By Marc J. Gordon
President & CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
It’s been a win-win situation during the past year and a half since the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) launched the StayGreen Program, recognizing hotels that proactively use eco-friendly products and services to help protect the environment. The program gives hotels a unique and easy opportunity to gain environmental recognition in pursuing a national green certification such as Green Seal, while addressing the growing concerns of business travelers and conference organizers for more eco-friendly accommodations.
To date, 47 IHLA hotels are part of the StayGreen Program, achieving recognition for green energy, eco-friendly products, and recycling/waste minimization. For hotels that are meeting green standards in all of these areas, the IHLA recently started an elite recognition program, which is growing steadily.
By transforming a potentially problematic way to lodge guests into a beneficial business opportunity, some of the following statistics emphasize the impact of the StayGreen Program in Illinois.
- As electricity generally accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the utility costs of a hotel, energy efficient products can reduce energy consumption and energy costs.
- Hotel guests tend to be clean – and thirsty! An occupied room typically uses 218 gallons of water every day. To reduce water and sewer use by 25 to 30 percent, installing water-efficient fixtures help hotels save in the long run.
- As much as 80 percent of all waste generated by guests can be recycled. Typically, guests produce about 30 lbs of waste per day. At 100 percent occupancy, that’s 285,000-303,000 lbs of waste that can be recycled daily.
Hotels must meet a different set of criteria for green energy, eco-friendly products, and recycling/waste minimization. For more details about individual green requirements and for general information about the StayGreen Program, contact 312-346-3135 (x225) or email@example.com.
The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) has approximately 450 hotel members representing 75,000 hotel rooms and 150 allied member companies. With more than 30 years of management experience in the hospitality industry, Marc J. Gordon has been the President& CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association since 1997. The views expressed in this post are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.