The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) have signed a Letter of Intent to form a joint venture company that will own and operate the Green Key Global certification program in the United States and Canada. The announcement, made at the Lodging Conference in Phoenix, represents a pivotal moment for environmental action in the hotel industry.
Green Key Global is a North American environmental certification body for the hotel and lodging industry. Green Key’s certification 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 key 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 that will operate under the name Green Key Global to expand the success of the program in Canada into the U.S. hotel market. This will build upon on AHLA’s Responsible Stay initiative, launched in December 2022, which aligned AHLA member companies’ commitment around four key pillars of sustainability: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing.
HAC created the Green Key Global initiative in 1994 as a certifying body for hotels in Canada and abroad. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program has since achieved wide adoption across Canada, due to its ease of use and its tailored approach to improving the sustainability of hotel operations.
“Increasingly, business, group and leisure travelers 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,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “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,” said Susie Grynol, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada. “Our best-in-class program will allow hotels to exceed the expectations of their eco-conscious travelers through a third-party validation of their sustainable practices. There is much to celebrate here.”