NAPA VALLEY, CALIF.—Global environmental non-profit Green Seal held its inaugural Hotel Sustainability Workshop in Napa Valley, Calif., in partnership with the California Green Business Network (CGBN) and Napa Green, to bring advanced resources and training to the region’s hospitality industry and capitalize on Napa Valley’s potential to grow its international recognition as a sustainable travel destination.
The workshop leveraged Green Seal’s globally recognized expertise in setting rigorous science-based health and environmental standards and CGBN’s and Napa Green’s local reputation and community relationships to provide hospitality leaders with the tools and training they need to bolster Napa Valley’s competitiveness with other global wine regions that are recognized for their environmental responsibility. Green Seal-certified hotels have saved up to 10 million gallons of water a year, in addition to significant savings in energy, paper and food waste.
Staff at hotels seeking eco-certifications have expressed the need for greater technical training, access to local experts, and a support network for solving problems. Green Seal’s full-day workshop addressed these needs with a deep dive into key areas of certification criteria and sustainability concepts, practical steps and tips for standards compliance and cost savings, and access to local experts who can help hotels address infrastructure, operations, and purchasing challenges.
Smart Business for Hotels
“Sustainability is smart business for hotels—it saves water, energy and money and demonstrates to a growing market of conscientious travelers that properties are serious about health and environmental responsibility,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “Napa Valley is already a leader. Green Seal is proud to partner with leading hotels and organizations to help turn one of the world’s most iconic travel destinations into one of the most recognized sustainable ones.”
The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton, a sought-after sustainability speaker and consultant, and hosted by Erik Burrow, the General Manager of the DoubleTree American Canyon.
“Green has always been our middle name, first name and last name too. Any opportunity to be a catalyst to other hotels in pursuit of green practices is at the core of our beliefs,” said Burrow. “The Green Seal workshop further equipped us to be this thought leader in the region.”
The session was also supported by Visit Napa Valley in recognition of the value of promoting the sustainability of the region.
“Visit Napa Valley is proud to play a leadership role in promoting the innovative sustainable business practices employed by our lodging partners,” said Linsey Gallagher, President and CEO for Visit Napa Valley. “While Napa Valley may be best known for its world-class wines, it is also internationally recognized for its dedication to land stewardship. Designated as America’s first agricultural preserve in April 1968, the Napa Valley has been practicing sustainability for more than fifty years. Through workshops and programs like this, we will continue this legacy to preserve the area’s natural beauty to benefit both residents and visitors for generations to come.”
Speakers Represented Different Sectors
Participants heard from speakers representing local government, utilities, and vendors on the topics of local energy, water, and waste infrastructure, rebates, and regulations. The combined value of the resources and services offered by these speakers can reach thousands of dollars in savings and value per property.
Participants also learned about how sustainable purchasing is a cornerstone of employee and guest health and wellness. An average-sized hotel purchases more products in one week than 100 families do in a year, representing significant opportunity to reduce waste and create a wellness environment where guests and staff can stay safe from allergy and asthma triggers and reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors found in common household and personal care products.
Green Seal chose California to launch this initiative because of the history of environmental leadership in the nation’s most populous state. To reduce plastic waste, California recently passed a law banning hotels from dispensing plastic shampoo bottles to guests. The state has also enacted a “Right to Know Act” requiring cleaning product manufacturers to disclose their product ingredients. Green Seal’s Formula Facts ingredient transparency program is helping leading manufacturers meet California’s requirements with clear and accurate ingredient labels.
Green Seal will offer hotel sustainability workshops in additional markets in North America. Associations or ownership groups that would like to host a workshop with Green Seal can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.