Turkey has updated its Environmentally Conscious Accommodation scheme, aiming to further encourage environmentally sustainable tourism. The voluntary certification scheme generally supports environmental awareness, protects the environment, as well as encourages positive environmental contributions. Certificates enable customers to easily identify accommodation providers which meet minimum environmental thresholds. Certificate holders can also benefit from state support for electricity costs.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (“Ministry”) published the Communiqué on Issuing Environmentally Conscious Accommodation Certificates (“Communiqué”) in Official Gazette number 30101 on 19 June 2017, entering into force on the same date. The Communiqué annuls the Communiqué on Issuing Environmentally Conscious Accommodation Certificates to Accommodation Facility Granted with Tourism Operation License (Communiqué No: 2008/3).

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism made a range of changes to the rules and procedures used to evaluate actions carried out by accommodation facilities.

Changes particularly apply to:

– Applications for an Environmentally Conscious Accommodation Facility Certificate.

– Documents requested during applications.

– The Ministry’s evaluation of applications.

– The evaluation form.

– Procedures and principles regarding the classification system.

The Ministry awards certificates based on a points system. Applicant facilities must achieve a minimum number of points in order to receive an Environmentally Conscious Accommodation Facility Certificate, along with a green plaque which shows the facility’s type and class.

The Ministry awards points in the following general areas:

– Environmental management policies and action plans.

– Certain certificates and awards.

– Environment-friendly facility organization.

– Energy and water use, as well as waste management.

Certificate holders are eligible to receive state support for electrical energy, as per the Decision on Support of Electric Energy to Facilities which hold Certificates of Environmentally Conscious Accommodation by the Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 2013/5265.

The level of support is calculated as the difference between:

– The tariff applied to the certificate holder’s subscriber group, and

– The lowest tariff applied to residential and industrial subscribers where the tourism operation is located.

Support payments will be paid from the budget of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Please see this link for the full text of the Communiqué (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.