– Certification Programme


Criteria by Sector Eco-label & Award Certification

The Programme is the only Irish developed environmental certification standard for the hospitality sector.  The Eco-label and Awards are recognised both nationally and internationally as standards that allow members achieve good environmental performance and allow visitors to choose “Greener” hospitality businesses knowing that defined criteria are being implemented and monitored.

Our members and award winners have set themselves the target to reduce their environmental footprint where possible.  Members aim to reduce carbon emissions by reducing energy consumption, preserve scarce water resources and minimise waste production.

Members are encouraged to protect and promote local biodiversity, buy locally where possible and encourage visitors to use local “green” businesses and services.  Visitors are encouraged to adopt a responsible approach to the environment without reducing the quality or enjoyment of their visit.

Members employees are encouraged and trained to implement and practice good stewardship within the business and our members publish annual plans and set targets to reduce the waste of scarce resources.

This is a voluntary programme that aims to develop leadership and best practice within the hospitality sector.

Our Criteria is happy to publish the criteria that our members must implement and achieve to gain certification.  Visitors & consumers can see that members follow a robust and demanding process and we welcome feedback from visitors regarding any of our members or about the programme or criteria.

To view the criteria for any of the hospitality businesses we certify click on the Criteria by Sector link at the top of the page currently offers membership and two types of awards;

- Membership – members join the programme and start a Resource Efficiency programme – if certification is also a key deliverable/target then they also commit to the programme charter 

- Eco-label – the first step towards Good & Best Practice – members implement a set of criteria and commence “Greening” their business

- Award – this is the target for all members – the award is challenging yet feasible and sets the business on the road towards best practice.  The Award has a number of levels;

- Silver Award – Good Practice

- Gold Award – Best Practice

- Platinum Award – (Hotels only) – World Class Best Practice

(The Green Hospitality Award is a Type 1 Eco-Label as defined by the ISO – International Organisation for Standardisation). 

Eco-tourism Label

In response to demand from the marketplace Green Hospitality introduced in 2014 an eco-tourism label for those products and services that deliver an eco-tourism experience.

Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990).  Words associated with eco-tourism include – small scale, built for purpose, experiential, minimal impact on the environment, educational, give back locally, fragile, pristine, natural areas, biodiversity, cultural heritage, natural habitats etc..

A key goal that all applicants should demonstrate to aspire to is…”through communication of verifiable and accurate information that is not misleading on environmental aspects of products and services, to encourage the demand for and supply of those products and services that cause less stress on the environment, thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement.” 

 Who are the Programmes for? 

All Hospitality Businesses can be certified to either the Eco-label or Award or the Eco-tourism label. The general principles for all members is to implement an Environmental Management System and this requires you to identify the environmental issues within your own business.

Green Hospitality will work with each sub-sector to tailor certification to suit each type of business, without losing the challenge and EMS criteria required to demonstrate compliance with Good Practice.

We invite members from the following sub-sectors:

  • Hotels and Guesthouses
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Bed & Breakfasts, Self Catering and other accommodation providers
  • Contract & Institutional Caterers
  • Leisure Centres, spas and other leisure facilities
  • Clubs and Golf Clubs
  • Campsites
  • Activity Providers and Tourism Attractions and Eco-tourism enterprises
  • Festivals and Events
  • …..we can certify almost any hospitality business…

We are also developing “Destination” programmes to promote good environmental management within;

- Tourism destinations – towns, regions etc