Environmental Protection

Hotel Group Sets Hospitality Industry's Green Program

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) recently launched several initiatives to engage members and the traveling public in greening the hospitality industry, including a Green Partner Program, GreenQuest tracking system, and Green Tips for Travelers. All information is online via the AH&LA Green Resource Center Web site.

The Green Partner program allows AH&LA members the opportunity to donate funds to plant trees via the Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion drive. Green Partners, which to date include HD Supply; Hotel Felix; Pineapple Hospitality, Inc.; and Project Planet, sponsor AH&LA events by donating $1 per attendee, which in turn plants that total number of trees. There is an additional $500 program fee, and the program launched last month when more than 800 trees were planted following the AH&LA Summer Summit in Chicago. The program will carry through all future AH&LA events, including several golf events and the association's annual Fall Conference.

AH&LA allied member Burton Energy Group has teamed with the association's Green Task Force and developed GreenQuest, an energy and water usage tracking system to help hoteliers lower utility expenses and complement the seven of AH&LA's 11 Minimum Green Guidelines. This free, Web-based service describes effective environmental operations procedures, measures the effects of current and future initiatives, and compares a property's eco progress against similar hotels. This system can help properties improve their rating in addition to helping track progress throughout AH&LA's Green Guidelines Challenge – which remains open for submissions until Oct. 1. The Challenge asks hoteliers to take on the association's 11 minimum guidelines for environmental efficiency, helping improve their performance and bottom line. The member with the best success story will win a prize package courtesy of HD Supply.

Completing the current round of new initiatives, the Green Tips for Travelers are designed to help properties encourage their guests to make their stay eco-friendly. All eight tips, created by AH&LA Green Guru Pat Maher, are available for public viewing online and AH&LA members can download and customize official tips cards for display within their hotel.

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