Green Hotels: How Do I Identify Sustainable Travel Lodging?

Green Hotels: How Do I Identify Sustainable Travel Lodging?

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Are you a globe trotter, however you need to have a small footprint? You aren’t alone. According to a examine by, 83% of global travelers assume sustainability is significant. Green lodging are a vital component of a extra sustainable strategy to journey. Unfortunately, it may be robust to inform which motels are actually inexperienced. To assist set aside the cream of the crop, a number of organizations created inexperienced certification packages.

What Is a Green Hotel?

There are a wide range of motels that may obtain a sustainable lodge certification, and these are available all shades of inexperienced. Some had been constructed with sustainability in thoughts and could also be LEED-certified buildings. After opening their doorways, others have made enhancements, like putting in water-saving plumbing fixtures and utilizing pure cleansing merchandise. Some might give again by way of volunteer or donation packages and contemplate their impression on the broader group.

Unfortunately, some motels and resorts might make use of greenwashing to draw inexperienced vacationers however may not meet rigorous requirements. Just a few main lodge chains which have proven a concerted effort to inexperienced their operations embody Hilton, Marriot, Hyatt, and Starwood Hotels.

What Are Green Hotel Certifications?

It is essential to discern which motels are probably the most sustainable to scale back our impression whereas on the street. Certifications embody a set of trade pointers and greatest practices, however every certification program has its personal standards and requirements. Well-designed certifications may help determine real leaders from these greenwashing themselves with out actually having substance. They additionally assist information firms on methods to repeatedly enhance, thus changing into extra sustainable over time.

Some inexperienced lodge certification packages might emphasize one side of sustainability greater than one other, so your private choice additionally comes into play whenever you select which certification packages to belief.

Are There Trustworthy Green Hotel Certifications?

Yes, there are quite a few certification packages that may be useful in selecting lodging. The following are so as from probably the most rigorous and revered to the extra questionable ones in direction of the underside.

Green Globe

This program measures journey and tourism companies and their provide chains and comprises 44 core standards. Green Globe considers itself the “highest normal for sustainability worldwide” and even appoints a third-party auditor to work with purchasers on-site. It even reveals on its web site the way it compares to other certification programs.

The certification program has particular standards for numerous forms of tourism-related companies, together with golf programs, eating places, tour operators, points of interest, and resorts. Companies can have three totally different statuses: Certified, Gold, and Platinum. Companies can obtain the Platinum requirements if they’ve been licensed for 10 consecutive years. In addition, Green Globe has acquired Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognition, serving to to extend belief on this certification.

Green Key Global

This certification program was designed for motels and assembly venues throughout the globe. With 1,600 licensed motels and 350 venues throughout 20 firms, this program has a broad attain throughout North and South America.

Green Key makes use of a grading system with 5 keys being the best and offers steering on bettering a ranking. The evaluation examines a number of areas of operation, together with waste, power, water, group outreach, and indoor air high quality. Like Green Globe, Green Key is GSTC-recognized. In addition, it companions with BookDifferent, which offers a searchable database of hotels along with their estimated carbon footprint.


This worldwide certification program is obtainable for tour operators and lodging in over 50 nations. Its program contains 163 standards associated to human rights, group engagement, and environmental impression. Organizations should renew their membership after two years and endure an audit, and this system is GSTC-recognized. Unfortunately, this firm doesn’t provide a easy search instrument however has a database of certified hotels by nation.

Earth Check

This group offers a framework for green-striving tourism companies to develop into extra sustainable. Earth Check is a global tourism advisory group that provides certification packages, software program, and consulting companies and has certification companies in 70 nations. The concepts behind this initiative had been conceived in 1992, in order that they have longevity and expertise on their facet. Earth Check is GSTC-recognized and likewise companions with BookDifferent.


Offered by way of Trip Advisor, the GreenLeaders emblem seems for accepted companies when conducting their on-line search of motels and B&Bs. The callout shows who has met particular requirements for environmental efficiency, resembling providing an EV charger, recycling, or natural meals. Trip Advisor offers 4 totally different badge ranges: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, and is obtainable freed from cost.

The draw back to this program is that companies self-report with a survey they fill out. The certification program is free, and the survey takes about 30 to 60 minutes to finish after gathering the required info. Unfortunately, this program doesn’t contain an audit, so it’s troublesome to confirm the knowledge. The upside is that it’s extremely accessible and straightforward to make use of.

Unfortunately, another packages nonetheless look like they’re of their infancy. For instance, Green Seal ensures that properties meet particular requirements for well being and environmental standards. Unfortunately, this initiative has only a few licensed motels, so the choices are fairly restricted, nevertheless it does look like a superb program.

Another method to make use of inexperienced certifications is to search for motels and resorts owned by licensed B Corporations and contains some genuinely inspiring companies. These companies meet rigorous requirements for social and environmental efficiency and are actually a lower above.

Are There Green Certification Programs Specific to Geographic Areas?

Yes, your vacation spot shapes which certification packages are most useful. The GSTC maintains a listing of certification programs it recognizes. Many of those specialise in a selected geographic area, resembling Europe or Australia.

Your Actions Make a Difference

Ultimately, a part of the impression of a lodge keep depends on our behavior, even should you do discover a inexperienced lodge. If doable, avoid drinking bottled water (except it’s the one protected choice), alert lodge housekeeping that you just don’t want freshly laundered towels or sheets day by day (for prolonged stays), and switch down the AC or warmth when going out. Book your lodge in a walkable space and stroll or take public transportation to your locations when doable. If the lodge doesn’t acquire recycling, attempt to find places to recycle your items off-site. And bring your own toiletries in reusable containers to keep away from waste.