Green Key is an international eco-label for tourism establishments demonstrating excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operations.
Awarded to more than 2,400 establishments in more than 50 countries around the world, the Green Key award has been in existence for longer than 20 years and is the largest global eco-label for accommodation. The eco-label is a programme of the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) based in Denmark and it is recognised and supported by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. In South Africa Green Key is operated by WESSA.
This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment from tourism establishments to maintain high environmental standards, and an assurance to guests that their support of such an establishment helps to make a difference on an environmental and sustainability level. The Green Key programme helps establishments reduce their environmental footprint without compromising on comfort or quality and is able to help tourism establishments strive for sustainability in a structured way and receive accreditation for these efforts. Participation in the programme also contributes to reducing running costs for establishments through lower energy and water consumption, for example.
With the United Nations having declared 2017 as the international year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, this year presents an ideal opportunity for tourism establishments to meet the increasing expectations of consumers that establishments should actively work towards achieving sustainability.