AHLA and HAC Expand Green Key Global Sustainability Certification

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Man holding Infinite Sustainability Icon in hands.
Photo Credit: iStock.com/SakornSukkasemsakorn

WASHINGTON — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint-venture company that will own and operate the Green Key Global certification program in Canada and the U.S.

A North American environmental certification body for the hotel-and-lodging industry, Green Key’s criteria are recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and aligned with all 17 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Properties receive an eco-rating through a rigorous assessment and audit process that measures hotel performance in a number of areas, including energy and water conservation, land use, hazardous and solid-waste management, air quality and more.

The program and resources offered by Green Key Global leverage an organization’s sustainability initiatives across properties and brands to increase occupancy, provide cost savings and reduce its carbon footprint, as well as align with corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Pending all necessary approvals, AHLA and HAC will form a joint-venture company in early 2024 under the name Green Key Global. This will build upon AHLA’s Responsible Stay Initiative, launched in December 2022, and HAC’s Green Key Global initiative since 1994.

“Increasingly, business, group and leisure travellers want to know they’re staying in a hotel that shares their commitment to protecting the environment, and AHLA is excited to enable and support its members’ ability to meet guest expectations by bringing Green Key Global certifications to branded and independent hotels across the U.S. and Cananda,” says Chip Rogers, president & CEO, AHLA. “The Hotel Association of Canada is a pioneer in this field, and we are excited to partner with them to empower hoteliers and guests while making hospitality more sustainable.”

“Through this partnership, Green Key Global will unite the hotel industry behind a North American standard of sustainable certification,” says Susie Grynol, president & CEO, HAC. “Our best-in-class program will allow hotels to exceed the expectations of their eco-conscious travellers through a third-party validation of their sustainable practices. There is much to celebrate here.”

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