Responsible accommodation labels
Quality codes of practice and commitments to responsible tourism are expanding and become more widespread. Which is a proof of a genuine awareness and a fundamental shift in attitudes and mentalities. Below is a useful guide to finding your way around the existing labels.
European Ecolabel This European environmental label applies strict standards based on over 80 criteria, to reduce the main impacts of tourism accommodation on the environment. It aims to standardise strategies, which vary widely from country to country. Some thirty French hotels and holiday cottages are already holders of the label.
Gîte Panda This “ecotourism” label, a pioneer of its kind, was created in the context of a partnership between the Gîtes de France network of holiday cottages, France’s Regional Natural Parks and the WWF. The 280 Gîtes Panda are holiday cottages in the Gîtes de France network, located in a Regional Natural Park, to which the WWF awards its label if they meet three conditions: high-quality natural environment, nature observation equipment and specific information documents, and the owners’ commitment to preserve their environment.
Hôtels au Naturel The Hôtels au Naturel [‘Natural Hotels’] label was set up by the Regional Natural Parks. It is awarded to hotels that are set in outstanding natural areas and are committed to environmentally friendly practices aimed at reducing their impact on the environment.
Ecogîte Created in 2003 in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur (PACA) region, today 16 holiday cottages hold this label. The requirements include environmental criteria such as the use of local, healthy materials, the management of energy and water consumption, the use of renewable energies, waste management and customer awareness raising. A further forty potential label-holders are currently under consideration. The Ecogîte concept is yet to have a single website with details of all its accommodation.
La Clef Verte La Clef Verte [‘Green Key’] is an environmental management label that applies to different kinds of tourism accommodation. It has been managed by the Foundation for Environmental Education since 1998. To date, it has been awarded to over 240 campsites, 50 hotels and 20 bed & breakfasts.
Chouette Nature, by Cap France Awarded a Trophée du Tourisme Responsable [Responsible Tourism Award] in 2007 for an action plan in place since the year 2000, Cap France has been a major operator of holiday villages for the last 60 years. Today, 48 of its 104 villages bear the Chouette Nature [‘Cool Nature’] label for their environmental initiatives such as: selective waste sorting, biodegradable cleaning products, choice of local produce, and picnic packs made up of local produce and with no disposable packaging. An ISO 14001 standard has been drawn up by way of official recognition of these efforts, which is in the process of certification by AFNOR.
Green Globe The Green Globe is an international label that recognises hotels’ social and environmental strategies. Each hotel is evaluated according to eight performance criteria that will guarantee, among other things, better waste management, the reduction of pollution, and the control of water and energy consumption, thereby contributing to the fight against global warming. This label is yet to become very widespread in France.
Bio-HôtelsThis international hotel network is new to France, with a single adress at present : La Clairière, in Alsace.