Environmental awareness in the tourism industry has evolved beyond the mandate to build structures with sustainable building materials. Commercial contractors know that the early days of environmental initiatives were characterized by adherence to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards, and the goal was LEED certified infrastructures that use energy and other resources more efficiently. Implementing LEED processes during construction was simply the first step that the Hospitality and Lodging industry took toward achieving their environmental goals. Today, industry professionals take the next steps through creative initiatives and innovative internal processes that are good for all stakeholders.
There are a number of programs and initiatives that promote green travel. Eco-Innovation-Europestrives to shrink the time and development to implementation of green practices and ideas. The organization provides grant money to inventors of eco-friendly products for propelling their unique ideas into production quickly. Eco-Innovation-Europe funds projects pertaining to materials recycling, water treatment and conservation, and the greening of businesses within industries like Hospitality.
Another initiative, The Go Green Initiative, is an international organization founded to educate the “world community” about ways to conserve and manage the earth’s resources. Although the association provides environmental training and resources to public and private sector organizations, they concentrate their efforts on schools. Jill Buck is the founder of the Go Green Initiative and claimed to have started the association because she is a child advocate who wants natural resources available to future generations. She believes that if a large percentage of the world’s children are taught good environmental stewardship then there will be enough natural resources to go around well into the future. Parents help their children put their new environmental conservation skills to work at home and when they go on vacation.
With the various programs and initiatives throughout the world, organizations have the opportunity to make their own impact on the planet. One organization in particular is ahead of the curve. The upscale Palazzo Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas recently won the title of “America’s Most Eco-friendly Hotel” for its innovative green initiatives. The ideas implemented at the hotel extend beyond installing energy-efficient light bulbs. In addition to their use of solar energy, the most elaborate eco-friendly effort involves recycling the hotel’s wastes. With over 40,000,000 visitors last year, its great to see other Las Vegas hotels going green.
Because environmental conservation is a global issue, it is natural for professionals within the Hospitality and Lodging industry to take the lead in implementing eco-friendly initiatives. The quality hotel chains often operate on the international stage so positive changes to their operations have dramatic results.