The Brussels tourism sector is joining forces to strengthen and expand the sustainability label, Green Key, in Brussels-Capital Region. In receiving this recognition, The Hotel becomes the 34th Brussels establishment with Green Key.
GoodPlanet, Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW), visit.brussels and the Brussels Hotel Association (BHA) are joining forces to further promote Green Key in Brussels. Currently, 20% of all hotel rooms in Brussels stands out with a Green Key label. A number of distinctive Brussels event venues and meeting rooms has also received the label, in collaboration with Brussels Special Venues (BSV). The programme, and this new collaboration, was presented in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Brussels-Capital Region government, Rudi Vervoort, in The Hotel, which received the label for the first time in 2019.
Large-scale label for sustainable tourism expands
The label is far and away the largest in the tourism sector, internationally, with 2,900 locations in 56 countries.
There are now 239 Green Key locations in Belgium: 34 in Brussels (20% of the hotel rooms) 69 in Wallonia and 136 in Flanders. This puts our country near the top of the class, but there is still room to grow.
That’s why GoodPlanet, Inter-Environnement Wallonie, visit.brussels, BHA and BSV are launching a new programme to promote the label and support the Brussels candidates. In April and May, interested operators can take part in workshops which will prepare them for acquiring the label.
What Brussels tourism players say
Rudi Vervoort, Prime Minister of the Brussels-Capital Region government: “Brussels is an open city which welcomes everyone and in which the quality of life is above average. My task, as Prime Minister, is to implement a policy which benefits as many people as possible, while safeguarding the well-being of the residents of Brussels.”
Rodolphe Van Weyenbergh, Secretary General of BHA: “This public-private partnership is essential for the development of sustainable tourism, one of the priorities for our sector. The Green Key label is the international benchmark when it comes to tourist accommodations. The fact that this programme is being given an extra impulse in Brussels is very good news for both tourists and residents of the city.”
Patrick Bontinck, CEO of visit.brussels: “As a central pivot of the tourism sector in Brussels, visit.brussels is keen to support sustainability initiatives. The international Green Key programme is a great example of that. The initiative improves the competitive position of Brussels SMEs and gives tourism operators the chance to engage within a sustainable and concrete framework.
Jo Van Cauwenberge, director of GoodPlanet Belgium: “Green Key highlights the commitment of sustainable accommodations, attractions and meeting rooms. You can’t just get a Green Key label. Operators worldwide have to meet more than 100 criteria in energy, nutrition, mobility…”
Christophe Schoune, Secretary General of IEW: “The increasing number of companies with a Green Key label proves that sustainability can be achieved at a tourism level. By choosing an accommodation with a Green Key label, tourists and business travellers are reducing their CO2 emissions and demonstrating their commitment to preserving the planet.”
New website shows tourists the way
A staycation, holidaying in your own country, is gaining in popularity. Holidaying in your own country is more sustainable, because there are no great distances being travelled. It is less stressful, less expensive and it supports the local economy.
GoodPlanet and IEW developed a tool to help tourists easily find a sustainable accommodation in Belgium. Organic breakfast, paying with ecocheques or easily accessible by train? Tourists looking to travel sustainably will find Green Key locations to meet their expectations, through a search module. The locations are also clearly shown on a map.
According to The Hotel, “everyone has a part to play in limiting climate change and we all have to reduce our carbon footprint in order to leave a decent world behind for the future generation.” In view of that, The Hotel Brussels decided to partially produce its own electricity, for example, through cogeneration, saving energy in the process. They took other sustainability measures too, and were awarded the Green Key label. The Hotel intends to go a step further than simply doing business sustainably; they want to raise awareness in their guests about the subject too.
The Hotel is a first-class hotel with a breathtaking view across Brussels from its height of 94 metres. The 420 rooms are furnished in streamlined, contemporary design. The location, in the upper part of the city, is ideal and allows you to undertake many tourist activities in the surrounding area.
There are other amenities available in the establishment: 12 meeting rooms on the 1st, 25th, 26th and 27th floors (including the Grand Ballroom, which accommodates a maximum of 400 people), a restaurant with a weekly menu and creative cuisine, a bar, a sports hall and an Urban Spa. Get ready for an exceptional stay in Brussels!
The Hotel has taken the following sustainability initiatives:
- Production of own electricity through a cogeneration unit, which provides a significant saving in primary energy and facilitates a reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases;
- The implementation of an external energy audit and other measures for the reduction of energy consumption: restricted outside lighting, movement sensors, automatic lighting system, electrical equipment and devices with energy labels of at least A and A++++, automatic stand-by on electrical equipment;
- Composting of organic waste;
- Incentive for active mobility: bike rental;
- Wheelchair access;
- Dual-flush toilets;
- Products with an eco-label for use in dishwashers and washing machines;
- Use of dispensers; no individual packaging of soap/shampoo;
- Use of ecological and biodegradable soap/shampoo;
- Use of microfibre cloths to reduce use of water and chemicals;
- Initiatives around sustainable food: buying food from a Belgian producer, heritage vegetables and lesser-known fish sorts on the menu, attention to seasons and labels;
- Supporting environmental or social activities at a local level.
Green Key laureates in Brussels
|Guesthouses||Living in Brûsel, Urban B&B|
|Meeting locations||Bond Beter Leefmilieu Vlaanderen vzw|
|Meeting locations||Bluepoint Brussels|
|Meeting locations||Théatre Le Plaza|
|Meeting locations||The Event Lounge|
|Meeting locations||Tour et Taxis – Entrepôt Royal|
|Meeting locations||Tour et Taxis Hotel de la Poste|
|Youth accommodation||Brussels Hello Hostel|
|Youth accommodation||Auberge de Jeunesse de Bruxelles – Génération Europe|
|Youth accommodation||Auberge des 3 Fontaines|
|Youth accommodation||Gîte d’étape – Auberge de jeunesse Jacques Brel|
|Youth accommodation||Sleep Well Youth Hostel|
|Hotels||NH Brussels Bloom|
|Hotels||Holiday Inn Brussels Schuman|
|Hotels||Agora Brussels Grand Place|
|Hotels||Aloft Brussels Schuman Hotel|
|Hotels||Crowne Plaza Brussels|
|Hotels||Martin’s Brussels EU|
|Hotels||NH Brussels Collection Brussels Grand Sablon|
|Hotels||NH Brussels EU Berlaymont|
|Hotels||Park Inn By Radisson Brussels Midi|
|Hotels||Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie|
|Hotels||Thon Hotel EU|
|Hotels||Dolce La Hulpe Brussels|
|Hotels||Hilton Brussels City|
|Hotels||Hilton Brussels Grand Place|
|Hotels||Radisson Blu Royal|
|Hotels||Radisson Red Brussels|
Green Key has been showing the way to sustainable tourism, recreation and meeting rooms for 13 years already. Green Key is an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
Since its launch in Brussels, the programme has been supported by the Brussels Hotel Association (BHA) and Brussels Special Venues (BSV) and coordinated by the Fédération Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW). The IEW will be working in future together with GoodPlanet Belgium, with the support of visit.brussels.
GoodPlanet Belgium coordinates Green Key in Flanders, with the support of Toerisme Vlaanderen. In Wallonia, Green Key is coordinated by IEW, with the support of the Minister for Tourism and the Commissariaat-generaal voor toerisme.
Since 1997, GoodPlanet Belgium has been inspiring young and old to work towards a sustainable society, by initiating positive actions and sharing expertise. GoodPlanet develops and supervises projects, training and educative tools for all sustainability themes. The 80 staff members reach more than 500,000 children, teenagers and adults throughout all of Belgium each year.
Inter-Environnement Wallonie, a federation of environmental associations, was founded in 1971. It represents almost 150 associations of varying types and sizes. The diversity is extremely rich and encompasses local, regional and even international associations. IEW strives for better air quality in cities, protection and recovery of eco-systems, environmental education, citizens’ cooperatives, sustainable food, ‘soft’ mobility and sustainable tourism. They work on the legal framework and search for solutions for speeding up the ecological and solidarity transition.
Visit Brussels is the Brussels Tourism Agency. The agency was given the task of strengthening the imago of Brussels-Capital Region. Visit.brussels aims to promote Brussels locally and internationally as the capital of 500 million Europeans; a ‘global city’ in which more than 180 nationalities co-exist and make Brussels a cosmopolitan city which resonates with the rest of the world.