Here's our crib sheet to some of the international standards for environmentally friendly facilities:

Green Key

An international eco-label for tourism, it is awarded as a diploma to hotels, conference centers, restaurants, and other businesses that meet technical, management, and communication criteria. On-site checks are performed regularly. At press time, hotels in Denmark, Estonia, France, Greenland, Lithuania, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Portugal had achieved Green Key status.

Green Globe

A worldwide benchmarking, certification, and improvement system, Green Globe bestows “benchmarked” status to buildings in the tourism industry that commit to a standard of excellence in energy and water consumption, total waste reduction, and community commitment, as determined by its earthcheck measures. There are three status levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Green Globe now certifies properties in more than 42 countries.

Green Leaf (Canada)

The Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program for all types of accommodations facilities is an education and eco-rating program offered jointly by Audubon International and TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council; certifications now available for existing buildings. The gold standard in the U.S., it certifies that buildings meet standards of energy efficiency, conservation, and sensitivity to locale.

Green Star

Given by the Green Building Council Australia, Green Star is a voluntary rating program that evaluates the environmental design and achievements of buildings.

Green Tourism Business Scheme

In the U.K., businesses meet criteria in the areas of waste, water, and energy and are given a bronze, silver, or gold award.

Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas

Eco-Index Sustainable Tourism Network features businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been deemed environmentally friendly by reputable environmental organizations and/or ecotourism certification programs.