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HI sustainability labels



The Austrian Ecolabel stands for higher living standards and environmental quality, clear and transparent information, highly informative environmental policy in ownership of companies and organisations, and high-level co-operation with excellent facilities.


The Bay Area Green Business Program distinguishes small businesses that protect, preserve and sustain our environment.

Their partnership of environmental agencies and utilities assists, offers incentives, and verifies that participating businesses conserve energy and water, minimise waste, prevent pollution, and shrink their carbon footprints.

Businesses that meet their standards are officially recognised as Bay Area Green Businesses.


‘Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme’, otherwise known as CEMARS, is the first two steps of the ‘carboNZero’ programme, which enables businesses and organisations to measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, understand their carbon liabilities and put in place management plans to reduce emissions in their organisation and through their supply chain.


Climate Action Business is awarded to businesses that have undertaken a set of adaption and emissions reduction actions but are not necessarily measuring their carbon footprint.


It goes without saying that a bicycle is the most sustainable and environmental way of getting around and exploring your destination. In Denmark it is no different and with more than 10,000 km of cycle routes it is the perfect way to see all that Denmark has to offer. Hostels that display the ‘Cycling Denmark’ logo have been approved by The Danish Tourist Board as a cycle-friendly accommodation.


This initiative rewards commitment to environmental best practice providing property managers with a common-sense system for reducing their environmental impact. The accreditation is based on assessment criteria in Energy Efficiency, Waste Minimisation & Management, Water Minimisation and Guest Education.

Eco-Friendly STAR Accreditation is tailored specifically for the accommodation industry. The Standards used were developed by AAA Tourism in partnership with GREEN GLOBE - the internationally recognised performance improvement program for the tourism industry.


The Eco-Lighthouse Foundation offers environmental certification that helps private and public enterprises conduct profitable and environmental-friendly operations. Eco-Lighthouse is a Norwegian public certificate and the scheme is supported and recommended by the Ministry of the Environment.


Since its introduction in 1999, the ecolabel « EcoLabel pour les établissements touristiques » is solidly anchored in Luxembourg’s tourism industry. There are currently 42 certified buildings for their environmentally respectful management: hotels, camping sites, group facilities (amongst which hostels). Today, approximately 8% of all touristic establishments of Luxembourg are certified by this national ecolabel.


The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travellers to choose and experience genuine and authentic accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.


ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA)

Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) encourages and publicises fair and responsible business practice by South African tourism establishments. They do this by offering a certification programme (and supporting activities) that endorses tourism establishments that meet stringent criteria, fair wages and working conditions, fair operations, purchasing and distribution of benefits, ethical business practice and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.


Fairtrade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers and workers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalised by the conventional trading system. Fairtrade is a tool for development that ensures disadvantaged farmers and workers in developing countries get a better deal through the use of the international FAIRTRADE Mark.

GODADGANG. Danish accessibility association

GodAdGang is a Danish quality label that provides information to users about accessibility. The Accessibility Label is granted in one or more of seven disability categories. Service providers who have been granted an Accessibility Label meet the minimum accessibility requirements in one or more of the seven categories.


To make it easier for travellers to go for a greener choice, some of the hostels In Iceland are specially labelled as a Green Hostel. These dedicated hostels have all shown their commitment to nature in the running of their hostels. All HI Iceland hostels must fulfil General Quality Standards, and to be able to use the Green Hostel logo the hostels also have to fulfil additional environmental criteria. It is important to note that this is not a recognised environmental certification but standards that HI Iceland decides and supervises, with the professional support of a consulting agency which audits the hostels.

Green Key Eco-Rating Program logo


Green Key Global is an environmental certification body whose suite of industry standard programmes and resources has been designed specifically for the lodging and meetings industries. Our programmes help members leverage organisational CSR activities to support sustainable initiatives, improve overall fiscal performance and community relations.


‘Green Tourism Business Scheme’, otherwise known as GTBS, is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Originally developed in partnership with Visit Scotland, it is now the only certification scheme validated by Visit Britain, through the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT). Businesses opting to join Green Tourism are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas, like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more. Those businesses that meet the required standard, receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on their level of achievement.

HI-Q - HI's Quality Certified Hostels

HI-Q, the HI Quality Management System, complements the well-established HI Assured Standards, and focuses on hostel management and operations. It takes ‘best practice’ from quality systems around the world and tailors them to the specific needs of hostels.

HI-Q enables hostels to consistently improve and deliver high standards to ensure you have a great hostel experience. HI-Q is a long-term programme that is now being implemented in HI hostels around the world. Only those hostels which successfully complete the programme will be certified and able to display the distinctive HI-Q logo – look out for it in the hostels you visit over the coming months.

HI-Q&S - HI's Quality & Sustainability Certified Hostels

HI-Q&S (Hostelling International Quality & Sustainability) stands for a commitment to provide an experience of high quality, with a positive effect on local economy, communities and the environment. The accreditation is based on assessment criteria aiming to: demonstrate effective sustainable management; maximise social and economic benefits to the local community, cultural heritage and environment and minimise negative impacts; conserve biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes. The HI-Q&S standards engage hostellers in a viable, equitable and bearable way of travelling that supports HI’s mission. The HI-Q&S standards are also recognized by the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council).

See the audit list for this label here


The leading Swiss label for sustainability « ibex fairstay » (formerly « Steinbock-Label ») stands for personally and independently tested quality in the fields of management, economic efficiency, ecology, social awareness, as well as for regional and cultural engagement, and in this way for sustainable experiences during your vacation.

ISO 14000-14001

ISO 14000 is a series of international standards for environmental management. It provides a framework for the development of an environmental management system and the supporting audit programme.


The KRAV-label is the most well-known symbol in Sweden for organically produced food. The KRAV-label on a food product shows that it has been produced in an environmentally-friendly and ethical way.


MINERGIE® is a sustainability brand for new and refurbished buildings. It is mutually supported by the Swiss Confederation, the Swiss Cantons along with Trade and Industry and is registered in Switzerland and around the world.


myclimate is amongst the world leaders when it comes to voluntary carbon offsetting measures. Science-based and market-oriented, myclimate offers a comprehensive package of services for offsetting in accordance with the principles of "avoid – reduce – offset" and "do the best and offset the rest".


‘Qualmark New Zealand Limited’ is New Zealand tourism's official quality agency. It licenses professional and trustworthy tourism businesses in New Zealand to use the Qualmark 'tourism's official quality mark' to help international and domestic travellers select places to stay, things to do and ways to get around. All businesses carrying the Qualmark logo are assessed on their environmental performance in terms of energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, community activities and conservation initiatives.

Santa Monica Green Business Certification

The City of Santa Monica, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Works have joined together to certify and recognize green businesses in our community.

STEP Eco-Certified

Sustainable Travel International offers the Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP) which is seen as the gold standard in the travel and tourism industry. The STEP Eco-Certification Standard is formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the internal body for sustainable tourism accreditation. STEP provides an educational foundation and practical framework for implementing a holistic sustainability management system appropriate for the size, scale, and scope of business operations related to travel and tourism. All STEP certified businesses have successfully completed a rigorous process which involves completing a self-assessment, developing a sustainability policy, and conducting triple bottom line impact assessments. Evidence is subject to verification of a specific set of criteria as determined by the businesses operations. At a minimum, 20 sustainability best practices have been verified by a second or third party and an independent evaluation committee has confirmed the findings and awarded eco-certification.


The Green Key® is a worldwide eco-label awarded to leisure organisations. To obtain The Green Key, a business has to fulfil a list of environmental requirements based on a number of set criteria.


‘Nature’s Best’ certifies ethical, high quality nature tours in Sweden. It was the first national quality label for ecotourism in the northern hemisphere designed to offer the traveller an unforgettable nature experience. It combines responsible nature conservation with more environmentally friendly ways of travelling that care for cultural heritage, local community and the environment.


The Swan is a world-leading Ecolabel with stringent environmental and climate criteria for 65 product groups. With more than 900 Swedish companies that market more than 6,500 Nordic Ecolabelled products, the Nordic Ecolabel is in a class by itself. The purpose was to provide consumers with a tool (our Nordic Ecolabel logo) to help them choose among the best, from an environmental standpoint, products on the market. Criteria is developed by using a life-cycle analysis. That means that we judge the environmental effects a product has from several aspects: energy and water usage, kinds of chemicals used, recycling and reuse of waste products.


Viabono certifies accommodation in Germany. The German HI Hostels that are Viabono certified fulfil strict requirements including high standards for customer value and environment compatibility, which ensures a high quality of "natural travel and enjoyment". The list of criteria includes the conservation of resources in terms of waste, energy, water and climate as well as the protection of nature and the countryside.