Emirates Green Business Council has been assigned as the Green Key operator to promote sustainability in the UAE's hospitality and tourism sector. Emirates Green Business Council has been assigned as the Green Key operator to promote sustainability in the UAE's hospitality and tourism sector.

Emirates Green Business Council has been assigned as the region's Green Key operator to promote sustainability in the UAE’s hospitality and tourism sector.

Green Key aims to increase the use of sustainable methods of operation and technology and reduce energy and resource usage without compromising on the properties’ luxury aspects.

“Today, with tourists being increasingly conscious and demanding of green features, certifying hotels and other accommodation facilities to the Green Key eco-label will complement the ‘green economy for sustainable development’ initiative of the UAE by integrating tangible sustainability features in hotels and other related establishments. This contributes to significant cost-savings for the establishments, making it a win-win situation for all stakeholders.”

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The citation underlines sustainable energy, water and waste management practices in hotels, serviced apartments and other accommodation facilities.

Emirates GBC will provide advice on best practices in environment and energy management for hotels and tourism establishments seeking certification.

Speaking to Hotelier, Emirates GBC operations manager Laura Shrake, explained: “The baseline criteria that has been set by the Foundation for Environmental education and covers categories like environmental management to make sure a sustainability policy has been put in place.

"Within each category it will look at more focused areas like washing and cleaning and food and beverage to make sure the sustainability practices are being implemented throughout the hotel.

Hotels have to be verified by an independent auditor before completing the certification process. There is a set of criteria that is required, but then there is an audit that goes along with that. A team will go visit the hotel and go through an audit process to verify that the information the hotel is saying is actually in place,” said Shrake.

So far there are 22 hotels in the UAE have been certified, of which the majority are Starwood and Rezidor properties, Shrake told Hotelier.

Green Key is recognised by the World Tourism Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme, and is the largest global eco-label certification for accommodation.