Since beginning Green Lodging News more than 13 years ago, I have been compiling a list of certification programs in which lodging establishments can participate. I will be adding yet another one to my list soon: The Actively Green Certified Businesses program in Vail, Colo. The program is open to all types of businesses in Vail. There are currently 62 businesses that have been certified. The purpose of Actively Green is to help properties save money, engage employees, be an environmental steward, expand economic development, increase marketing power and attract more customers, and become a community leader.
Businesses get started by participating in an introductory two-hour training. Two trainings have already been held this year. Several workshops throughout the year are also available to businesses. There is one on “Easy Energy Solutions” on Wednesday, October 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This workshop will reveal local opportunities and rebates and show the special energy benefits exclusive to Actively Green businesses.
Businesses can earn Actively Green Bronze certification or advanced Silver or Gold level certification. There are some fees to participate.
I downloaded the Actively Green Standard which was developed in collaboration with Sustainable Travel International and Walking Mountains Science Center with support from the Town of Vail. The Actively Green standard is “Recognized” by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and includes criteria based on many other accepted principles and guidelines including those developed with input from the U.N. World Tourism Organization. Walking Mountains Science Center maintains and facilitates use of the Actively Green standard.
The standard is divided into eight main sections: Business Planning, Workplace Practices, Employee Engagement, Environmental Management, Supply Chain Management, Community and Ecosystem Impacts, Monitoring, and Customer Communications. The standard is very well thought out and worth a read for your own property or if your own community is considering establishing a green business certification program. Be sure to check it out!