NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) has rolled out its new Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality program. Not currently a certification program, its focus is to share environmentally sustainable best practices that will continue to drive economic activity while conserving and protecting natural resources. At the core of the program are eight resource guides available to businesses in the following areas: energy conservation, water conservation, recycling & waste reduction, food waste reduction, communication and education, green purchasing, green cleaning, and green events.
Dobbin Callahan, Skye Con, who runs the Tennessee Green Hospitality program, which does include certification, has not closed that program down but is no longer actively promoting it. “If people are still looking for certification, they can still do it through Tennessee Green Hospitality,” Callahan says, adding that he fully supports the new Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality program.
Jennifer Tribble, a Policy Analyst in the Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices for TDEC, says her office provides technical assistance through the Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality program while trying to promote the environment in Tennessee. When asked what types of businesses Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality will be targeting, she listed food and beverage establishments, lodging, general travel, and attractions.
“We are trying to focus on the smaller businesses,” Tribble says. “Many of the larger hotel chains are shifting toward more corporate sustainability guidelines.”
As part of Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality, Tribble says TDEC is piloting the resource guides at state parks. “We will be capturing case studies from them,” she says. Those case studies will then be added to the Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality website.
Tribble says TDEC is using several different methods to get the word out about the new program. Those businesses interested in learning more about Tennessee Sustainable Hospitality can complete this Contact Us form.
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