Department of Environmental Conservation

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New York State Green Hospitality and Tourism Initiative

While this program is no longer active, we encourge you to visit the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute's website for more information.


  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • I LOVE NY (Empire State Development)
  • NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSHTA)
  • NYS Restaurant Association (NYSRA)
  • NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL)
  • NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM)
  • NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP)
  • NYS Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • NYS Pollution Prevention Institute (P2I)


Under the Initiative, the NYS Green Hospitality & Tourism Partnership sought to:

  • Establish benchmarking and State-recognized green certification of hospitality businesses
  • Enhance the sector's economic and environmental performance, through
    • Referral to assistance and incentive programs
    • Green supply chain research and development
    • Support for workforce training and education, and
    • Stewardship of New York State's unparalleled natural resources.
  • Coordinate marketing under the I LOVE NY "GreenHeart" program for businesses that achieve NYS recognized certification

Green Certification

What is "green" certification?

A process by which an authorized body evaluates and recognizes either an individual or an organization as meeting pre-determined requirements or criteria for environmental performance. These criteria generally focus on a business's carbon footprint, waste generation, conservation and/or appropriate use of natural resources.

Elements of NY-recognized certifications:

  • Third party administered
  • Comprehensive, flexible & geographically relevant criteria (as compared to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria,
  • A certification process that incorporates
    • Initial evaluation of the business's environmental performance
    • Identification of "greening" opportunities specific to a property
    • On-site (or comparable) verification of the information used to determine each participant's certification
  • Assistance & recommendations for continuous improvement
  • A transparent, tiered rating system (to enable broad participation while also recognizing leadership)

Resources for Hoteliers & Restaurateurs

  • NYSERDA Energy Incentives Program
  • NYSDAM Pride of New York Program
  • Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange Hospitality Hub
  • American Hospitality & Lodging Association's Green Resource Center
  • National Restaurant Association's Conserve Initiative

(Note: Links to the above resources can be found in the Offsite Link section of the Right Navigation Panel)

Green Lodging Pilot Program

The NYS Pollution Prevention Institute and the Audubon International/Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program for Hotels (links can be found in the Offsite Link section of the right navigation panel) worked together in 2007 under the Governor's Green Hospitality & Tourism Initiative to conduct the NYS Green Hotel Certification Pilot Program - a test run for New York's hospitality industry.

The Pollution Prevention Institute and Audubon International/Green Leaf assisted New York's "Freshman Class" of 42 hotels to analyze and improve their environmental performance.