Home Publisher's Point of View 2,000+ Properties Still Participate in State, City Recognition Programs

2,000+ Properties Still Participate in State, City Recognition Programs

Glenn Hasek

Be sure to read my article this week that provides an update on the 20+ state and city level green certification/designation/recognition programs. I try to take a close look at our list on an annual basis. I almost always delete a program from my list. This year I deleted Rhode Island after not hearing back from their program’s representative. Their website, still “live”, has not been updated in two years and lists events from five years ago. Yikes. In recent years I have not been adding to my list. I still believe there is a lot of value in having a state or local green lodging program. Nevada, as one example, with its huge hotel market, does not have one. (It does have a day-long Sustainability Conference.)

A successful state or local program requires a good business plan, the right program leaders who have a passion for sustainability, and a business community willing to go through an application process and in some instances an on-site audit. Also key is having the right person or persons with marketing savvy—folks who know how to guide participants on how best to crow about their green recognition and ultimately put more heads in beds.

By my count there are about 2,100 U.S. lodging establishments that participate in some type of green recognition program at the state or city level. The top five locations ranked by participation include: Virginia—582; Florida—430; California—217; Wisconsin—108; and Vermont & Maine—100.

I seem to recall Florida having a much larger number at one time but budget cuts impacted the program years ago. It is good to see the program is still active but its website could use some updating. Its lead paragraph references an announcement made in March 2016 about four properties being added to the Green Lodging Program.

Virginia Program Undergoing Major Change

With its 582 participating lodging establishments, Virginia is head and shoulders above other states. According to Tom Griffin, Executive Director of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance, the state’s Virginia Green program is undergoing some major changes that will be completed in the middle of this month.

“The program will no longer be administered by the state,” he says. “However, the Virginia Tourism Corporation will continue to recognize and promote the Virginia Green certification; and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will assist in the development of technical guidance and resources for the certification.” Businesses previously certified will not lose their certification, but will be required to recertify in the coming year. The new system will be run by the nonprofit Virginia Green Travel Alliance, and it will involve administrative fees to support the certification process and marketing materials associated with it.

Once again, be sure to read my article and let me know if I am missing any programs in your city, state, or region. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Sustainability Seminar Finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience

The sustainability seminar, “2020 Vision—Lodging’s Leaders Set the Sustainability Bar Higher,” has been finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience. The event will take place on Monday, November 13 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Hotel stage at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Don’t miss this seminar including Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity, Marriott International, Inc., Gardner Jackson, Assistant Vice President, the Nalco Water division of Ecolab USA Inc., and Lindsay Wilkinson, part of InterContinental Hotels Group’s Corporate Responsibility team focused on Environmental Sustainability. I will be moderating the session. Attendee registration for HX: The Hotel Experience, November 12 to 13, 2017, is now open at the newly redesigned website, www.thehotelexperience.com.

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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.

Planning Advertising for 2017 or 2018?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2017 and 2018. Many excellent spots are available on our new website, in the weekly e-mail newsletter, and Green Lodging Survey. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2017 or 2018 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of 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 9,101. 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.

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