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North American hotel brands increasingly move toward sustainability certification to strengthen commitment to environmental wellbeing


Major hotel companies are in collaboration with Green Key Global, as AHLA and HAC solidify partnership deal to expand further into U.S. and Canada

OTTAWA, ON. (April 2, 2024) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced today that Green Key Global, the sustainability certification body for hotels, is now jointly operated by the associations in the U.S. and Canada.

A roster of hotel companies across the continent, including Accor, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Highgate, Hyatt, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and more, continue to lead the way as some of Green Key Global’s partners committed to sustainability through their involvement with the third-party certification program.

HAC created Green Key Global in 1994 to certify hotels’ environmental sustainability policies and processes, and its certification criteria are aligned with all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Hotels complete a robust assessment and audit process to measure their performance in areas such as energy and water conservation, land use, hazardous and solid waste management, indoor air quality, and more.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Green Key Global to advance our sustainability efforts,” said Denise Naguib, Marriott International Global Vice President of Sustainability and Supplier Diversity. “Marriott International and Green Key Global’s agreement will help support our properties in the U.S. and Canada as they pursue a third-party sustainability certification that demonstrates dedication to environmental stewardship.”

The AHLA and HAC partnership is crucial for the industry, as sustainability is increasingly shaping the behavior of leisure, business, and group travelers. Green Key Global programming is designed to give credibility to the sustainability initiatives properties are already undertaking, while equipping them with a plan for continued improvement.

The partnership builds on AHLA’s Responsible Stay® initiative, which underscores AHLA member companies’ long-standing and growing commitment to energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing.

“We are excited to see the momentum with the Green Key Global platform as we enter this partnership with HAC. This is an opportunity for AHLA to continue to do what we do best, supporting and educating our members on key factors influencing their business day in and day out,” said AHLA Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey. “This is a vital time for hoteliers, and AHLA is proud to be partnering with HAC to meet the moment.”

“This is an important milestone,” said Susie Grynol, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, “as we are not only expanding the footprint of the Green Key Global brand, but also the opportunity for the industry to lead the way towards monumental shift and environmental impact, with a best-in-class program that is affordable, measurable and accessible for all hotels.”

About Green Key Global

Green Key Global, established in 1994 by the Hotel Association of Canada, is a leading environmental certification body designed specifically for the hotel industry. Best-in-class Green Key Global third-party certification programming leverages corporate social responsibility and environmental social governance, supporting sustainable initiatives across the industry to benefit the environment and improve fiscal performance. By aligning with all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Green Key Global sets a comprehensive standard for eco-friendly practices. For more information on Green Key Global:

About HAC
The Hotel Association of Canada is the leading voice of the Canadian Hotel & Lodging industry. For over 110 years, it has worked to enhance the prosperity of the industry through strong member engagement, effective advocacy, and the provision of value-added programs and services. The Hotel Association represents more than 8,200 hotels, motels and resorts that encompass the $20.8 billion Canadian hotel industry which employs over 300,000 people across Canada. For more information, please visit

About AHLA

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the largest hotel association in America, representing more than 30,000 members from all segments of the industry nationwide – including iconic global brands, 80% of all franchised hotels, and the 16 largest hotel companies in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at