.”

Green Key International is proud of the amazing work and great initiatives that our awarded establishments and National Operators carry out year-round across the globe! Best practice stories from our network are shared on a continual basis in our news and on our social media channels, and we encourage all awarded sites and National Operators to share your green initiatives, best practices and events promoting sustainability, so that we can share your inspirational stories with our global network not only during Global Action Days, but throughout the year.

The official Global Action Days page where all the actions will be shared can be found on Facebook. Have a look at the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages of all the FEE programmes or follow the hashtags #FEEGAD #globalactiondays to see all the shared stories! 

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