It is nothing new in modern marketing that companies claim to be friends of the environment in order to gain popularity. Environmentalists may favour a company claiming to grow flowers or use recycled packaging material. However, the European Flower Ecolabel, which came into the tourism sector in 1993, forces companies and organisations to prove what they claim with inspections to check if what they say about their environmental policies is true or not. The label is a very recognizable flower, known throughout Europe at least.
The EU Ecolabel is an official sign of environmental quality that is both certified by an independent organisation and valid throughout Europe. It presents a unique opportunity to satisfy customer's expectations. The European Ecolabel was originally created to reward tourist accommodation services and tourists that respect the environment. In 2004, the European Commission also established criteria for camp site services and since 2005, camp site services can apply for the European Ecolabel. The Flower signals environmental good performance as it is an added quality value when consumers are choosing a resort. Enterprises bearing the Flower Logo have officially been distinguished as being amongst the most environmentally friendly in their area.
In order for the accommodation to achieve the Ecolabel, it must fulfill a number of requirements. One requirement is to have at least 22% of its electricity from a renewable source. Similarly, the site must provide proof that it tries to have a reduced water flow. Furthermore, proof must be provided to the tune that the site recycles waste on the premises and separates glass and plastics.
These are simple instructions, which should be adhered to in any case. There should be a general sense of wellbeing at the site and unnecessary emissions of odors and fumes should not be tolerated. Any entrepreneur with a hotel chain, city hotel palace, mountain hut, B&B, farm house or campsite can apply for the European Ecolabel. The great advantage of this label is that tourists no longer need to check all of these items separately as the Ecolabel does it for them.
European Ecolabel on a Tourist Accommodation Service Means:
- Limited energy consumption
- Limited water consumption
- Reduced waste production
- Favouring the use of renewable resources and of substances which are less hazardous to the environment
- Promoting environmental education and communication