NAPLES, FLA. —The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently welcomed the Hilton Naples to the Florida Green Lodging Program. The Hilton is the first hotel in Naples to be designated and the second in Collier County. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary state initiative that provides the lodging industry with technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
“We are delighted to receive this certificate because we are committed to providing an eco-friendly hotel and services to our guests,” said Clark Hill, the hotel’s general manager.
The Hilton Naples has implemented paper and cardboard recycling, as well as aluminum and steel can recycling programs to reduce waste. In addition, the property installed low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads, as well as fluorescent lamps. The hotel invites guests to participate and provides a notice in guestrooms to encourage participation.
“Green Lodges are leaders in their industry,” said DEP South District Director Jon Iglehart. “The example set by Naples Hilton challenges other area hotels to join them in adopting innovative green practices, conserving resources and saving money.”
Program’s Criteria Spelled Out
To be designated a member of the Florida Green Lodging Program, hotels must implement a variety of green practices. These practices include, but are not limited to, water conservation measures through low flow plumbing fixtures and a linen reuse program, and energy efficiency achieved by installing Energy Star appliances and programmable thermostats. The waste reduction criteria are met by providing the opportunity to recycle, purchasing items in bulk, purchasing recycled materials and by recycling ink and toner cartridges. All designated members of the Florida Green Lodging Program must also use green cleaning products and high efficiency air filters, and clean air handler units frequently.
“Not only are the management and entire staff of the hotel committed to supporting the efforts of the Department of Environmental Protection, but our guests will also be involved in helping with our initiatives,” the Hilton’s Hill said. “Since many guests practice some level of conservation at home, we believe they will appreciate the opportunity to contribute while traveling.”
On July 13, at his Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, Governor Crist signed three executive orders initiating state energy-use policies, including one that requires state agencies and departments to hold meetings and conferences only at hotels with Florida Green Lodging Program designation. The policy went into effect January 1, 2008.
Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As reward for designation, Florida is recommending designated facilities to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging and convention facilities. With the addition of the Hilton Naples, the program has designated 68 hotels and has more than 230 applicants.
For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.