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Frequently Asked Questions

General

Assessment and Audit

Travellers

Registering as a Green Key Global member is quick, easy, and can be completed online. Once registration is complete, you will receive an email confirming your login information and instructing you on how to access the online self-assessment.

For information on how to become a Green Key Global member, click here.

To meet the requirements in order to become certified through Green Key Global, you must answer all of the Mandatory Questions in a positive manner.

To see the mandatory questions, click here

Understanding that not all hotels offer food and beverage services or meeting facilities, a participating property is given the option to opt-out of one or both of these sections prior to beginning the self-assessment. The system is designed to adjust its calculations to ensure a hotel’s score is not affected by opting out of these sections.

The programs and offerings listed on this site are currently only available to hotels in Canada and the United States. If you are interested in obtaining sustainability certification and your hotel is not in our region, we urge you to connect with our international counterpart.

For more information on Green Key’s international counterpart, click here.

Congratulations, you’ve received your Green Key certification! The next step is to promote your sustainability initiatives to staff and guests and maintain and improve sustainable practices at your property. Refer to your personalized reports for tips on improving your rating. To access your toolkit with promotion and process resources, click here.

Green Key Global provides members with an ever-growing roster of tools to support a hotel in promoting its sustainability certification. To access these tools, click hereclick here. If you’d like to find out more about promoting your certification, contact us.

A GDS (Global Distribution System) is a worldwide conduit between travel bookers and suppliers, such as hotels and other accommodation providers. It communicates live product, price and availability data to travel agents and online booking engines and allows for automated transactions.

If you do not know your GDS codes, you can search for your property and retrieve your GDS codes easily here.

To enter your GDS codes into your profile, you must log into your account from the Green Key Global Member’s Area. Once logged in, go to the Account tab, and select Update Profile.From there, you scroll down to the Listing Agent Information heading and enter the GDS codes.
  • The chain code refers to the two letters at the beginning of the code ex.WW 485uvvd77
  • The property code refers to the rest of the letters and/or numbers listed ex. WW 89u4rry
  • If you do not have GDS codes (see above question on how to find them) type in NA in all the fields
For further assistance please contact us.

Your Green Key Global membership expires one (1) year from the time your property completes the registration. Approximately 60 days prior to your expiry date, you will be issued a renewal reminder along with instructions for keeping your membership up-to-date. For further details please contact us.

Your login and password can be automatically retrieved by supplying us with the email address associated with your account.

If you require assistance, please contact us and a member of the Green Key Global team will be happy to help.

You can update the information on the profile at any point by logging in to the Member’s Area and selecting “update a profile”.

For more staff onboarding assistance as it relates to Green Key Global, click here.

Sustainability claims are verified during the rigorous assessment and audit process. During the assessment, a property must require documentation for many of the questions to ensure accuracy and validity in the answers.

A mandatory audit is then conducted and must be re-done every 3 years to verify the claims made during the assessment process and provide an accurate score for the property.

Watch this self-assessment walkthrough video

Watch this video on what to expect when preparing for your audit.

Members are strongly encouraged to involve their green, environmental, or sustainability staff or committees (if applicable), as well as the head of each major department. Involving these individuals ensures that the answers provided are consistent and accurate across the entire self-assessment.

The Green Key Eco-Rating Self-Assessment consists of approximately 215
questions related to various areas of sustainable hotel operations. Each question
has been assigned a specific point value based on the environmental and social
impacts a particular action has and its associated impact on guests, employees,
management, and the local community.

Green Key Rating:

  • 1 Green Key – 1% – 19.9%
  • 2 Green Keys – 20% – 39.9%
  • 3 Green Keys – 40% – 59.9%
  • 4 Green Keys – 60% – 79.9%
  • 5 Green Keys – 80% – 100%

It is important to recognize that Green Key Global ratings are awarded based on a percentage range and not every hotel in a specific rating level will be doing exactly the same things. For example, one 3 Key property may have recycling bins in each guest room; another 3 Key property may not have recycling bins in each room but staff separate recyclables from the garbage in the back-of-house area.

In a situation where the question states documentation is required, you must submit a file in order to properly answer the question. If you have a URL instead of documentation, you may add that URL to a document (such as a Word document) and submit the file.
You do not need to complete the assessment in one session, you can pause at any point and return to it when you are ready. Your progress will be saved, but ensure you click save before closing the assessment. There can also be multiple users completing the assessment at the same time.

You can re-take the online assessment as many times as you would like before submitting for an audit. However, once you have submitted for the audit the assessment is locked and you can no longer make any changes. If you have any more questions regarding the audit process, contact us.

Once you have paid for the audit your assessment is locked in and an audit will be scheduled within 90 to 120 days. Before the date of the audit, the auditor will review your submitted documentation. During the audit, the auditor will go through all of your assessment questions with you, then do a walkthrough of the building including guest rooms and areas of operation. If virtual, you will require a phone or tablet and a virtual conferencing program (ie. Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or Teams). Within two weeks of the audit completion, you will receive a finalized eco-rating score, a performance report with specific recommendations for your property, and your certification and personalized certificate will be made available.

Audits help Green Key Global to verify the validity of the hotel’s self-assessment. In both cases, hotels are expected to upload supporting documentation prior to signing up for an audit. A virtual audit is hosted using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Teams or Google Meet. An in-person audit involves a verifier traveling to the hotel to complete the audit. Both audits are conducted with the same level of rigour.

Note that Green Key Global recommends a virtual audit as it is more cost‑effective and better for the planet as there is no carbon footprint associated with it.

The price of the audit varies based on if a virtual or an in-person audit is selected. A virtual audit costs $600$500$500 and an in-person audit costs $2,500 to accommodate for travel costs and carbon offsets.

For hotels outside of Quebec, there is a choice between a virtual or on-site audit.
Hotels in Quebec are advised to complete an on-site audit.

Virtual audits generally take up to 4 hours. Of course, the time spent by the auditor will depend on multiple factors such as the preparation of the audited facility and/or if the hotel includes additional areas within the scope of the audit (i.e. conference rooms, food and beverage, etc.)
On-site audits will take up to 8 hours. Auditor will send an audit plan in advance with the detailed agenda of the activities to be covered during the assessment.
The person responsible for completing the Eco-Rating self-assessment, plus the representatives of each area included in the audit plan.
Documents will need to be submitted before or during the audit. Once the audit is finalized, the process will be considered closed.
Yes, all members will need to be audited to receive their certification. The audit will need to be re-done every 3 years in order to keep up-to-date with the latest sustainability standards.
Once your self-assessment is final, you may select and pay for your audit in the “Audit Payment” tab of your Pre-Audit Checklist. Once the payment has been received, you may access the “Request Audit” tab to schedule your audit. Please note that the self- assessment questionnaire will be locked after the audit type has been selected.
Once a member has been audited, they will receive their official certification within 10 days. A property is not considered certified until the audit has been completed and the results have been sent.
Once the results have been finalized, the certificate will be sent to the member via email along with a performance report detailing accomplishments and how to improve the property’s sustainability performance. The certificate will also be updated and re-sent annually on the first of January and can be accessed at any point on the Green Key Global Members Area by clicking “Download Your Certificate”. You can also purchase a custom plaque made from sustainable wood to display your eco-rating in your hotel. More information can be found here – need link to plaque page. If you require assistance, please contact us and a member of the Green Key Global team will be happy to help.

There is no set time limit to complete the process. You can take as long as you need to complete the assessment and schedule the audit. Ensure you save progress along the way if you are completing over a period of time.

Note that your certification is not valid until the assessment and audit process is complete.

You can re-take the assessment and audit as frequently as you would like,however, it is mandatory to re-take every 3 years for your certification to remain valid.

Should you wish to re-take before the 3 years, you will still need to pay for the requested audit.
To re-take the assessment, log in to the Member’s Area and click “Start Assessment” on the dashboard, and will be prompted to either click “Retake Assessment” or “Begin Assessment”.  Once completed, you will be prompted to review the documentation submitted. You can then request an audit which will be booked within 90 days of the request. Note that previous assessment answers will be carried forward so you will only need to answer the new questions, though it is recommended that you review them to ensure the answers are still accurate.
Reminder: Your Green Key rating is not official until the audit has been completed.
Questions about the audit process should be directed to: administration@greenkeyglobal.com
To find a Green Key Rated hotel where you are looking to travel, we invite you to explore the interactive directory, available here. Look out for the properties with a sustainable filter on booking apps and websites, many of these properties are also Green Key certified!

A property that is certified through Green Key Global has met our standards which are continuously revised and improved to be aligned with latest sustainability standards.

A property certified through Green Key Global regularly goes through s rigorous assessment and audit process in which they are assessed in the following areas:

  • Energy conservation
  • Water conservation
  • Solid waste management
  • Hazardous waste management
  • Indoor air quality
  • Community outreach
  • Building infrastructure
  • Land use
  • Environmental management

For more information on what it means for a hotel to be certified by Green Key Global, click here

Sustainability claims are verified during the rigorous assessment and audit process that a hotel completes during registration and re-takes every 3 years. During the assessment, a property must require documentation for many of the questions to ensure accuracy and validity in the answers. A mandatory audit is then conducted and must be re-done every 3 years to verify the claims made during the assessment process and provide an accurate score for the property.

The Green Key Global programs are designed to assist a hotel in determining its current environmental footprint. How a hotel chooses to use the information and recommendations presented in its final report is left to its discretion.

Guest satisfaction is the foundation of the hotel industry. The majority of hotels take customer feedback to heart and have processes in place for timely and effective responses. If you have comments, feedback or suggestions as to how the property could improve its initiatives take some time to complete the customer comment forms, leave a letter, send them an email or ask to speak with the General Manager or Customer Service Manager. Feel free to ask about the hotel’s environmental initiatives if you can’t find information on their website or the in-room directory. Any hotel that is proud of its initiatives will be more than happy to share their successes and challenges with you.

Comments and/or complaints about rated hotels sent to Green Key Global will be filed and retrieved when the hotel due for an audit.

Travelling can have a significant carbon footprint and community impact if travellers aren’t taking the correct measures to ensure they are responsible travellers. We have created an Eco-Responsible traveller guide to assist you in making the best choices for the planet and local communities you visit. To access, click here.