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State and Local Governments Launch Green Lodging Certifications

MohonkMountainHouseOver the past several weeks, five states and one city have launched green lodging certification programs, reports Green Lodging News. These new certifications for green lodging operations are in New York, Oklahoma, Indiana, South Carolina, Maryland, and Buffalo, N.Y.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s launched a new travel initiative called ECO or Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma, which promotes, educates and encourages sustainable travel in that state, reports Green Lodging News. The Oklahoma Tourism department kicked off the ECO program with seven pilot programs, according to the article.

In early October, the State of Indiana said it would adopt the Green Key Eco-Rating Program as its official statewide environmental initiative, reports Green Lodging News. The certification program will be managed by a partnership between the Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) and Green Key Global.

In late October, Buffalo, N.Y., announced the expansion of its Buffalo Green Hospitality Initiative, which include a new lodging certification program called Green & Mean (It).

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the South Carolina Hospitality Assn. also announced in October the formal rollout of the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance, reports Green Lodging News. The program recognizes and certifies facilities for environmentally friendly efforts with an annual certification, according to the article.

Maryland’s Office of Tourism in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Tourism Council just launched the “Maryland Green Travel” program, which will initially create an online, self-certification application for the lodging sector, reports Green Lodging News. The application will use environmental guidelines adopted by the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the best practices of MDE’s Green Registry, according to the article.

In September, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) launched a new initiative to certify lodging establishments as “green” for employing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Green credentials will be certified by the Audubon GreenLeaf program.

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