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Green Hotel Certification Pilot Program

In September 2009, New York State unveiled the "Green Hotel Certification Pilot Program." While this program is no longer active, hotels made significant strides to enhance their environmental performances. Additional information regarding program results may be found by visiting the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute's website. A link is provided in the panel on the right.

A "Freshman Class" of 43 hotels were admitted to the pilot. Each hotel received a Green-Leaf Rating to recognize their commitments to water quality and conservation, waste reduction, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.

With third party accreditation by Audubon International/Green Leaf, lodges in New York State can proudly display their green certification to their guests and gain a significant marketing advantage. Moreover, lodges can see a reduction in their energy, waste disposal, and other environmentally-related business expenses by participating in the program.

Pilot Program Benefits

Hotels received public recognition and marketing benefits as an environmental leader

  • Third-party, credible verification by a non-profit environmental group
  • Easy identification as an environmentally-friendly hotel for millions of travelers
  • Structure, information, tools and advice to reduce operating costs
  • Enhanced job satisfaction and increased morale for staff through their involvement

The effort was being led by the DEC in partnership with NYS Hospitality and Tourism Association, NYS Restaurant Association, I Love NY, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, NYS Department of Labor, NYS Office of Parks & Recreation, NYS Energy Research & Development Authority, and NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

What is Green Certification?

Green certification evaluates and recognizes pre-determined requirements or criteria for environmental performance. It is generally based on things like a business's carbon footprint, waste generation, conservation and/or appropriate use of natural resources.

Plastic sheeting is being laid out for a green roof construction
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Holderied,
Proprietor of the Golden Arrow Lakeside
Resort installing a Green Roof. Also called
"eco-roofs" or "sky gardens," green roofs
help lower your energy bills, keep air and
water clean, and dampen outdoor noise
pollution. Green roofs usually are made
with plants and grasses that are weather
tolerant to your zone.

The Freshman Class

Forty-three lodges were admitted into the pilot program, representing hotels of various sizes from across the state. The Freshman Class received assistance from Audubon and the Pollution Prevention Institute to analyze and improve their environmental performance. Contact information for the Freshman Class (PDF, 34 KB) can be found on our website.

How to Stay Involved

Hoteliers, be sure to check back for more information on green hotel tips, special events, updates, and stories from the Freshman Class. The Green Hotel Certification Program is just getting started and promises to offer opportunities for non-enrolled innkeepers.

Green Lodging Calculator

The Green Lodging Calculator was developed by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) to help lodging facilities estimate the financial and environmental benefits from incorporating sustainability into their business practices. Click on the "Green Lodging Calculator" link in right navigational panel under "Links Leaving DEC's Website."

For More Information

To find out more about the pilot program, go to Audubon International's website (see link in right navigation panel under "Links Leaving DEC's Website").

Green Tourism

For more information about green tourism and staying in a green certified hotel, visit Empire State Development's "Green Travel" website. A link may be found at the top right of this page.

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