Green Key is a voluntary ecolabel for hotels, hostels, campsites, holiday parks, small accommodations as well as conference centres, attractions and restaurants.
The Green Key award is based on compliance with strict criteria in the areas of environmental management (water, energy, waste, cleaning, etc.) and sustainability education (staff, guests, suppliers, etc.). Compliance with the criteria is confirmed through a rigorous application process and verified at on-site audits. The award is valid for one year at a time. Currently (April 2020), more than 3,200 establishments in 65 countries are Green Key awarded.
The programme is managed by the international charity, the Foundation for Environmental Education. Green Key is endorsed by the World Tourism Organization and its hotel criteria are recognised by Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
The Green Key criteria are divided into 13 categories. To receive the Green Key awarded, an establishment must comply with all imperative criteria and comply with an increasing amount of guideline criteria over the years. It is furthermore possible for the national Green Key offices to strengthen or add criteria in conjunction with the international criteria.