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Chattanooga's Green Hospitality Program, Which Was Conceived and
Developed by Tom Cupo, General Manager of The Chattanoogan,
Honored by Tennessee Governor and Now Instituted Statewide



 

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, July 6, 2010 ... Benchmark Hospitality International’s Tom Cupo, general manager of The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga, Tennessee, conceived and developed the city’s highly respected Green Lodging initiative.  This month, the program was honored by Governor Phil Bredesen with the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award.  The initiative was also recognized statewide through adoption and implementation by the Tennessee Hospitality Association as "The Tennessee Green Hospitality" certification program.  Mr. Cupo has been general manager of The Chattanoogan, the city’s only full service Four Diamond hotel, since 2008.

"The intent was for the Chattanooga community to become a greener destination for tourists and organizations that were considering bringing their business here, creating more opportunities for all of us," said Tom Cupo.  "We wanted a program that was non-competitive among participating hotels, but also would recognize individual accomplishments beyond the minimum requirements.”

"This voluntary initiative has been very successful in Chattanooga," said Bill Mish, president of the Tennessee Hospitality Association.  "We look forward to advancing the environmental achievements of the statewide hospitality industry in the same manner.  Adoption of this program will be good for our industry, good for Tennessee, and most importantly, good for the environment." 

L to R, Commissioner James Fyke – Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation, Dobbin Callahan – President Sky-Con Environmental, Shannon Bowles – Tennessee Hospitality Association, Patricia Gray – Tennessee Dept. of Tourism, Lee Waddell Curtis – Tennessee Dept. of Tourism, Andrea Anderson – Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association, Tom Cupo, Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan – Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation

The Green Lodging initiative has also been recognized internationally as a model for sustainable tourism planning by Green Globe www.greenglobe.com.  The initiative encourages hotels, bed & breakfasts, restaurants and other lodging facilities to be aware of and sensitive to their impact on the environment and to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint while increasing the overall efficiency of operations, enhancing sustainability. 

For certification, hotels must have active programs in place for recycling and reductions in energy, water and materials usage, an optional linen program, plans for continued improvements and the ability to provide "green events."  The requirements for restaurants are similar.

Unlike other statewide hospitality certification programs, Tennessee Green Hospitality requires that an on-site audit be conducted by an independent third party to ensure that all minimum standards are in place.  Once certified, properties are encouraged to take an active role, including increasing awareness in neighboring businesses and the community, reducing waste from operations, promoting natural resource conservation and promoting efficiency measures and alternative energy deployment.

"A third- party audit gives a level of credibility that self-certification cannot achieve." said Dobbin Callahan, president of Skye Con, the environmental consulting company that administers the program and provides audit services. "Hotels and restaurants that become certified have made and will continue to make proven operational changes that are real, significant, and are having a positive impact on our communities."

For more information on Tennessee Green Hospitality or Chattanooga Green Lodging, visit www.tennesseegreenhospitality.com or www.chattanoogagreenlodging.com.

Benchmark Hospitality International's The Chattanoogan, is a 210,000 square-foot five-story upscale urban resort located in the heart of revitalized Chattanooga.  The property offers 199 guestrooms and suites, three outstanding restaurants, a 25,000 square-foot conference center with comprehensive meeting planning and audiovisual support services, as well as a spa with four treatment rooms and a couple's retreat, fitness center, indoor pool / whirlpool and patio overlooking the hotel's beautiful courtyard.  Benchmark Hospitality operates The Chattanoogan.

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels™.  The independent company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston.  The company’s northeast regional office is in New Jersey, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com. 

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Contact: 

Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax
KenEllens@aol.com

Angela Southard Winther
Winther Communications
(843) 881-4824
AWinther@winthercommunications.com
 

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Also See: Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Tom Cupo General Manager for The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga, Tennessee / April 2008
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