The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has launched a new initiative to certify lodging establishments as “green” for employing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Forty-three hotels and inns have signed on as initial participants for the certification process.
As part of the Green Lodging Certification program hoteliers will focus on saving energy, reducing waste disposal, using water efficiently and conserving resources, while improving their bottom line. Candidates will be evaluated on energy efficiency, environmental management, pollution prevention and resource conservation.
Green credentials will be certified by the Audubon GreenLeaf program. Based on environmental performance, a hotel could be assigned one to five green leaves.
The certification program is part of a larger initiative to support and market sustainable tourism throughout New York, according to DEC. The New York State Green Hospitality and Tourism Partnership, a combination of state agencies, business associations, and academia, worked together to develop the certification program. Earlier this year, the partnership helped launch the “Green Restaurant Certification” process.
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute will conduct the program in conjunction with the Partnership, providing site visits and technical assistance to organizations to help them green their operations.