The Future is Looking Green

bucket-travel-greenThese days, it’s not just Tree-Huggers that are envir­on­mentally con­scious trav­ellers; Increasing numbers of people are choosing to stay in eco-friendly hotels. By improving the eco­lo­gical foot­print of your business, you can save money, increase your public profile & save the planet all at once. Hotels can assess how green they already are & improve on their current business prac­tices through several green ini­ti­ative pro­grams in place ded­icated solely to the hos­pit­ality industry.

Going Green

The Hotel Asso­ci­ation of Canada’s (HAC) Green Keys Eco-Rating program is one of these green ini­ti­atives (www.hacgreenhotels.com). There are cur­rently just under 700 hotels registered in the program, which uses a self-auditing process to grade a property as having a minimum of one Green Key and a maximum of five.

The self-audit is designed to let the hotel know how they are doing envir­on­mentally and gives them a report to show them how they can improve, explains Andrea Myers, HAC’s dir­ector of mar­keting & member ser­vices.

bucket-what-is-green-key1
Con­sumers are able to search for a Green Key rated hotel through the HAC Web site & though various other organ­iz­a­tions that are also recog­nizing the system (for example, The Asso­ci­ation of Cor­porate Travel Exec­utives is pro­ducing a green meetings dir­ectory fea­turing Green Key prop­erties).

Michael Wasuita, owner operator of Pine Bun­galows, a  72-cabin property in Jasper, AB, is the proud owner of four Green Keys & believes that having the rating brings people to his property. Wasuita had to make a lot of adjust­ments to get such a high rating.

More & more people are pat­ron­izing envir­on­mentally  con­scious places, Michael says. I stopped using petro-chemical based paints & stains, nature-scaped the pre­vi­ously man­i­cured lawns into meadows — which the elk here love — installed low-flood toilets & brought the prop­erties energy con­sumption right down. These measures saved a lot of money on util­ities too.

Although the idea of doing envir­on­mentally sound upgrades like Wasuita’s may seem scary, many prop­erties find that they are impressed by those hotels that go the extra mile to reduce their eco-foot­print.