David McCann Wed 10 Jan 2018
Local environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is introducing Green Key to Northern Ireland. Green Key is an internationally recognised eco-certification for the hospitality sector, thereby boosting the local tourism and hospitality industry and championing sustainable best practices.
Green Key is one of five programmes run under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and will be locally operated by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The eco-label is currently available in 56 countries across the globe and boasts over 2,700 certified establishments, making it the largest eco-label in the hospitality industry. Green Key criteria are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – a key indicator of environmental quality assurance – in an otherwise often unregulated market for eco-labels. Green Key is available for hotels and hostels, small accommodations, campsites and holiday parks, conference centres and restaurants.
Dr Susann Power, Operations Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Green Key National Operator states: “A Green Key stands for an establishment’s promise to its guests that by opting to stay with such an establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental and sustainability level. Researchers at the University of Québec have demonstrated that customers generally perceive eco-certifications as favourable and that customer satisfaction levels increase when a hotel has adopted sustainable operations and has been awarded an eco-certification. Green Key is thus a real opportunity for hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland to target those discerning visitors.”
Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Green Key Director at the Foundation for Environmental Education explains: “Green Key is a well-proven and recognised international programme for establishments in the hospitality industry. More and more establishments wish to work with its sustainability efforts, so Green Key is experiencing a growth in number of participating establishments and number of countries with awarded establishments. I am very happy to see the programme now also being launched in Northern Ireland so that interested businesses can obtain local support from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for the implementation of Green Key.”
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education, is ideally placed to operate Green Key locally, already managing the Blue Flag, Seaside Awards, Green Coast Awards, Green Flag for Parks, Green Business Award and Eco-Schools and EcoCampus as well established eco-labels in the province. The charity is committed to providing guidance and support for businesses, schools and destinations to reach their full sustainability potential.
Hospitality businesses interested in learning more about Green Key and how it can help them boost their green credentials should contact Dr Susann Power at email@example.com or on 028 9073 6920, or visit www.greenkey-ni.org.