Green Key program in Flanders
|Type||Certificates or Charters|
|Area of green Expertise||Staff engagement|
|Contact||Contact this case study|
The Green Key is an international ecolabel awarded to tourism and leisure establishments. The Green key program in Flanders operates as a partnership between Tourism Board of Flanders and Bond Beter Leefmilieu.The Green Key was created to raise the awareness of owners and managers of tourism and leisure establishments on the necessity and possibilities of running a responsible business.
The program supports tourism business by giving them on-site advice and training. The criteria cover hotels, campsites and attractions, meeting locations, B&B's, youth hostels, holiday parks. Getting awarded with The Green Key means that an establishment has fulfilled a list of requirements. These requirements are contained in mandatory and guideline criteria. Besides environmental demands the criteria include demands on: training staff, monitoring, energy use, washing and cleaning food and beverages, indoor environment parks and parking areas, education, transportation, etc
Energy, water and waste savings
In 2011, 70 tourism enterprises were certified with the Green key and 228 are members of the training program.
With the development of a training program to support enterprises to take environmental actions, we reached many more enterprises than if we promoted only those who achieved the Green key. The environmental achievements are the main goal, the promotion of Green key certificated business is secondary.
A Tourism Board is well placed to stimulate tourism enterprises in becoming more environmental friendly. The contacts, other initiatives, legislations, financial support systems, promotion...can be used to match all these things to a high quality tourism industry. It's important to have a few enthusiastic managers of tourism businesses who support your environmental initiative. They can make other businesses more aware of the importance and the need of the initiative. Their testimonies are worth much more than speeches of a governemental body or an NGO.
Best and bad practices, figures of financial investments, their return in financial profit and the time needed for these achievements are the best instruments of creating awareness.
The initiative was developed for - but importantly also with - the tourism sector. The criteria, conditions, communication plans... were developed together. The tourism businesses made it a realistic project.