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Is your hotel greenwashing or do you have doubts about the transparency and green claims of your suppliers and certifications?



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We are hoteliers working with hoteliers!

"The green key to achieving true hotel sustainability and avoiding greenwashing is to understand very well that Sustainability is not a logo on the façade of your Hotel! Sustainability is what you do! and must be demonstrated by continuous improvement and working only with verified and trusted companies".

Andres Fellenberg Van der Molen,
Green Partner Director & Senior Lead Auditor

We bring your hotel to real green operations

10 years serving sustainable hospitality

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Have you not yet decided on the right supplier and certification for your hotel?

Green Partner is committed to real hotel sustainability, and we are very aware and knowledgeable about practices that harm our sector. We know what is good and bad, how to improve and how to correct!

Just one question: Are you 100% sure that you are not “greenwashing” your hotel’s image with the claims and transparency given by your suppliers and hotel green certificate? This is a question you should be able to answer without hesitation! Don’t you know the answer?

He will personally respond to you.

Who is Green Partner?

Green Partner was founded by hoteliers to work with hoteliers, which means we understand your challenges and strengths, as well as what your hotel can achieve.

We are specialists in sustainability, certification, ESG, CSR, internal and third-party audits, all delivered with a no-nonsense hotel approach.

Green Partner is led by Dutch hotelier Andres Fellenberg Van der Molen, known in the international hotel industry for his passion and commitment to continuous improvement, resource optimisation and his diligence as Lead Auditor in Hotel Sustainability, appointed by several accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies – CABs.

With almost 30 years of experience in the hotel sector, 10 of them linked to the exciting world of sustainability, and considering the need for a fundamental change in the way hotels are managed, in 2014, Green Partner was born in the Netherlands, a company focused on all aspects of hotel sustainability, hotel certification, hotel energy efficiency, hotel circular economy, hotel zero waste, hotel CSR,  hotel ESG and hotel SDGs.

Do you want to know more about our director?

Does your hotel face challenges in terms of sustainability, green claims and certification?

Green Partner services & solutions


You tell us what you do and claim about sustainability. Green Partner will define whether you are Greenwashing or not.


You pose us with the problem. Green Partner proposes solutions, and you find out how to implement them.


You know you have a problem. Identified or not. But you need someone to accompany you on the way to achieve your goals. Green Partner will be your mentor and help you to find alternatives and solutions.

Internal Audit

You feel that your hotel is not working correctly and something is wrong, but you don’t know exactly what it is. Green Partner will do an Internal Audit and find out what is wrong.

Now that you know who we are...
What can we do for you?

Maybe you need help or advice…

  • in choosing the correct certification?

  • on how to implement a certification?

  • with implementing sustainability?

  • to establish your hotel’s baseline with a scan or internal audit?

  • to train your staff on hotel sustainability and raise awareness?

  • to save money quickly with little or no investment?

  • to reveal if your hotel is falling into greenwashing?

  • to report genuine green claims and boost your hotel’s image?

  • with ESG and CSR reporting?

Let's get together and talk about your hotel!

Time for a Non-binding Green talk?

lets talk about hotel sustainability

Beware of hotel greenwashing!
It's closer than you think!

The first suspect are green hotel certifications. There are green hotel programs that look, smell, sound and even taste like certification, but they are not! Don't take any risks, choose your green hotel certification correctly!

5 check points to verify.

If any of these points cannot be clarified with concrete evidence, we can conclude that your hotel needs to take strict and quick measures against Greenwashing in order not to damage the image of your hotel.

Check Point #1

Check whether the accreditation body accrediting your certification body is listed in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF.) Ask your certification body by whom they are accredited and find the name on the IAF’s website.

Check Point #2

Check whether the accreditation body lists the certification body conducting the audit. Check the webpage of the IAF or the accreditation body of your country.

Check Point #3

Ensure that the auditor conducting the audit has the competence and qualifications to be an auditor and is officially appointed to an accredited certification body.

Check Point #4

Verify that the hotel’s consulting firm is independent of the certification process without any conflict of interest.

Check Point #5

Check that your hotel’s certification programme does not use Aggregated Scoring.

Hotel sustainability questions

What is greenwashing in the hotel business?

Hotel greenwashing refers to a series of measures or strategies to show commitment to sustainability by offering services that are not true or not as high as those offered by a hotel. In other words, it is a misleading practice.

Generally, these strategies are related to marketing to increase the hotel’s revenue by presenting an unrealistic, exaggerated or false image of sustainability.

A green hotel prioritises sustainability in its operations.

There is a broad spectrum of interpretations of a green hotel. On the one hand, some hotels built from scratch already apply the pillars of sustainability during the design phase, building the hotel to reduce its environmental impact. When the hotel is finished, it will incorporate technologies and facilities that promote energy saving, water conservation, waste management or solar energy, to name a few examples.

There are also existing hotels that upgrade their properties and practices to improve their level of sustainability, even if they have not necessarily acted following sustainable building practices. An older hotel can be considered green without much difficulty, as the operations of these hotels are geared towards sustainability and not just the environmental pillar. Still, the hotel must define the proper framework to achieve this.

As a hotel owner or manager, deciding which certification to obtain is the first step in “officially” greening your hotel. The proper green certification will give you the working framework to achieve sustainability and balance in your hotel. There are different certifications with different requirements; in many cases, the criteria are similar, but the difference between the certifications is whether the criteria are a checklist or open to interpretation. Here, the accreditation of the certification, the audit process and the quality of the auditors play an important role. Suppose you choose the wrong certification programme, an unaccredited one. In that case, you risk committing resources that will not help you acquire the image and credibility you want to achieve with your guests, and you will probably be accused of greenwashing.

Yes, it can! being certified does not mean that your hotel is correctly certified. This brings us back to the point that your hotel must choose the proper certification. The certification programme must meet rigorous standards, monitoring and accreditation processes. The hotel industry has hundreds of certifications, but we can only say that fewer than a handful in the world meet the standards of accreditation and jurisdiction. So be careful! Your hotel may be certified, but at the same time, if you have the wrong certification because it is not accredited, it means that your hotel raises doubts about the clarity of the certification process. Your hotel may be falling into Greenwashing even though it is certified.

The first step is to determine whether your green certification is correct. If your certification is not accredited, we can deduce that your hotel is already touching Greenwashing. If your hotel does not have control over your suppliers of products and services, and they are greenwashing, it means that your hotel is also greenwashing. You must fully control all products and services supplied to your hotel, as it is easy to fall into greenwashing. If you would like experts in the field to analyse whether or not your hotel is greenwashing, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Yes, it is! The European Commission has presented and adopted the Green Claims Directive among the initiatives being prepared by global legislative bodies. It provides for increased regulation of all environmental claims through certification by an accredited body only. This represents a significant change and moves the issue of “sustainability” from what has often been little more than a marketing slogan to a fundamental brand purpose and commitment. Your hotel must, therefore, take swift and decisive action to establish its level of genuine green claims.

Green Partner recommends, without discussion, only certifications that comply with European standards, regulations and directives on accreditation and certification, including independent audit processes and auditor competencies and qualifications.

The certifications that we recommend, as we have already carried out their conformity analysis, are:

EarthCheck Certified | It is an accredited hotel certification backed by science, with the understanding that “what gets measured, gets managed”

Control Union GSTC Certified | It is a third-party audit of hotels against the GSTC standard.

ISO14001:2015 | EMS- Enviromental Management System.

ISO50001:2011 | EnMS – Energy Management System.

The other certifications available in the hotel market that we audit internally and independently do not have the necessary accreditation to demonstrate that their certification and auditing processes are legitimate, creating uncertainty in the certification process.

The price of a green certification is relative and depends on two specific factors: Is the certification accredited or not?

If a certification is not accredited, the price of certification can be very attractive, i.e. between 250 and 950 Euros, as all the costs associated with accreditation and legal compliance are not added. Also, the cost of audits is low, as it is not possible to prove that the “auditors” are competent to provide auditing services because, in the absence of accredited certification, there is no competent body to control their certification and auditing procedures.

If a competent body accredits a certification programme according to ISO 17021, which is the standard that sets out the requirements for certification bodies to ensure that the certification process is carried out, including the auditors, in a competent, consistent and impartial manner, the stringency of the control of this certification programme is very high, so the costs are higher, i.e. between 3000 and 5000 Euros, plus the cost of a professional audit.

Now, it is up to the hotel to define the “Cheap or Expensive” option; in this case, the cheap can be very expensive if we talk about the damage caused to a hotel by accusations of Greenwashing, as the certification is not accredited. It is up to you to define the cost.


Implementing a green certification depends again on the chosen certification, i.e. whether it is accredited or not. Parallel to the accreditation level of the certification programme, a critical factor is whether the hotel has already defined its baselines and is in complete control of its suppliers, energy use, water use and waste generation, among others, as well as the availability of staff within the hotel to execute and implement the criteria required by the certification programme.

If a hotel presents ideal conditions, we are talking about at least 3 to 6 months.

Implementing an accredited certification programme can take 7 to 12 months if the hotel does not present ideal conditions.

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors. Green Partner’s advice is that, first of all, the hotel should conduct an internal audit to establish compliance. Based on this result, the hotel will have a clear idea of how long it will take to achieve implementation and certification. The cost required for implementation will be defined according to the implementation time.

An internal audit to define the level of compliance will cost your hotel between 800 and 1500 euros.

This also depends on the certification you choose and the risk level of your hotel.

Sustainability is not a one-off action but a process of continuous improvement that must be demonstrated with evidence and quantitatively. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This is why Green Partner recommends being able to set aside a budget each year to renew participation in the chosen sustainability programme and audit process. Audits and participation in a certification programme are often valid annually.

Company: Green Partner Audits & Consultancy B.V.
Address: Nicolaes Maestraat 2 Office 213,
1506 LB Zaandam,
The Netherlands
Telephone: 0031-(0)85-301 0650
Dutch Chamber of Commerce: 67691951
EU-VIEs: NL857133147B01

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