Green Key is an international voluntary eco-label for tourism facilities that promotes sustainable tourism . It aims to contribute to the prevention of climate change with positive environmental initiatives. Green Key is a non-governmental, non-profit, independent program operating under the umbrella organization of the Foundation for Environmental Education , FEE. The program is recognized and supported by the World Tourism Organization , WTO and United Nations Environmental Program, A P. Green Key has an international program at the FEE Head Office in Copenhagen and Green Key National Operators

Green Key is one of the largest eco-labels for the hospitality industry and currently has more than 2,700 awards.


Green Key aims to

  • Increase the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable methods of operation and technology in the industry and reduce the overall use of resources.
  • Raise awareness and create behavioral changes in guests, staff and suppliers of individual tourism establishments.
  • Increase the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable methods and raise awareness to create behavioral changes in the hospitality and tourism industry overall.


Green Key began in Denmark in 1994 and was adopted by FEE in 2002 to become its fifth international program. It has since spread to nearly 60 countries and continues to grow in number and reach across the world.

Commercial websites, such as, is partnering with Green Key to entice travelers to book. [1] [2]


Tourism facilities awarded to Green Key adhere to national or international Green Key criteria. The criteria have been designed by the United States, feasible for the tourism industry, and clearly verifiable through control checks.

International criteria reflect the various fields of tourism, hotels, hostels, camp sites, conference and holiday centers, tourist attractions and restaurants.

The criteria focuses on environmental management, technical demands and initiatives for the involvement of guests, staff and suppliers. Some of the categories covered are: Water, Waste, Energy, Involvement and Awareness of Guests, Environmental Management, Staff Involvement, Use of Chemicals, Open Spaces, and Food and Beverages.

Five pillars

The Green Key program rests on five pillars:

  • Education of staff, clients and owners towards increased sustainable development and environmental awareness in leisure establishments;
  • Environmental preservation by the reduction of the environmental impact of each establishment in the world scene;
  • Economical management by the reduction of
  • Marketing strategy by the promotion of the Green Key label and the establishment using the Green Key icon;
  • Strengthening of the tourism and leisure branch


  • United Nations Environmental Program
  • World Tourism Organization
  • Rezidor
  • Starwood
  • HRS

Global Forest Fund

FEE, which runs the Green Key Program, uses a tool to compensate for CO2 emissions . The funds are distributed by the Learning about Forests (LEAF) program, which involves children in planting tree activities.

Similar certifications

Green Globe is a similar program offering a certification process for the hospitality industry.


  1. Jump up^ „ Puts Green Hotels Under One Roof“ . International Business Times . 2013-01-16 . Retrieved 2016-11-02 .
  2. Jump up^ „BookDifferent aims to make it easier to be green | CNN Travel“ . Retrieved 2016-11-02 .