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Florida’s State Employees Must Stay at Green Hotels as of Jan. 1, 2008


TALLAHASSEE, FLA.—Friday the thirteenth was a lucky day for participants in the Florida Green Lodging Program, an effort by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to encourage the lodging industry to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. It was on that day that Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order that will require all state agencies and departments under his direction to do business only with Florida Green Lodging Program participants as of January 1, 2008.

Crist issued the order during a speech outlining his direction for Florida’s energy future. Twenty-five Florida hotels are currently certified as Green Lodging Properties and 46 have applied.

“We are very pleased to be included in the governor’s plan,” says Chris Cate, spokesman for Florida’s DEP. “It will help promote our program and more importantly benefit the environment and increase public awareness of being environmentally friendly.”

Additional state government goals detailed in the governor’s speech include:

• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012, 25 percent by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025.
• Scaling back electric utility emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025, and to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.
• Adopting California motor vehicle emission standards and reducing such emissions 22 percent by 2012 and 30 percent by 2016.
• Transitioning to 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“Global climate change is one of the most important issues we face this century, and we must make every effort to do what is right,” Crist said. “We have a responsibility to be good stewards of Florida’s natural resources and beautiful surroundings. Our state’s future depends on it.”

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.