Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Select a Green Hotel

Continuing on with our "simplifying sustainable meetings" theme over the past few posts, today let's cover some basics for selecting green sleeping accommodations. Here are the simple steps:

1. Start early in the selection process even before the RFP. If you are working with a convention and visitors bureau, ask them to send you a list of environmentally responsible hotels in their city. If you aren't working with a CVB, check to see if there is a state or regional green lodging program listing of the qualifying hotels. You can also check the Green Seal and Energy Star websites for their certified hotel properties.

2. Send out the request for dates and rates along with a few questions about their environmental practices. Do they have:
  • Recycling? In-room sorting for guests?
  • Towel/Sheet Linen Reuse Program?
  • Low flow toilets and showers?
  • Energy efficient lighting?
  • Staff training to minimize HVAC use?
  • Morning newspaper delivered only upon request?
Let them know the environmental factors will be taken into account during the decision-making process.

3. Select a property which meets your criteria for both economic and environmental factors. Ensure they are within walking distance of the meeting venue.

4. See for yourself if these practices are occurring during the site inspection.

5. Let your guests know what you have requested on their behalf and ask them to take advantage of these opportunities during their stay. They can also provide feedback to both your organization and the hotel.

By implementing these five steps, meeting participants will know you have taken great care to minimize their travel footprint.

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