GULF BREEZE, FLA.—Gulf Coast hotel operator and management company Innisfree Hotels announced that all four of their Pensacola Beach properties have been recognized by the Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program for their ongoing commitment to improving their environmental and fiscal performance.
The Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program is an “eco-audit” that awards hospitality and tourism enterprises up to 5 Green Keys based on their sustainability practices and diligence when it comes to eco-friendly operations. The Green Key Program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), an international accreditation body that manages sustainability standards in travel and tourism.
Of the four Pensacola properties, Hilton, Hampton, and Holiday Inn Resort have each received a rating of 4 Green Keys, while the Surf and Sand was awarded 3 Green Keys. These initial keys demonstrate the hotel operator’s commitment and responsibility to sustainability and community engagement.
Just the Beginning
“As we step away from one of the most challenging years in hospitality, we’re humbled that guests have chosen to return to the Gulf Coast, and excited to introduce to them a better, greener Innisfree,” said the company’s CEO, Ted Ent. “We hope to set a new standard for sustainable travel and tourism, and these newly awarded Keys represent only the beginning of Innisfree’s commitment to environmental responsibility.”
This recognition comes after the recent appointment of Brittney Barnett as Innisfree’s new Director of Sustainability. With over seven years of experience in community development and sustainability program implementation, Barnett joined Innisfree in October 2021 to pilot a new program focusing on climate action, resource preservation, ecological balance, and health and wellbeing.
Under Barnett’s leadership, Innisfree will continue to pursue the highest standard of sustainable operations.
“It’s inspiring to see our Pensacola Beach hotel teams prioritizing sustainability efforts despite the immense challenges the past few years have posed to their operations,” commented Barnett. “Looking ahead to 2022, we have many more exciting initiatives to roll out as we onboard more hotels into our sustainability program that focuses on ensuring regenerative business operations and thriving host communities.”
Long List of Changes
Although each hotel has unique achievements, Innisfree’s sustainability efforts include LED lighting upgrades throughout the hotel, boiler upgrades, installing an energy management system, procuring Energy Star certified appliances, low-flow showerheads, water saving aerator faucets in each guestroom, and EV charging stations. Additionally, the hotel operator established new employee engagement practices that include developing sustainability action plans for each property, conducting sustainability trainings for staff, and establishing a platform for employees to share sustainability ideas. Bonus points were awarded for Innisfree’s strong community involvement by leading social initiatives such as their “From the Ground Up” community garden, participating in “The Bail Project,” and “Parent University.”
And at the corporate level, Innisfree Hotels formally adopted a company-wide sustainability policy, established a strategic action plan, and formed a corporate green committee to lead their properties.