Home Green Design LEED & Hotels: One of Our Industry’s Greatest Green Success Stories

LEED & Hotels: One of Our Industry’s Greatest Green Success Stories

Glenn Hasek

It is 26 years now since the initial development of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating system for commercial buildings. It has since expanded to include homes, schools and other categories. The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) points-based certification system is undoubtedly the most successful green building rating system on the planet with 90,000 projects using LEED. In the hotel industry, based on information supplied to me in the past two weeks by USGBC, there are 767 projects listed as “lodging” in the USGBC database. Seventy-one of those projects are not publicly available because the project participants have opted to keep them confidential.

The 767 is a global number. LEED certification levels range from Certified to Silver, Gold and then Platinum. There are currently 183 Certified lodging projects, 234 Silver, 228 Gold, and 51 Platinum.

Developers who choose to build to LEED standards benefit in the following ways according to USGBC: 1) Instant recognition for your building; 2) Faster lease up rates; 3) higher resale value; 4) Healthier indoor space; 5) Lower use of energy, water and other resources; 6) Better for building occupants, the community and the environment; and 7) Enhances your brand and establishes you as a leader in green building.

What I have seen over the years is that LEED hotel buildings certainly outperform hotel buildings similar in size in efficiency and definitely generate more buzz in the media, among guests, and among meeting planners. LEED hotel buildings typically have unique stories to tell. Many even become tourist attractions in and of themselves. Type in “LEED” on the Green Lodging News website and 500 articles appear.

Plenty of Research Opportunities

For any ambitious student out there, I challenge you to research what commonalities there are not only with LEED certified hotel buildings but with the owners of them as well. What type of owner is willing to pay more for efficiency—sometimes a lot more? Does a LEED developer really care more about the environment? Or is it just the financial returns? Or, a combination of many factors? Are people who work in LEED buildings happier? Healthier?

In my blog this past week I included some additional numbers from the LEED list. For example, New York City is the city that has the most LEED certified projects with 16. The state with the most certified hotel projects is California with 59. Second is New York with 28. Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt and ITC Hotels have the most LEED certified hotels. Amazingly, ITC Hotels has 16 LEED Platinum properties.

According to USGBC, LEED is currently in 165 countries and territories. More than 2.2 million square feet is LEED certified every day. In our industry and elsewhere, LEED is certainly one of the greatest green success stories of our century.

Interested in receiving the current list of LEED certified hotels? Write to me at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

How to Search on Our Website

Like other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 19,266 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 19,266. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,800 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 935 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.