Our criteria

Clean Green Cambodia aims to refer all sustainable businesses and initiatives in Cambodia. For us, in addition to its economic aspect, sustainability has both an environmental angle, to ensure environmental protection, and a social angle, to provide support to the communities in which these initiatives are established. In this respect, we set a non-exhaustive list of criteria that hotels, restaurants, shops, and activities organisers (eco-tours, workshops, etc.) have to meet. Environmental experts and business partners providing environmental services are automatically listed.

Note that the criteria highlighted in bold are strongly recommended to be on Clean Green Cambodia’s website while the other criteria are voluntary but lead to additional recognition on our platform if met (featured on the homepage, additional visibility into different pages, etc).

  • Lodging
  • Restaurants and café
  • Stores
  • Activities

To be recognised as sustainable, the accommodation facilities should have a number of initiatives on the area of environmental management system, waste management, water management, energy management and local support.

The business should have a clear focus on sustainability that should be demonstrated by:

  1. A business model focused on sustainability
  2. An environmental policy that includes the commitment of the organisation to reduce its environmental impact
  3. Display of environmental policy and actions on the website/and in the hotel’s facilities
  4. A person responsible for the environmental initiatives
  5. Targets and deadlines to implement the green initiatives
  6. Staff training about environmental issues
  7. Communication to guests about good environmental gestures
  8. Records of measures taken, progress made, trainings, and other relevant informations
  9. Continual improvement thinking

The business should  implement ininitiatives to manage its waste including:

  1. Separation of waste between recyclable, non-recyclable, hazardous waste, and organic waste
  2. Monitoring of the amount of waste produced
  3. Measures to reduce plastic waste
    1. Refill station to replace plastic bottles
    2. Plastic straws not provided except if necessary (e.g. disability)
    3. Environmentally friendly alternatives provided for takeaway (styrofoam box, plastic cutleries, and bags)
  4. Measures to reduce food waste and compost/give away food scrap for composting/pig farm
  5. Measure to reduce/manage hazardous waste and other types of waste
    1. Cooking oil should be repurposed (e.g. biogas) if possible
    2. Hazardous waste should be stored and disposed of properly
  6. Targets and deadlines to reduce waste
  7. A person (or several people) responsible to manage waste
  8. Staff training about waste management
    1. Regular training (at least every 2 years)
    2. Clear manual/signs given to staff about measures in place
  9. Communication to guests about better waste management practices in the facilities and outside
    1. Explaination about the waste practices taken by the hotel (e.g. no plastic polic)
    2. Posters/signs showing them good gestures to reduce their waste

The business (relevant for hotels, mostly) should have initiatives to reduce its water consumption, incluidng:

  1. Monitoring of water consumption
  2. Measures to reduce water consumption & wastewater such as:
    1. Towel and bed-linen reuse programme
    2. Monitor and fix leaks
    3. Turn on washers only when fully loaded
    4. Use orgnanic/non-toxic cleaning supplies and detergent
  3. Measurable and realistic targets with deadlines
  4. A person (or several people) responsible to manage water reduction measures
  5. Staff training about water management
    1. Regular training (at least every 2 years)
    2. Clear manual/signs given to staff about measures to implement
  6. Communication to guests about good water management practices (e.g. sign in the room about bed linen and towel reuse programme)
Energy Cambodia

The business (relevant for hotels, mostly) should implement initiatives to reduce energy consumption including:

  1. Monitoring of energy consumption (overall consumption and for each department is ideal)
  2. Measures to reduce energy consumption
    1. Bed linen and towel reuse programme
    2. Sensitive and LED lights
    3. Automatic light system or signs to turn off the lights when leaving the rooms (both guests and staff)
    4. Room temperature capped around 21°c
    5. Hot temperature capped at 60°c
    6. Buy energy effiicient appliances when feasible to replace old ones
    7. Use renewable energy when possible
  3. Measurable and realistic targets with deadlines
  4. A person (or several people) responsible to manage energy reduction measures
  5. Staff training about energy efficiency measures
    1. Regular training (at least every 2 years)
    2. Clean manual/signs given to staff about measures to implement
  6. Communication to guests about energy management practices they can contribute to (e.g. towel and bed-linen reuse programme)

The business should have have measures to support the local community, including:

  1. Purchase of local and organic vs imported products
  2. Local employment
    1. Majority of the staff should be Khmer if possible (depending on the size)
  3. Skills development training for the employees
  4. Promotion of local initiatives
    1. Display of handicraft from local organisation in the facilities
    2. Communication to guest about local and sustainable initiatives (e.g. booklet)
  5. Participation to events for supporting the community and their environmental (e.g. meetings with local NGOs, clean ups, etc.)
Angkor wat site

The business should ensure that the activities promoted:

  1. Contribute to a better understanding of the local environmental, cultures, heritate sites and other national assets
  2. Do not disturb/damage cultural and heritage sites
  3. Do not endanger the local biodiversity (e.g. promoting elephant rides)

To be recognised as green by our standards, the restaurant, café or bar should have a number of initiatives on the area of environmental management system, waste management, water management, energy management and local support.

The business should have a clear focus on sustainability that should be demonstrated by:

  1. A business model focused on sustainability
  2. An environmental policy that includes the commitment of the organisation to reduce its environmental impact
  3. Display of environmental policy and actions on the website
  4. A person responsible for the environmental initiatives
  5. Targets and deadlines to implement the green initiatives
  6. Staff training about environmental issues
  7. Communication to guests about good environmental gestures
  8. Records of measures taken, progress made, trainings, and other relevant informations
  9. Continual improvement thinking

The business should  implement ininitiatives to manage its waste including:

  1. Separation of waste between recyclable, non-recyclable, hazardous waste, and organic waste
  2. Monitoring of the amount of waste produced
  3. Measures to reduce plastic waste
    1. Refill station to replace plastic bottles
    2. Plastic straws not provided except if necessary (e.g. disability)
    3. Environmentally friendly alternatives provided for takeaway (styrofoam box, plastic cutleries, and bags)
  4. Measures to reduce food waste and compost/give away food scrap for composting/pig farm
  5. Measure to reduce/manage hazardous waste and other types of waste
    1. Cooking oil should be repurposed (e.g. biogas) if possible
    2. Hazardous waste should be stored and disposed of properly
  6. Targets and deadlines to reduce waste
  7. A person (or several people) responsible to manage waste
  8. Staff training about waste management
    1. Regular training (at least every 2 years)
    2. Clear manual/signs given to staff about measures in place
  9. Communication to guests about better waste management practices in the facilities and outside

The business should have a programme to reduce its water consumption, including:

  1. Monitoring water consumption
  2. Set targets and deadlines to reduce water and waste water consumption
  3. Have water and wastewater reduction solutions such as:
    1. Turn on washers only when fully loaded
    2. Use organic/non-toxic cleaning supplies and detergent
Energy Cambodia

The business should have a programme to reduce energy consumption including:

  1. Monitoring energy consumption
  2. Set targes and deadlines to reduce energy consumption
  3. Have energy reduction initiatives such as:
    1. LED/energy efficient lights
    2. Hot temperature capped at 60°c
    3. Purchase of energy effiicient appliances when feasible to replace old ones
    4. Signs to turn off the lights when leaving empty rooms (e.g. bathrooms)

The business should have have measures to support the local community, including:

  1. Purchase of local and organic vs imported products
  2. Local employment
    1. Majority of the staff should be Khmer if possible (depending on the size)
  3. Skills development training for the employees
  4. Promotion of local initiatives
    1. Display of handicraft from local organisation in the facilities
    2. Communication to guest about local and sustainable initiatives (e.g. booklet)
  5. Participation to events for supporting the community and their environmental (e.g. meetings with local NGOs, clean ups, etc.)

To be recognised as green by our standards, your shop should have a business model focused on sustainability as well as initiative to reduce main area of impact.

The store should be focused on either one/all of the following:

  1. Selling environmental-friendly products
  2. Selling local handicraft
  3. Selling local and organic fruits and vegetables

The store should implement ininitiatives to manage its waste including:

  1. Separation of waste between recyclable, non-recyclable, hazardous waste, and organic waste
  2. Provide alternatives to plastic packages (e.g. bags made out of newspaper)
  3. Measures to reduce food waste and compost/give away food scrap for composting/pig farm (if selling food)

The store should have have measures to support the local community, including:

  1. Local employment
    1. Majority of the staff should be Khmer if possible (depending on the size)
  2. Skills development training for the employees

To be recognised as green by our standards, your organisation should be entirely focused on sustainability and have initiatives to reduce main area of impact.

Your business should be focused on either one/all of the following:

  1. Providing eco-tours enabling to understand/appreciate the local environment and culture
  2. Providing activities/workshops that contribute to environmental protection or have a social aspect (raise awareness about disability, etc.)

The tour operators, store, or other business providing activities should strive to reduce and manage the waste associated with its activities:

  1. Separation of waste between recyclable, non-recyclable, hazardous waste, and organic waste
  2. Provide alternatives to single-use plastic such as Syrofoam box, plastic cutleries and bags
  3. Measures to reduce food waste and compost/give away food scrap for composting/pig farm (if providing food)

The activity organiser should have have measures to support the local community, including:

  1. Local employment
    1. Majority of the staff should be Khmer if possible (depending on the size)
  2. Skills development training for the employees
  3. Promotion of local initiatives if relevant (e.g. during bike tours)
Angkor wat site

The organiser should ensure that the activities do not:

  1. Disturb/damage cultural and heritage sites
  2. Endanger the local biodiversity (e.g. promoting elephant rides)

Additional information

We have set these criteria with the goal to encourage tourism organisations to take actions to reduce their environmental impact. These critieria also enable individuals to have a comprehensive lists of sustainable businesses in Siem Reap and broader Cambodia, so that they make informed decisions to reduce their environmental impact.

The criteria are not static, but will evolve with time to incorporate new considerations about sustainable tourism and encourage businesses in Cambodia to always improve.

Note that these criteria are not replacing international and authoritative certification (e.g. GSTC label on sustainable tourism), as these labels have been developed with experts over a long time process.

Nevertheless, our criteria represent a free way to encourage sustainable tourism and help identify businesses that reduce their environmental impact. 

Does your business meet the above criteria?

Or, do have any  questions?