The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today welcomed both the Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott into the Florida Green Lodging Program. The designations are the first for Brevard County and the 37th and 38th for the program, a voluntary state initiative that provides the lodging industry with technical assistance and encouragement to adopt cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
“With a commitment to adopting innovative green practices and protecting Florida’s environment, facilities in the Green Lodging Program are leading the industry by example,” said DEP Central District Director Vivian Garfein. “Their dedication serves as an example and a challenge to other hotels to adopt innovative green practices, conserve resources and save money.”
Both the Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott have implemented a formal communication program between staff and guests, promoting environmental education and public feedback. In addition, the hotels conserve water through towel and linen reuse programs and low-flow toilets and faucets and conserve energy through ENERGY STAR® rated equipment, programmable thermostats and indoor and outdoor lighting sensors. Waste is reduced by recycling office paper, newspaper, aluminum cans and corrugated cardboard, purchasing products with 30 percent post consumer content, and instituting policies such as bulk purchasing and reduced packaging. Indoor air quality is improved by utilizing high quality air-conditioning filters, using environmentally preferable cleaners and following a preventative maintenance schedule for all air-conditioning systems.
“We are excited and proud to be the first hotels in Brevard County to be included in the Florida Green Lodging Program,” said Tom Williamson, General Manager for both facilities. “Hopefully this program will soon be the standard by which all hotels operate.”
On July 13, at his Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, Governor Charlie Crist signed three executive orders initiating state energy-use policies, including one that requires state agencies and departments to hold meetings and conferences at hotels participating in DEP’s Green Lodging Program starting January 1, 2008, whenever possible. The Summit was a bold first step to explore groundbreaking technologies and strategies that will place Florida at the forefront of the growing world-wide movement to reduce greenhouse gases.
“With a commitment to adopting innovative green practices and protecting Florida’s environment, facilities in the Green Lodging Program are leading the industry by example.” – Vivian Garfein, DEP Central District
Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As a reward for designation, Florida is recommending Green Lodges to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging and convention facilities. With the addition of both the Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, the program 38 hotels designated, with 82 in the process of becoming designated.
For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Program designation process or to locate a participating facility, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.