AH&LA Guides Hotels on Green Best Practices

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has announced a list of best practices for hoteliers taking steps to cost-effectively 'green' their own operations. Available on AH&LA's website, the section features a growing list of actionable strategies, case studies, and timely "green" news from AH&LA members leading the way to a more eco-friendly hospitality community, according to an association release.

AH&LA singled out exemplary action by a number of chains and properties, including:
* Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, running eco-friendly and responsible kitchens worldwide;
* Colorado's Devil's Thumb Ranch, the only U.S. property to be recognized for its commitment to sustainability in a recent survey by Travel + Leisure magazine;
* MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, recycling 80 percent of construction waste and building a monorail to the neighboring Bellagio Hotel.

"We encourage our members to educate themselves on the strides their industry colleagues are making to generate ideas for their own businesses. As we do more and more research, we're thrilled at how eco-conscious the lodging community already is, and extremely optimistic as we define and launch sustainability initiatives industry-wide," said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, in the release.

An association task force is working with the U.S. Green Building Council on a new, hotel-centric, LEED building certification, expected to be completed by the end of this year.

AH&LA is also reviewing criteria from more than a dozen existing programs already in effect around the nation, including Green Seal, Green Globe, Green Key, and various state certification programs, components of which will be the basis for the multi-tier green lodging certification program. Rounding out the initiative, AH&LA is also working with the meeting planner community to jointly create eco-savvy guidelines for the industry.