Global Goals

First hotel in South Africa awarded Green Key

Green Key is pleased to announce that the NH The Lord Charles in Cape Town is the first hotel in South Africa to receive our prestigious award. 

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NH The Lord Charles has convinced the Green Key Jury with their strong environmental management and dedication to save scarce resources in South Africa.

Besides complying with Green Key’s imperative criteria, the hotel implements a particularly strong focus on reducing the consumption of water through several initiatives around the property. This is a very important aspects in a water scarce country where drought is an ongoing threat.

One of the initiatives implemented by the Lord Charles is their own in house plant nursery, which is used to improve their own gardens at the hotel. Many of the plants grown at this nursery are succulent plants, known as “water wise” plants, which do not require as much watering as conventional garden plants would. By slowly converting the garden to water wise plants, the hotel is able to reduce the amount of water used in their gardens.

Furthermore, the hotel involves its guests and staff in their water-saving initiatives by reminding them throughout the hotel to save water.

Green Key International congratulates NH The Lord Charles on their achievements and is looking forward to seeing a growing number of Green Key awarded hotels in South Africa. 

 

 

Marriott latest hotel group to align CSR with the Global Goals

Marriott International launched the group’s new CSR strategy called Serve 360 and is the latest global group to align responsible business activities with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Marriott's Serve 360 Empower commitments

Marriott's Serve 360 Empower commitments

The company says that the new sustainability and social impact initiative is designed to foster business growth while balancing the needs of associates, customers, owners, the environment and communities.

Called Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, the platform includes commitments for 2025 to:

  • Reduce water by 15%, carbon by 30%, waste by 45% and food waste by 50%
  • Contribute 15 million associate volunteer hours, 25% of which will be skills-based, to capitalize on personal talents and core business skills
  • Train 100% of associates to know the signs of human trafficking
  • Embed human rights criteria in recruitment and sourcing policies

Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations at Marriott International and Serve 360 Executive Leadership Council Co-Chair said, “As the global hospitality leader with properties and associates across 125 countries and territories, Marriott International has a global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good in all aspects of our business – from helping to reduce carbon and water use to providing our associates with human trafficking awareness training.

“We recognise that how we do business is as important as the business that we do. Incorporating environmental and social initiatives, including human rights awareness training, into our business is not only the right thing to do, it has a direct impact on our profits and beyond.”

Guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Marriott created Serve 360 to guide the company’s commitment and deliver positive results through four priority areas or “coordinates”:

  • Nurture Our World – Advancing the resiliency and development of our communities.
  • Sustain Responsible Operations – Reducing the company’s environmental impacts, sourcing responsibly and building and operating sustainable hotels.
  • Empower Through Opportunity – Helping people prepare for jobs in the hospitality industry.
  • Welcome All & Advance Human Rights – Creating a safe and welcoming world for associates and travellers alike.

Tricia Primrose, Global Chief Communications Officer at Marriott International and Serve 360 Executive Leadership Council Co-Chair said, “Building off our 2007 Sustainability goals, Marriott is proud to issue our next generation of goals, inclusive of social and human rights targets to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Associates and customers want to work for and do business with a company that aligns with their values and drives positive community impact. We are proud to be part of the solution.”

The platform also builds on Marriott’s support for ITP’s Goals and Vision for 2030. The International Tourism Partnership is the hotel industry’s voice for sustainability, leading the sector to a fairer future for all. The organisation launched Goals on carbon, water, youth employment and human rights, supported by its members. They are:

  • YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: Collectively impact one million young people through employability programmes by 2030, thereby doubling the members’ current impact on youth unemployment.
  • CARBON: Embrace science-based targets, and encourage the wider industry to join in reducing emissions at scale
  • WATER: Embed water stewardship programmes to reduce the number of people affected by water scarcity; also improve water-use efficiency and identify ways to address water scarcity.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS: Raise awareness of human rights risks, embed human rights into corporate governance, and address risks arising in the labour supply chain and during hotel construction.

Learn more about Serve 360 and Marriott’s commitments here.

Source: Green Hotelier

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

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 the past months, we presented all 17 SDGs and explained their connection to Green Key. Today we talk about the last goal, SDG 17!

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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 a 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 17: "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development"

Green Key’s global profile involves cooperation and partnerships between multiple stakeholders from the public, private and NGO sectors at various levels: At the local level between staff, guests, suppliers and the surrounding community and at the national and international level between NGOs, corporate partners, authorities and other partners involved in sustainable tourism. 

How does Green Key help to achieve goal 17?

  • Through Green Key's National Operators in 40 countries, Green Key encompasses a global network of sustainable tourism experts that share their experiences, knowledge and ideas within the programme
  • In most countries that run the Green Key programme, national juries composed of multiple stakeholders take the decision on the award which ensures a broad and independent verification of the award
  • All Green Key awarded establishments must establish an active collaboration with relevant local stakeholders to enhance the active role the establishment plays in creating environmental awareness in the local and in promoting environmentally friendly practices among their collaboration partners (criterion 1.6)
  • The programme enhances the partnership between the awarded establishments and the local community by:
    • actively supporting green activities or initiatives for social community development including, among others, education, health, sanitation and infrastructure (criterion 11.4)
    • offering the means for local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history, and culture (criterion 11.5)
    • preventing conflicts between indigenous and local communities and tourists with the help of a code of conduct for activities in respective communities (criterion 11.6)
    • purchasing local and fair-trade services and goods

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

Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #16

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 feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

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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 a 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 16: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".

Green Key is a programme that promotes just and inclusive societies through cooperation and awareness raising. It encourages inclusiveness and collaboration between stakeholders from different sectors at local, national, and international level as well as equitability in employment, engagement with minorities, local communities and entrepreneurs, as well as dialogue and consent of nearby indigenous and local communities. 

How does Green Key help to achieve goal 16?

  • All awarded establishment must be in compliance with international, national and local legislation regarding the environment, health, safety and labour. This includes, among others, fair and safe working conditions (criterion 11.1)
  • Green Key encourages tourism establishment to provide access for people with special needs to broaden the inclusiveness of the business (criterion 11.2)
  • Awarded establishments should be equitable in hiring women and local minorities, including in management positions, while restraining from child labour (criterion 11.3)
  • To support an inclusive society, Green Key awarded establishments are encouraged to support initiatives for social community development including, among others, education, health, sanitation and infrastructure (criterion 11.4)
  • To prevent conflicts between indigenous and local communities and tourists, awarded establishments should produce a code of conduct for activities in respective communities, with the consent of and in collaboration with the communities themselves (criterion 11.6)

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

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Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #14

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. 

SDG 14, Global Goals

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 14: "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development".

Coastal areas receive the highest percentage of tourist arrivals. If not managed sustainably, the tourism industry has detrimental effects on marine ecosystems. At the same time, tourism puts its own base at risk, because clean beaches, thriving marine ecosystems like coral reefs or mangrove forests as well as healthy populations of marine wildlife often are the reason for tourists to choose certain destinations. 

Tourism establishment can play an important role in the protection of the marine environment if they ensure proper waste and wastewater management, reduce the use of toxic chemicals that could potentially enter the water cycle, and refrain from the use of endangered seafood but instead using products from sustainable sources. 

How does Green Key help to achieve goal 14?

  • In Green Key awarded establishments all wastewater must be treated in accordance with national and local regulations (criterion 4.9). The establishment can either be connected to an existing public sewage system or have the wastewater treated in an own sewage treatment plant.
  • To lower the input of chemicals into the water cycle, the use of hazardous chemicals in cleaning products must be minimised (criterion 5.2)
  • Tourism establishments that are Green Key awarded need to ensure the correct collection, storage and disposal of waste (category 6 of the criteria)
  • Green Key highly encourages their awarded establishments not to purchase endangered fish and seafood (criterion 8.3)
  • If there are Blue Flag awarded beaches, marinas or boating tourism operators nearby, the establishment should inform their guests about them. The Blue Flag is an environmental award which is managed by the same organisation as Green Key, the Foundation for Environmental Education

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

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Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #13

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. 

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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 13: "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts".

According to the UN "Planetary warming continued in 2016, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the preindustrial period, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016. "

Tourism is one of the industries that is most sensitive to climate change as the tourist experience in most cases depends on steady climate conditions which for example guarantee snow for winter sports or pleasant weather at beach holiday destinations. In addition, the increase of extreme weather phenomena such as hurricanes might influence tourists decisions and travel patterns and will disadvantage the tourism industry in affected countries. On the other hand, tourism itself is contributing to climate change, mainly through greenhouse gas emissions generated through transportation. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 13?

Green Key integrates climate change measures into its criteria to help tourism establishments lower their greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Awarded establishments are encouraged to measure their C02 footprint with Green Key's free carbon footprint tool (criterion 1.7)
  • All awarded establishments have to register their energy use at least once a month (criterion 7.1)
  • 75% of all light bulbs have to be energy efficient (criterion 7.3),
  • The use of energy-efficient electronic equipment and devices in the rooms (criteria 7.8, 7.13 & 7.17) and offices (7.27) is required. 
  • The tourism establishments have to maintain their electronic appliances on a regular basis to ensure energy efficient operation (criteria 7.4, 7.5, 7.6 & 7.14)
  • Electronic appliances are managed in an energy-efficient way, e.g. through automatic switch-offs or seasonal adjustments (criteria 7.2, 7.9, 7.10, 7.11, 7.18, 7.19, 7.20, 7.22, 7.26 & 7.28)
  • Proper insulation of the buildings and equipment reduces the energy consumption (criterion 7.7, 7.12, 7.24 & 7.25) 
  • Green Key awarded establishments are encouraged to use eco-certified or renewable energies (criterion 7.16)

Green Key also improves education and awareness-raising in regard to climate change among guests, staff and suppliers: 

  • Information about energy saving initiatives of the establishment must be available for guests (criterion 3.7) and they should be encouraged to participate in the initiatives (criterion 3.4)
  • The staff must be well-trained about the environmental initiatives of the awarded establishment (criteria 2.1 & 2.3)
  • Suppliers and third-party businesses are involved in the environmental initiatives of the awarded establishment and encouraged to operate in the spirit of Green Key (criteria 13.3 & 13.5) 

In addition, Green Key encourages the use of sustainable transportation:

  • The awarded establishment must be able to inform guests about local public transportation systems, shuttle bus or cycling/walking alternatives (criterion 3.6)
  • The establishment must also be able to inform guests about the nearest place to rent bikes (criterion 12.2) or offer rental bikes themselves (criterion 12.3)
  • It is recommended within the Green Key criteria to encourage the staff to use public transportation from and to the establishment (criterion 13.10)

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