Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQs for guests/tourists

What Is The Green Key program?

The Green Key ecolabel is a standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Green Key has been given awards in more than 56 countries making it one of the largest international tourist eco-labels for hotels. Establishments with the Green Key award can be recognized by their carrying the logo shown below:

Green Key logo

What does the Green Key eco-label mean?

The Green Key eco-label means that awarded establishments adhere to strict criteria as stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). These criteria ensure that sustainability is integrated at a very high level in the management and operation of the awarded tourism establishment. The Green Key eco-label also ensures the verification of the sustainability performance by means of a third-party entity which prevents so-called green washing. All awarded establishments receive frequent on-site audits and have to renew their award every year.

How is the Green Key eco-label monitored?

Establishments with a Green Key certification are closely monitored to ensure that they really do adhere to the label’s strict sustainability standards. In addition, the establishments are required to continually improve their performance in keeping with the Green Key criteria. This audit is then conducted again in year two, and thereafter every third year. In years with no on-site audits, the decision to award is based on an evaluation of documents submitted.

What kind of tourism establishments does Green Key award?

Green Key awards hotels, hostels, small accommodation businesses, camp-sites, holiday parks, conference centres, restaurants and tourist attractions worldwide. You can find a map with all awarded Green Key establishments here.

How does the certification process work?

In order to be given a Green Key award, an applicant has to complete successfully all stages of an application-process which consists of four parts:

  • Sending the application documents
  • Receiving the on-site audit
  • Receiving a positive Third-party decision about  the award
  • Making an annual renewal of the award

A more detailed description of how the application process works can be found here. The Green Key award is valid for 12 months and must consequently be renewed annually.

What are the Green Key criteria?

The Green Key eco-label is based on a set of highly advanced environmental criteria which focus on 13 different categories. 

These criteria have been developed for six different categories of tourism establishments which are publicly available: hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, small accommodations, conference centres, attractions and restaurants. 

Are Green Key usually awarded for the most part to the most expensive establishments?

Green Key awards tourism establishments in all price ranges, from bunk-bed hostels to five star luxury hotels. Green Key has agreements with a number of online travel agency partners that indicate which of the available establishments are certified by the Green Key. 

Does an eco-label affect the comfort during my stay in a tourist accommodation?

Staying in a Green Key awarded tourist accommodation does not mean that you have to compromise on comfort or luxury. Many of the processes that make a tourism establishment more sustainable go on hidden behind the scenes, which means that by choosing to stay in a Green Key awarded hotel or accommodation, you may very well be supporting an environmentally-responsible business without even noticing it. Innovative developments in technology contribute to maintaining comfort while saving resources, such as water-saving shower-heads that maintain high water pressure, or dimmable LED light bulbs that keep the atmosphere cosy. In fact, choosing a tourism establishment with an eco-label can increase the quality of your stay, with the awarded establishments offering products to their guests that are eco-labelled, locally sourced or from fair-trade suppliers (e.g. food and beverages, personal hygiene products etc.). 

Who is the entity behind Green Key?

Green Key is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit organization which promotes sustainable development through environmental education. In addition to Green Key, FEE is active through four other environmental educational programmes: Blue Flag, Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) and Learning about Forests (LEAF). Today, FEE member organizations administer the Green Key programme in more than 40 countries worldwide.

If I have any another questions, who can I contact?

For further information, please contact Green Key Greece.
Telephone: 210 322 49 44 (ext. 107 & 111)
Email: greenkey@eepf.gr

 

FAQs for guests/tourists

What is the Green Key eco-label?

The Green Key eco-label is a standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Green Key has been awarded in more than 56 countries making it one of the largest international tourism eco-labels for tourism accommodation. Establishments with the Green Key award can be identified by following logo:

Green Key logo

What does the Green Key eco-label mean?

The Green Key eco-label means that awarded establishments adhere to strict criteria as stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). These criteria ensure that sustainability is integrated at a very high level into the management and operation of the awarded tourism-establishment. The Green Key eco-label also ensures verification of the sustainability performance by means of a third-party entity to prevent so-called green washing. All awarded establishments receive frequent on-site audits and have to renew their award every year. 

How is the Green Key eco-label monitored?

Establishments with Green Key certification are closely monitored to ensure that the awarded establishments adhere to the label’s strict sustainability standards. In addition, the establishments are required to improve their performance constantly in line with the Green Key criteria. This audit is then conducted again in the second year, and thereafter every third year. In years with no on-site audits, the decision to award is based on an evaluation of documents submitted.

What are the benefits of joining Green Key?

By deciding to join Green Key, your business commits itself to operating in a more sustainable and efficient way. Green Key gives you advice on how to monitor and reduce the consumption of resources and it helps you to motivate your staff as well as your guests to act more responsibly. In the end, saving resources means saving money!

You would be surprised by just how many best practices exist that reduce the environmental impact of your establishment without compromising the quality of the guest experience. With over 20 years of experience, Green Key has acquired extensive knowledge of best practices which it shares liberally to all awarded establishments within the network. 

Green Key also increases the visibility of its awarded sites. Once awarded, your establishment will be displayed on our Green Key map. We also cooperate with several Online Travel Agencies that will mention your Green Key award on their website (providing that your establishment is already included in the portfolio of the Online Travel Agency). We are also happy to promote your establishment by publishing your best practice stories in our news features on our website and social media. 

More and more consumers and hotel-guests expect that the products and services they choose are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The Green Key eco-label is considered a trustworthy symbol for consumers that your establishment meets their expectations.

Who can apply for a Green Key eco-label?

All hotels, hostels, small accommodations, campsites, holiday parks, conference centres, restaurants and tourist attractions worldwide can apply for the Green Key eco-label.

How does the certification process work?

In order to be awarded, a Green Key applicant has to go through an application process which consist of four parts:

  • Sending the application documents
  • Receiving the on-site audit
  • Receiving a third-party decision about  the award
  • Renewing annually the award 

A more detailed description of how the application process works can be found here. The Green Key award is valid for 12 months and must consequently be renewed annually.

Who should I send my application to?

The application should be sent to Green Key Greece.
Telephone: 210 322 49 44 (ext. 107 & 111)
Email: greenkey@eepf.gr   

What are the Green Key criteria?

The Green Key eco-label is based on a set of highly advanced environmental criteria which focuses on 13 different categories. 

These criteria have been developed for six categories of tourism establishments which are publicly available: hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, small accommodationsconference centres, attractions and restaurants

How long does it take to be Green Key certified?

The duration of the application process varies from establishment to establishment, depending on the existing levels of sustainability. The completion of the application form, schedule for the on-site audit and follow-up, as well as the third-party decision process, are all factors that have an impact on the length of the application process. Some countries also have fixed application deadlines which must be observed when applying to become a Green Key establishment.

What does it cost to get certified?

The fee for the Green Key eco-label depends on the category and the capacity of the establishment.    

Who is the entity behind Green Key?

Green Key is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit organization promoting sustainable development through environmental education. In addition to Green Key, FEE is active through four other environmental education programmes: Blue Flag, Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) and Learning about Forests (LEAF). Today, FEE member organizations administer the Green Key programme in more than 40 countries worldwide.