The role of Green Key Global in sustainable hospitality


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We are living at a time when businesses know the importance of adapting their practices to become more environmentally conscious in light of the global climate crisis, but don’t necessarily understand how, why and what that change involves. In the Canadian hotel industry, there is recognition that sustainability is increasingly becoming a core component of operational and strategic planning, with practices that span across all areas of the business.

In this transformative era, GREEN KEY GLOBAL serves as a beacon of excellence and experience in sustainability, helping hotels and hospitality businesses toward environmentally responsible and efficient practices. With an emphasis on sustainability certification, GREEN KEY GLOBAL not only elevates the environmental stewardship of hotels but also underscores their commitment to social responsibility and economic viability.

Achieving a GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification is more than just earning a badge of honour; it’s about real, tangible benefits.

Partnership with HAC + AHLA

GREEN KEY GLOBAL’s alliance with the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) aims to amplify the program’s impact and reach within the hospitality industry as an opportunity for the associations’ members to access an affordable, best-in-class solution to support their sustainability goals.

HAC and AHLA represent the broad spectrum of the lodging industry across the country and play a pivotal role in advocacy, education, and setting industry standards. By partnering with GREEN KEY GLOBAL, the organizations endorse a standardized approach to environmental and sustainability practices, signalling the importance of these issues to its members and the industry at large.

Advocacy and awareness:

Together, GREEN KEY GLOBAL and HAC-AHLA work to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable practices in the hotel industry. This includes promoting the benefits of Green Key certification to hotels, from small independents to large chains, highlighting how sustainability can drive competitive advantage, operational efficiency, and regulatory compliance.

Educational resources and support:

The collaboration ensures that association members have access to GREEN KEY GLOBAL’s comprehensive suite of resources, including tools for measuring and improving environmental performance, training and educational materials, and best practices for sustainability. These resources are designed to help hotels at every stage of their sustainability journey, from those just starting to consider their environmental impact to those leading the way in sustainable hospitality.

Recognition and credibility:

For HAC and AHLA members, achieving Green Key certification serves as a mark of distinction that enhances their reputation among guests, stakeholders, and the community. The partnership between GREEN KEY GLOBAL and HAC-AHLA lends additional credibility to the certification, reinforcing its status as a leading standard for sustainability in the hospitality industry.

Policy and regulatory influence: Together, GREEN KEY GLOBAL and HAC-AHLA can influence policy and regulatory discussions related to sustainability in the hospitality sector. Their partnership allows them to provide a unified voice on important issues, advocating for policies that support sustainable practices and help hotels navigate the complex landscape of environmental regulations.

Impact on the industry

The partnership between GREEN KEY GLOBAL and HAC-AHLA is a testament to the growing recognition of sustainability as a critical component of the hospitality industry. It not only facilitates the adoption of sustainable practices among Canadian hotels but also sets a benchmark for environmental responsibility that can inspire others to follow suit. For Canadian hotels, the support and resources provided through this partnership are invaluable in achieving their sustainability goals and positioning themselves as leaders in the global movement towards more sustainable operations.

Getting certified

GREEN KEY GLOBAL stands out with its rigorous certification process, designed specifically for the hospitality sector. This process provides a structured framework, enabling hotels to measure, evaluate, and enhance their sustainability initiatives. Certification boosts a hotel’s reputation, builds trust with consumers, and carves out a competitive advantage in an increasingly eco-conscious market. Moreover, it identifies pathways for operational efficiency, aids in regulatory compliance, and facilitates a positive environmental and community impact.

GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification isn’t just about environmental conservation; it’s about integrating sustainability into the very fabric of a hotel’s operations, encompassing economic and social dimensions. Hotels adopting the Green Key certification are not only seen as environmental stewards but also as responsible corporate citizens and efficient, cost-effective businesses.

Achieving a GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification is more than just earning a badge of honour; it’s about real, tangible benefits. It enhances a hotel’s marketability to eco-conscious travellers, increases operational efficiencies leading to cost savings, and provides access to a wealth of resources. These include a vetted vendor directory, departmental checklists, promotional materials, and educational opportunities.

The path to GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification begins with an online registration and self-assessment, covering various sustainability aspects from energy use to waste management. This is followed by a detailed audit every three years, ensuring that hotels not only meet but continue to uphold the highest sustainability standards. This rigorous process underscores GREEN KEY GLOBAL’s commitment to credible, validated sustainability practices in the hospitality industry.

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Embracing a sustainable future

GREEN KEY GLOBAL is at the forefront of sustainability innovation, developing tools like the Carbon Calculator, Carbon Neutral Event Certification Program, and Payback Calculator. These tools are designed to help hotels quantify their environmental impact, host sustainable events, and assess the financial returns on sustainability investments. Coupled with educational webinars and a new website featuring a Marketing Toolkit and guest facing materials, GREEN KEY GLOBAL is equipping hotels with the knowledge and resources to effectively communicate their sustainability efforts and engage with guests and stakeholders on a deeper level.

The imperative for sustainability in the hospitality industry is clear. As GREEN KEY GLOBAL continues to lead the way, its certification program stands as a pivotal tool for hotels committed to sustainable operations and contributions to a healthier planet. The benefits of GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification—ranging from enhanced reputation to operational efficiencies and competitive advantage—underscore the value of sustainability certification as a strategic business tool. In this journey towards a more sustainable future, GREEN KEY GLOBAL certification is not just a choice but a necessity for Canadian hotels and hospitality businesses aiming to thrive in an eco-conscious world.

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