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Hoteliers Challenged to Use AH&LA Guidelines to Ttrack
and Improve their Green Business Operations

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2009 ó Starting today, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is challenging hoteliers across the country to track and improve their green business operations by taking the AH&LA Green Guidelines Challenge.  Participants completing the challenge will be able to identify themselves as eco-friendly establishments based on benchmarking their operation procedures against AH&LAís 11 minimum green guidelines, released in November 2008 by the associationís Green Task Force.  The winner of the six-month challenge will also receive a green prize package from an allied AH&LA member.
11 Minimum Guidelines for Going Green
Below is a list of actions properties of any size should take to stake their claim as an eco-friendly establishment.  Each step contains further tactics, including case studies, statistics, and additional resources.  AH&LA members who have further questions may get one-on-one advice from our Green Guru.
1. Each hotel should form an Environmental Committee that is responsible for developing an Environmental Green Plan for energy, water, and solid waste use.
2.  Manage your hotelís environmental performance by monitoring the electric, gas, water, and waste usage information on a monthly and annual basis.

3. Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps wherever possible.
4. Install digital thermostats in guestrooms and throughout the hotel.
5. Implement a towel and/or linen reuse program.
6. Install 2.5-gallons per minute showerheads or less in all guestroom baths and any employee shower areas.
7. Install 1.6-gallon toilets in all guestrooms.

8. Implement a recycling program --including public spaces -- to the full extent available in your municipality; document your efforts.
9. Implement a recycling program for hazardous materials found in fluorescent bulbs, batteries, and lighting ballasts through licensed service providers.

10. Purchase Energy Star labeled appliances and equipment.

11. All office paper products should have 20% or more post consumer recycled content.

The challenge begins today when AH&LA members receive a tracking tool to aid their measurement of occupancy statistics, monetary and energy expenditures, and return on investment (ROI) from specific green practices.  To enter the challenge, participants must complete the online Green Guidelines Challenge survey by October 1, 2009.  AH&LA members who successfully implement practices in line with any of the 11 guidelines are also encouraged to write in their success stories and best practices to be considered for the green prize package and featured on the associationís Green Resource Center Website.  Throughout the challenge, members can ask operations questions directly to AH&LAís Green Guru.  Properties who are not AH&LA members are also encouraged to take the challenge to augment their eco-friendly practices, though they will not be eligible for the challenge prize or space on AH&LAís Website.
Based on existing environmental certification programs, including Green Seal, Green Globe, Green Key, and LEED, along with various state certification programs, the 11 minimum green guidelines define ways to give hotel owners and operators opportunities to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts through reduced utility consumption, recycling programs, employee training, and supply chain management.  The guidelines also allow hotels to improve their fiscal performance by tracking ROI against their general statistics.  Some examples of estimated savings properties* can achieve include:

  • $35,478 / 298,961 kilowatt-hours (kwh) by installing digital thermostats in guestrooms and throughout a hotel;
  • $17,029 / 141,912 kwh by replacing existing incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs);
  • $35,478 / 1,182,600 gallons of water as a result of installing 2.5-gallons per minute (or less) showerheads in all guestroom baths and any employee shower areas.
Procedural details for implementing each green guideline are available on the AH&LA Green Resource Center Website, and detailed explanations of each will be sent to AH&LA members throughout the initial 11 weeks of the challenge.  
Selected success stories from the Green Guidelines Challenge will be featured on AH&LAís Website as new Green Best Practices, part of a growing list of actionable strategies, case studies, and timely green news from AH&LA members leading the way to a more eco-friendly hospitality community. 
To take the Green Guidelines Challenge and for more information on AH&LAís green initiatives, please visit the Green Resource Center Website.  Contact Jessica Soklow, manager of media relations, at (202) 289-3153 or with any questions. 
*Estimates based on a 300-room hotel.

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
Jessica Soklow 
Also See: AH&LA Issues Guide On How to Green Hotel Properties Effectively, Sets Minimum Environmental Guidelines / Novmber 2008



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