EU Ecolabel for tourist establishments

Last update 26.10.2022

The EU Ecolabel for tourist establishments is the official ecological label awarded by the European Union (EU) to tourist accommodation establishments that distinguish themselves by their environmental impact. The label shows customers that the certified establishment is highly ranked in terms of environmental performance.

The guidelines on the awarding of the Ecolabel are drawn up jointly by the EU Member States.

The Member States of the EU, plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, recognise and use the EU Ecolabel for tourist accommodation.

The label is awarded by the European Commission. In Luxembourg, EU Ecolabel certificates are issued by the Environment Agency (Administration de l'environnement).

The non-profit organisation Oekozenter Pafendal asbl provides establishments with guidance on and support throughout the certification process, and tracks the progress of applications.

Who is concerned

Applications to obtain the EU Ecolabel are entirely voluntary, and are open only to establishments such as:

  • hotels;
  • campsites;
  • youth hostels;
  • group accommodations;
  • bed & breakfasts;
  • country guesthouses.

For tourist accommodation providers, the EU label promotes their visibility and their international recognition as a trustworthy establishment.

Certified establishments are recognised for their particularly eco-friendly practices, including the adoption of a range of energy, water and waste saving measures designed to reduce environmental pollution.

The label also serves as a source of information for visitors so that they can make informed choices about their destinations.

Certified establishments in Europe are listed in the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue. The list of EU Ecololabel-certified establishments in Luxembourg can also be found on this website.

Prerequisites

To obtain the EU Ecolabel, applicant tourist accommodation providers must have implemented a number of measures to improve their environmental performance.

Such establishments must commit to:

  • limiting water and energy consumption;
  • reducing waste and wastewater production;
  • limiting the use of environmentally damaging substances and products;
  • informing their customers about their activities to safeguard the environment, and raising awareness among their staff.

Obtaining the label is subject to compliance with 22 compulsory criteria (except those which are not applicable) and 45 optional criteria addressing environmental and health issues.

These criteria are divided into five categories:

  • general management;
  • energy;
  • water;
  • waste and wastewater; 
  • other.

The compulsory and optional criteria are regularly updated in collaboration with the EU Member States.

Preliminary steps

Applicant establishments may contact Oekozenter Pafendall asbl, which is the organisation in Luxembourg that has been officially appointed to provide establishments with support in gaining certification, offer them guidance on completing their application, and explain the certification process.

Costs

The costs in connection with obtaining certification are set out in a schedule of fees.

One-off costs in EUR Type of business Number of full-time employees Turnover
250 Micro-enterprises 1-10 Annual turnover or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 2,000,000
500 Small and medium-sized enterprises 11-250 Annual turnover ≤ EUR 50,000,000 or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 43,000,000
1000 Standard Over 250  

The following costs apply to applications to renew the label:

One-off costs in EUR Type of business Number of full-time employees Turnover
125
Micro-enterprises 1-10 Annual turnover or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 2,000,000
250 Small and medium-sized enterprises 11-250 Annual turnover ≤ EUR 50,000,000 or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 43,000,000
500 Standard Over 250  

How to proceed

Submitting the application

Self-assessment by the applicant tourist accommodation provider

Tourist accommodation providers applying for the EU Ecolabel must complete a self-assessment of their establishment through a business portal on the Luxembourg EcoLabel website.

With this tool, establishments can:

  • assess their compliance with the label criteria;
  • put together their application file and track its progress;
  • record their consumption data, and update their action plans and data sheets;
  • download standard forms and templates.

The business platform automatically calculates the minimum number of points that the establishment must achieve, based on the data they provided and the services they offer.

Minimum number of points Additional points depending on services offered

Hotel

Youth hostel

Group accommodation

Guesthouse

20

Catering (breakfast service, restaurant, snack-bar)

+3

Green spaces

+3

Spa/Wellness suite, swimming pool, sports facilities

+3

Spa/Wellness suite, swimming pool, sports facilities available to external clients (not accommodated by the establishment)

+5

Campsites 24

Catering (breakfast service, restaurant, snack-bar)

+3

Green spaces

+3

Spa/Wellness suite, swimming pool, sports facilities

+3

Spa/Wellness suite, swimming pool, sports facilities available to external clients (not accommodated by the establishment)

+5

Support provided by Oekozenter Pafendall

The Oekozenter advisor can help applicants put together their applications, and suggest improvements they can make to achieve compliance with the criteria. This tailored support service is free.

Once the application has been finalised, the Oekozenter Pafendall asbl and the establishment sign the final dossier, which is then sent to the Environment Agency – Authorisations and Accreditations Department (Service agréments et certifications) for assessment.

Applicants are invited to contact Oekozenter Pafendall asbl for further information.

Assessment of the application by the Environment Agency

If the application is valid, the Environment Agency will visit the establishment and assess whether the application meets the eligibility criteria.

If it does, the Environment Agency and the applicant will sign the label use agreement.

Once the agreement has been signed, the establishment will receive the EU Ecolabel certificate.

The Environment Agency will inform the European Commission that the EU Ecolabel has been awarded to the establishment.

Term of validity and renewal of the EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel for Tourist Accommodation is awarded for a renewable term of 3 years.

The certified establishment will be contacted by the Oekozenter Pafendall asbl before the end of the validity period, and may renew the label or return it.

Appeal

Decisions regarding the EU Ecolabel for tourist accommodations may be appealed before the administrative jurisdictions.

Appeals must be filed within 3 months of the date on which the applicant was notified of the disputed decision, failing which their right to appeal will lapse.

Who to contact

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