The ultimate resource for improving your hotel's environmental performance.

Green Lodging Certification Programs

There are several green lodging programs available for hotels, encompassing a wide range of requirements and costs.  When evaluating options, it is important to note the differences between organizational membership, program participation, and certification with an accredited third party certifier. 

Memberships

Many lodging associations and organizations provide membership opportunities for hotels, allowing them affiliation and benefits.  In most cases, participation is open to any hotel that pays established membership dues.  Resources and marketing opportunities are provided as member benefits.  Examples of hotel membership organizations with a green lodging focus include:

  • Green Hotels Association
  • American Hotel & Lodging Association (Green Partner Program)
  • Green Meetings Industry Council

Programs

Several government, non-profit and private organizations offer participation in green lodging programs that provide guidelines for hotels and allow involvement through self-assessment surveys.  Generally, program participation includes a comprehensive checklist of green practices, and upon completion of the survey a rating is provided to the participating hotel.  Submission of documentation of green initiatives is generally not required or limited, and on-site verification may be optional or narrowed to a percentage of participating hotels.  Examples of Green Lodging Programs include:

  • Green Key Eco-Rating Program
  • TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders Program
  • City and State Green Lodging Program (CA, FL, MI, etc.)

Certification

Properties that seek to achieve third-party certification with a consumer-recognized and trusted eco-label set themselves apart from their competition.  Third-party certifiers use science-based criteria and industry input to establish standards, which are transparent and aligned with internationally recognized authorities such as ISO and ANSI.  Documentation of adherence to the standards is required and on-site audits are conducted regularly to ensure ongoing compliance.  Examples of Green Lodging Certifiers include:

  • Green Seal
  • Green Globe
  • Sustainable Travel International Eco-Certification

 

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