The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a graduated rating system designed to recognize hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performance.
Based on the results of a comprehensive environmental self-assessment, hoteliers are awarded a 1-5 Green Key rating and given guidance on how to "unlock" opportunities to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts through reduced utility consumption, employee training, and supply chain management.
The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is unique in that it is administered entirely online. Once a hotel has registered online for the program, they are granted instant access to the self-assessment as well as to the tools and resources in the Members’ Only area.
The self-assessment consists of “multiple choice” – style questions divided into the following 5 sections:
• Corporate Environmental Management
• Food & Beverage Operations
• Conference & Meeting Facilities
The approximately 150 questions that make up the entire self-assessment relate to the following nine areas of sustainable hotel operations:
• Energy conservation
• Water conservation
• Solid waste management
• Hazardous waste management
• Indoor air quality
• Community outreach
• Building infrastructure
• Land use
• Environmental management
Each question has been designated a specific numeric value based on the environmental and social impacts of a particular action and its associated impact on guests, employees, management, and the local community.
The self-assessment also takes limited-service hotels into consideration – in situations where a lodging property does not offer either Food & Beverage Services and/or Conference & Meeting Facilities, the hotelier is given the option to indicate that this is not applicable to their operation prior to beginning the self-assessment. The self-assessment is designed to take this into account when tallying their rating and their final score is not affected.
Hoteliers are encouraged to take their time completing the self-assessment and to involve others in the process. For example, a GM may want to have the executive housekeeper complete the housekeeping section and the head of maintenance complete the Engineering section, etc.
Once all sections of the self-assessment are complete, they simply hit “submit” and within minutes the system generates the hotel’s Green Key Rating and sends them a congratulatory email along with a property-specific report highlighting their accomplishments and providing recommendations for improvements. A certificate or plaque highlighting the hotelís rating is also provided.
It is important to note that the Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a voluntary, self-administered program designed to assist a hotel in determining its current environmental footprint. How a hotel chooses to use the information and recommendations presented in their final report is left to their discretion. Upon completion of the program and being awarded their Green Key Rating, an on-site inspection may be conducted to confirm the rating. Green Key is the only program of its kind to conduct on-site inspection and validation of ratings in Canada and the United States.