sustainable tourism

First Green Key awarded hotel in Ethiopia

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa is the first Green Key awarded establishment in Ethiopia, raising the number of participating countries to 58!

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa is centrally located within Ethiopia’s capital city—adjacent to the United Nations Compound and 6 kilometers from Bole International Airport. The hotel is also a short distance from the city’s main points of interest, such as the Imperial Palace, Meskel Square and Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The hotel has many great social and environmental initiatives such as donating unused linen and clothes to an orphanage, supporting a retirement home and engaging guests in tree planting activities. Furthermore, over 95% of the food and beverages in the hotel are locally sourced.

Learn more about the hotel here

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Copyright Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv Podil creates art with plastic straws

The Radisson Blu Hotel in Kyiv-Podil, Ukraine has found a creative way for reusing their unused plastic straws by creating a work of art.

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

When implementing Radisson Hotel Group’s campaign #RefusetheStraw the hotel wondered what they could do with the unused plastic straws that they had left in stock.

Instead of throwing them in the recycling bin, they found a local artist who created a sculpture of a seabird out of the straws. The original piece of art is now displayed in the lobby of the hotel to raise awareness on plastic pollution.

Mostly birds and sea animals suffer from plastics - they perceive it as a food, eat it, and die in terrible agony. Moreover, many birds are already on the verge of extinction and are included in the red book. It is a symbol of freedom, hope, new life, which must be protected.

- The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Copyright: Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv-Podil

Miskin Manor – a historical hotel with a green twist

Miskin Manor Country Hotel in Wales has been awarded with the Green Key for its work on introducing high sustainability standards in a historical manor without compromising the exclusive feeling of the establishment.

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Miskin Manor Country Hotel has a rich history stretching back to the 10th century. Since 1996, the place has been a carefully restored family-run hotel with attention to details in respect of the heritage of the building, surrounding garden and landscape. Today, Miskin Manor Country Hotel is a four-star hotel with 42 unique bedrooms, an award winning restaurant and 25 acres of beautiful garden surrounding the establishment.

Miskin Manor Country Hotel has recently been awarded with the Green Key as the first hotel in South East Wales due to its work with its sustainability performance. The light bulbs have been changed to LED light, the water flow in taps and showers are reduced, the restaurant has a focus on products that are locally produced and the environmental work is communicated to guests in an environmental corner by the lobby.

As a family we have always worked towards helping our environment for now and the future. It is wonderful that we now have recognition for the effort we are making and we will strive to maintain and improve.  Amongst many things we grow some of our own produce on site, produce water from our own borehole, keep bees and produce honey on site, installed energy efficient lighting throughout the hotel and recycle our waste. It is hoped that other business owners will join us in achieving Green Key throughout Wales.” - Amanda Rosenberg, Managing Director at Miskin Manor.

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Nick Ashby, Welsh Green Key coordinator says: “We are proud to have Miskin Manor Country Hotel awarded with Green Key for its balance between history, luxury and sustainability”.

For more information about Miskin Manor Country Hotel, please visit their website.

XL Green Key Cartoon makes visitors curious about sustainability

The interactive science centre Hidrodoe in Herentals, Belgium came up with a creative and fun way to inform their guests about sustainability and Green Key.

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At Hidrodoe, visitors can learn everything about water - from Roman baths to water in space -in a fun and interactive way. The science centre is an initiative of the Flemish water company Pidpa to raise awareness about the importance and value of water. The centre has more than 150 interactive exhibits, covering indoor and outdoor activities.

One of their newest additions is an XL Cartoon that shows the centre with all it’s environmental initiatives, for example their bee hotel, the electric bike charging station and the fair trade café. A Green Key logo on each of the illustrations indicates that this is part of their environmental agenda. At the same time, visitors learn about Green Key and it’s requirements. The creators compare the comic with the well-known “Where’s Wally” children illustrations.

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Due to its high environmental ambitions and creative ways to engage visitors in environmental issues, Hidrodoe won the Belgian Energy and Environment award for Sustainable Education in 2018. Moreover, Hidrodoe has been Green Key awarded for 7 years in a row.

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Ocean Baskets want to make plastic straws history

Seafood restaurant chain Ocean Basket has launched ‘The Last Straw’ a national campaign in Cyprus.

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The pollution of our oceans due to plastic waste has become a major topic in the media and in political discussions. Only recently, the EU banned the use of certain single-use plastic products to help the oceans recover from decades of plastic pollution.

Some businesses, like the Green Key awarded Ocean Baskets in Cyprus, are already one step ahead of the game. Since May 2018, plastic straws have been banned from all nine restaurants on the island. The restaurant chain is the first in Cyprus to launch a campaign against plastic straws. Guests are informed about the campaign though signs on the tables and posters. If a guest does not want to skip the straw, they are offered an eco-friendly alternative upon request.

Ocean Basket’s great initiative to reduce the use of plastic doesn’t stop here. All their restaurants have replaced plastic bottles with glass bottles and the styrofoam takeaway boxes have been replaced by paper boxes. Their ambition is to stop providing anything made out of plastic to their customers.

Furthermore, Ocean Basket participates in several initiatives to raise awareness about marine litter and plastic pollution. In cooperation with the Cypriot organisation running Green Key (CYMEPA) they organise beach cleanups around Cyprus with the involvement of hundreds of young students and their staff members.

In addition, together with CYMEPA, Ocean Basket have designed the “My Responsible Ocean Citizen Little Blue Book” for schools to engage children in the protection of the oceans.

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Green Key's application process explained step by step in our new video!

Ever wondered how the Green Key application process works? Watch our second video and find out!

Click on the image to open the video in a new browser window

Click on the image to open the video in a new browser window

In this video, Green Key explains the application and award process step by step. You’ll learn more about the on-site and off-site audits, the decision making process as well as the award itself.

If you have missed our introductory video about Green Key, you can watch it here

Don’t want to miss any of our new videos? Then sign up to our YouTube channel Green Key International

The restaurant A Cozinha por António Loureiro wins Best Practice Competition 2018!

Each year, Green Key runs a best practice competition to encourage its awarded sites to present their most inspiring sustainability stories. And today on World Tourism Day we announce our winner: A Cozinha por António Loureiro restaurant (Portugal). Finishing second and third were Sinatur Storebælt (Denmark) and STF Lugnåsbergets vandrarhem (Sweden).

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This year, Green Key’s best practice competition focused on how to inform and involve guests in sustainability. The theme relates to SDG 12 “responsible consumption and production” to ensure “sustainable consumption and production patterns". Not only does Green Key help consumers to identify responsible tourism establishments, but awarded establishments also have to inform their guests about sustainable practices during their stay. Furthermore, Green Key awarded establishments are encouraged to engage their guests in their sustainability actions through activities, events, rewards etc.

At ‘A Cozinha’ , Chef António Loureiro and his team are totally committed to sustainable eating and also strive to pursue a policy of near-zero waste. An integrated approach considering several practices was implemented since the opening day. António, awarded Portuguese Chef of the Year in 2014, is well-known for his high quality gastronomy that combines tradition and innovation. He mainly uses regional or local products and the motto “cooking what Mother Nature is offering” has become an integral part of every menu he creates. To prevent food waste, António uses the entire product that is bought, cooked and combined in different ways.

As a part of the restaurant’s mission towards sustainability, António opens his kitchen for several initiatives to inform the local community and children about food waste. For example, in the activity “be a chef for a day”, or "team building with a cooking experience" guests have the chance to have a hands-on high level experience where they learn how to respect the products, how to promote the local economy with their choices and how to plan a week menu without creating a big amount of food waste.

In addition, António has adopted the ‘Eco-Cooks’ initiative which is part of the Eco-Schools programme in Portugal promoting healthy and sustainable food in schools.

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First four hotels in Macau achieve Green Key status

Four establishments in Macau, China have qualified for the prestigious Green Key award through the achievement of high environmental and sustainability standards

Morpheus, The Countdown and Nüwa at City of Dreams, Macau

Morpheus, The Countdown and Nüwa at City of Dreams, Macau

The four establishments, owned and operated by Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, are Morpheus, Nüwa and The Countdown at City of Dreams and Studio City.

To achieve their Green Key status, each of the four establishments optimised sustainability efforts to meet the global environmental management standard ISO 14001. The hotels comply with high energy and water saving standards, and have pledged to meet additional water and waste reduction targets for the coming year, with particular focus on plastic and paper materials.

Mr. Lawrence Ho, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, said “It is a true honour to become Macau’s first and only recipient of the prestigious Green Key award, with four of our hotels concurrently achieving this exceptional accolade in recognition of our dedication towards sustainability. Our existing green initiatives have benefitted strongly from the requirements and recommendations set by the Green Key programme.”

The four hotels engage employees, guests and third party operating businesses in their sustainability efforts. Employees participate in various activities, such as Earth Hour, tree planting and beach cleaning activities, and are also involved in the hotels’ local community projects where materials that can be reused are donated to charitable organisations and to local events on environment and education.

Guests are informed about the hotel’s environmental efforts via TV monitors in the lobby and guest rooms and are encouraged to reuse towels and bed sheets, and to travel via public transportation, etc. In the hotels’ restaurants, green choices are available from the menus which offer over 25 organic food ingredients.

Studio City

Studio City

Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Green Key Director, says: “We are very happy to introduce the Green Key to establishments in Macau through the four hotels operated by Melco Resorts & Entertainment. It is our hope that it will inspire other hotels in the region to reduce their resources and promote sustainable development through the Green Key programme.”

Bookdifferent.com highlights Green Key as "greenest choice"

Green Key awarded accommodations receive highest sustainability ranking with the online booking platform Bookdifferent.com

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Bookdifferent.com, which includes 1.1 million accommodations all over the world, makes sure all its accommodations are checked on their sustainability performance while offering the best price guarantee.

On the new user-friendly, fast and mobile-friendly Bookdifferent.com website, the new ‘staygreencheck’ feature ranks the 22 ecolabels (including Green Key) that Bookdifferent displays on their website.

“It is our intention with this new feature to help travellers to make a better informed and more sustainable choice. We believe that consumer demand will motivate the hospitality sector to continue improving their level of sustainability,” says Lonneke de Kort, CEO of Bookdifferent.com.

With the 'staygreencheck' Bookdifferent has monitored how each of the labels perform on the four pillars of sustainability: fair & social, nature & environment, culture friendly and local economy taking the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Standard as the norm. Each of the four hearts in the ‘staygreencheck’ display compliance with one of these pillars.

As Green Key criteria touch upon all four pillars of sustainability, Green Key awarded establishments has been awarded all four hearts and is indicated as the ‘greenest choice’ and shown on top of each search result as a standard.

Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director, says: "We are very proud to have the Green Key awarded establishments listed as the greenest choice in Bookdifferent.com. The establishments are deeply engaged in contributing to a more sustainable world through their actions, and we as Green Key strives to support this work through regular updates of our standards as well as supporting the Green Key awarded establishments with ideas, tool and best practice examples from our network.”