On Friday 7 May 2021, Luxembourg's Minister for Tourism, Lex Delles, and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Carole Dieschbourg, presented the novelties of the Luxembourg and European Ecolabels for tourist accommodation.
More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the climate crisis, sustainable tourism is more than ever a major issue. During a webinar, the ministers underlined the advantages of ecolabels for tourist accommodation and underlined their common desire to strengthen the promotion of the EcoLabel Luxembourg and the EU Ecolabel.
At present, 42 hotels, campsites, youth hostels, group accommodation and rural lodges hold the EcoLabel Luxembourg, which has been awarded since 1999 by the General Directorate for Tourism. This label is already the result of collaboration with tourist accommodation federations and enjoys good recognition in the sector.
Minister for Tourism, Lex Delles, indicated that “the government is not betting on cheap mass tourism, but we are aiming for quality tourism. The EcoLabel Luxembourg is an essential component of this strategy. The holders of the label are distinguished by ecological management and environmentally friendly practices. This is an approach which corresponds to the expectations of quality tourism and which makes it possible to promote Luxembourg as a first choice tourist destination”.
The EU Ecolabel is the official label of the European Union and its purpose is to allow consumers to recognise products and services of excellence in environmental matters throughout Europe. For tourist accommodation establishments, the European label is important for its visibility and recognition at international level as a trustworthy label. To avoid green-washing, it is the Member States which establish the environmental quality standard and guarantee compliance with it.
Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg pointed out that the two labels pursue the same objective: a more sustainable management of tourist accommodation in Luxembourg. On the other hand, international recognition is becoming increasingly important, especially in the business world. Having the European label can thus be an important additional asset. The objective of the new platform for Luxembourg is therefore to provide the best possible support to tourist accommodation establishments wishing to engage in a more sustainable approach by offering them the two labels following a single approach.
To support establishments in their choice, the site www.ecolabel.lu has become the official and common platform for the Luxembourg and European Ecolabels. On this site, establishments can find out about the two labels, their criteria and the granting procedures. Another innovation: the professional space. Available on ecolabel.lu by means of a login, the professional space allows establishments to carry out a self-assessment and to put together their application file online.
In order to promote the EcoLabel Luxembourg further, Minister Lex Delles presented a new visual for the label as well as various promotional materials intended to strengthen its visibility.
In addition, the label's evaluation system and its award criteria have been fully adapted and revised, in close collaboration with the federations of the accommodation sector represented on the coordination committee.
Isabel Schummers, environmental advisor at Oekozenter Pafendall ASBL, announced that: “The label now offers criteria in accordance with the latest innovations in environmental matters, a modernised structure and a better juxtaposition with the hotel classification. The revised rating system is more flexible and adapted to different types of accommodation”.
Any establishment interested in obtaining a label can contact the Oekozenter Pafendall ASBL (via the above website, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.: 439-03022). The advisers of Oekozenter Pafendall accompany (free of charge) the establishments applying for the Luxembourg and European Ecolabel throughout the labelling process.