Selecting Sustainable Hotels

Green Key and Tripkicks Shine Light on Sustainability in Hotels

What does it mean to be a sustainable hotel?

Climate action, protecting natural ecosystems and creating a more equitable future are among the top opportunities of our decade. Travel has a significant impact on all three of these areas and the whole industry is undergoing a paradigm shift fueled by better data to drive better business and consumer decisions. Through responsible travel, we can advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals and create a better future for all.  How does this relate to something as simple as a hotel stay?

The hotel sector is responsible for 21% of all the ecological footprint generated by tourism1. Within the accommodation sector, leading businesses are looking at a broader view of what it means to have a positive impact. The entire hospitality ecosystem is looking beyond simple economic impacts and considering environmental, social, and community impact as part of how we define success.

The traveller mindset is changing

Awareness of the environmental impact of our trips is at an all-time high, and 87% of global travelers want to travel sustainably.2 This shift in consumer demand is driving the hotel industry forward, and consumers need quick, accurate information to make better choices – whether they are traveling for business or leisure.  

The corporate mindset is changing

As business travel re-opens, companies are also looking to encourage employees to embrace more sustainable options. ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) objectives are at the forefront of employer decision-making criteria, and travel programs that focused almost exclusively on price are expanding their priorities to focus on sustainability.  

As we create more demand for green certified hotels, properties are encouraged and rewarded for reducing its carbon footprint, advancing human rights, enhancing natural areas, and sourcing local.

Supporting hotels that make the world a better place.

Sustainable hotels share a common vision for making the world a better place through tourism. What if you could reduce your carbon footprint and have a positive impact on communities through the hotel you chose? It is an admirable goal, but because of the complexity surrounding most sustainability initiatives, it can be challenging to find a truly “sustainable” hotel.  That is why Green Key Global and partners like Tripkicks have developed the following tools to shine a light on sustainability.

1. The Green Key Eco Rating:  

With 5 distinct levels measured in 1-5 keys, factoring in more than 100 criteria, this rating allows you to clearly recognize a green hotel that has been third party verified for sustainable practices. With more than 1,600 hotels certified globally and more being added to the registry every week, Green Key Global has become a trusted brand and global standard for accommodations. The validation by Green Key Global means you can be certain that the hotel you are staying in is:

  • Conserving Energy
  • Using Water Efficiently
  • Reducing Waste & Recycling Responsibly
  • Supporting Local Community
  • Managing Indoor Air Quality
  • Advancing Sustainable Building Practices

The impact is all in the details, and can have a significant impact on areas of operations such as waste management. Without an attentive waste management program, many hotels will send 60% of their waste to the landfill. With a hotel-wide recycling and compost program, Green Key Global hotels with robust recycling programs will only send 5-25% of waste to the landfill. Green Key Global hotels, such as Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, BC, have been carbon neutral for over 10 years, utilize renewable heating and cooling, actively reduce their waste, support local food growers, and give back to the community in countless ways.

2. Tripkicks Showcase of Green Key Globals’ Eco Ratings: 

Tripkicks, an add-on for business travel programs and SAP Concur App Center Partner that provides companies the tools to influence traveler behavior and empower travelers with the knowledge they need for a successful trip, has integrated Green Key Global’s Eco Ratings.  By showcasing Green Key Eco Ratings within leading business travel programs, Tripkicks brings highly respected, third-party sustainability data directly to consumers at the most integral point of the booking process. 

  • The partnership between Green Key Global and Tripkicks ensures that unbiased information summarizing key sustainability metrics is convenient and easy-to-understand for business travellers as they make travel arrangements. Now, wherever you travel for business, you can recognize the Green Key Eco-Rating brand and chose to travel with your values by always choosing sustainable hotels first.

About GreenKey

GreenKey Global is a leading international environmental certification body that offers standardized programs and resources, designed specifically for the hotel and meetings industries.  GreenKey allows brands to leverage organizational corporate social responsibility activities and support sustainable initiatives to increase occupancy, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint.

About Tripkicks

Tripkicks in an add-on to business travel programs that provides the tools to influence traveler behavior and ensure travelers have the information needed for a successful trip.  Tripkicks works with travel managers and companies to help them better support their travelers, make progress on corporate initiatives, and achieve their program goals. 


  1. Santos et al. Criterial for assigning a sustainable hotel business. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 262, Jul 2020.
  2. Edelman, et al. Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report – Brands and the Coronavirus, 2020. Mar 2020.