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Demystifying the Netherlands’ Green Key Eco-Certification
April 21, 2011 0 Comments Eco-Certifications
The Netherlands, best known for its tulips, wooden shoes, windmills and canals, also has its own eco-label for environmentally friendly businesses called the Green Key (formerly called the Milieubarometer).
Originally created in 1998, the Green Key focuses on “internal and external communications, sustainability in the management of the company, use of energy, gas and water, waste management, transport, food & beverage, gardening, sustainable measures in the office, paper usage, type of printing, and sustainable procurement.” Green Key is administered by the Mark Foundation for Environment, Safety and Quality (KMVK), which encourages entrepreneurs in the tourism industry to improve the sustainable quality and safety of their businesses.
The eco certification is open to all types of tourism businesses and was originally based on the principles of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and the international Green Key standards thereby maintaining criteria for:
In order to be awarded the Netherlands’ Green Key certification, a tourism business must implement the minimum environmental standards and be in compliance with national environmental legislation. The certified level (bronze, silver or gold) is determined by the number of optional measures also implemented.
There are five steps for a tour operator to be awarded the Green Key certification: