Pestana Hotel Group receives international awards for the sustainability of its hotels and pousadas

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The Green Key certificate, which are part of the UN’s sustainability goals and awarded in Portugal by the European Blue Flag Association, distinguished the group’s units on the Portuguese mainland and islands for the environmental protection strategy adopted under the sustainability programme ‘Pestana Planet Guest’.

Pestana Hotel Group’s (PHG) hotels and pousadas were awarded in the 2023 edition of the international Green Key tourism sustainability programme. Collecting the results of ‘Pestana Planet Guest’, a sustainability programme that advocates that we are only guests of the planet, Pestana Hotel Group received 58 of the 268 awards given in Portugal to hotels and inns, restaurants, congress centre, youth hostels, local accommodation, rural tourism, among others.

“The Green Key certification of the results of our sustainability strategy makes us very proud,” says Luís Castanheira Lopes, Executive Committee Member of the Pestana Hotel Group. “The preservation of nature, the good use of existing resources, as well as respect for the environment and support for local communities, are key pillars of our ‘Pestana Planet Guest’ programme, which have been the basis of PHG’s Sustainability policy from the beginning. These awards represent the recognition of the practices that we have been increasingly implementing in all of our units”, emphasises Luís Castanheira Lopes.

Portugal is one of the 60 countries that develop the Green Key Programme, promoting sustainable tourism through it. The programme’s coordination in the country is carried out by the European Blue Flag Association, which distinguishes tourist establishments whose practices respect environmental and social criteria and value Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), a programme implemented since 1992 by UNESCO.

An international award aligned with the UN strategy to combat climate change, the Green Key origins are in the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an entity created at the UN Climate Conference in 1981, based on criteria recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The high relevance of sustainability in tourism has been taken up in global organizations, mainly through the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, of which FEE is a signatory. In line with the Glasgow Declaration’s commitment to reduce emissions from the tourism industry by at least 50% within a decade, the largest Portuguese hotel group has a set of actions ongoing within ‘Pestana Planet Guest’, including, among others, the use of wastewater, replacement of equipment under the principle of energy saving, reduction of consumption and emissions in the group’s hotels and pousadas and the installation of renewable energy equipment.