Travel Sustainably with the EU Ecolabel
Have you ever checked-in to an eco-friendly hotel only to find no tangible difference in environmental practices between that and a standard hotel? Finding sustainable travel experiences shouldn’t be left to chance. Tourism is one of the largest growing economies in the world and studies show that most travelers want a greener stay. The best way to ensure you don’t fall prey to a greenwashing marketing scheme, is to familiarize yourself with the top eco-friendly labels, such as the EU Ecolabel.
What is an EU Ecolabel?
Unlike the other popular sustainable certificates – The European Union’s label is a government backed certificate that is used throughout the EU as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. In 1992 when the EU Ecolabel began, it was geared toward consumer products and sustainable travel was added later. Today there are over 77,000 products that are certified and 385 travel businesses. These products range from electrical appliances to paints, textiles, cleaning products and 23 others. You may even notice that some of the supplies in your room, like a mattress or toiletries, are also certified through an EU Ecolabel.
The purpose of the EU ecolabel is to protect fragile environments, biodiversity, and communities that call these destinations home. This is done through the implementation of 22 required criteria points, and an additional 20 other standards. This criterion is centered on limiting energy and water consumption, and reducing waste, food, and C02 of accommodations like hotels, bed & breakfasts, youth hostels, guest houses, resorts, and more.
How does the EU Ecolabel work?
With the EU Ecolabel, travelers are guaranteed transparency and strict adherence to eco-friendly best practices. In order to gain the certification, businesses must undergo a three-step process that begins with a thorough internal assessment. The results of this evaluation are used to then make an action plan in which the travel company must remediate any problem areas. Finally, an independent audit takes place, and the company is awarded the ecolabel if they are able to meet the standards.
This transparency in the process of accreditation allows travelers to make informed decisions about where they will stay. Additionally, the short lifetime of the label (2-4 years) ensures that the accommodation is meeting up-to-date travel standards.
Where are EU Ecolabel accommodations?
The EU certificate is distinguishable from other eco-friendly labels because of their logo. Once a company becomes certified, they have access to the identifiable logo that can be used on their own website or products. As a traveler, if you see the logo on a company’s media, you can trust that they have been certified by a credible source.
Additionally, the EU website has a tourism catalog for accommodations and campsites where you can search by name, country, or address. Similarly, the products that are certified can be found here.
With over 400 sustainable certificates on the market today, it is becoming increasingly more important to recognize the top eco-labels in the industry. With EU ecolabel, you won’t have to worry about greenwashing and can enjoy your stay in an eco-friendly establishment.
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