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ArticlesBridget's Suite

Green Certification at Hotels: a Step Towards Sustainable Hospitality

Every month our colleague Bridget Donofrio offers us, directly from the VDA Telkonet office in the United States, her personal point of view on the latest innovations in terms of technology, sustainability and energy saving to help hotel and non-hotel establishments remain competitive. 


Let’s read together her article for Bridget’s Suite May 2024. 


I recently read that American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) are partnering to operate the Green Key Global certification program in the U.S. and Canada.  Created by HAC, Green Key has been in existence since 1994. 

The concept of sustainability has gained considerable attention across various industries, including one near and dear to our hearts: the hospitality sector. As hoteliers become more conscious about their ecological footprints, hotels embrace “green” certification programs to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship. These certifications not only benefit the planet but also contribute to the overall guest experience and the hotel’s reputation.  

In this article, we will explore the importance of green certification at hotels and how it is shaping the future of sustainable hospitality. Green certification programs, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the aforementioned Green Key, provide a framework for hotels to assess and improve their sustainability efforts. These programs evaluate various aspects of a hotel’s operations, including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and community engagement. By meeting the stringent criteria set by these certifications, hotels can showcase their dedication to reducing their environmental impact. 

Environmental Impact 

One of the key benefits of green certification is the positive impact it has on the environment. Through renewable energy sources, and water-saving initiatives, and most significantly to us, energy saving thermostats, lighting, etc., certified hotels significantly reduce their carbon footprint. By implementing sustainable practices such as recycling, composting, and responsible sourcing, hotels can minimize waste generation and promote a circular economy. These efforts help conserve natural resources, protect biodiversity, and mitigate climate change.  

Guest Experience 

Green certification also enhances the guest experience by providing eco-friendly amenities and services. Certified hotels often offer guests options to reduce their environmental impact, such as towel and linen reuse programs, eco-friendly toiletries, and locally sourced organic food.  

Eco-conscious Travelers 

These initiatives align with the preferences of eco-conscious travelers who seek sustainable accommodation options. By staying at a certified hotel, guests can enjoy a guilt-free and environmentally responsible stay.  

Local Community Engagement 

Green certification programs encourage hotels to engage with the local community and support sustainable development initiatives. Hotels can actively participate in community outreach programs, promote local culture and heritage, and contribute to the well-being of the surrounding areas. By fostering partnerships with local businesses and organizations, certified hotels create a positive impact on the local economy and social fabric.  


From a business perspective, green certification can lead to cost savings and increased profitability. By implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices, hotels can reduce their utility bills and operational expenses. Sustainability initiatives often attract environmentally conscious guests who are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly accommodations. As a result, certified hotels can gain a competitive edge and improve their financial performance. 

What I’ve Learned 

What I have learned is that green certification at hotels is a vital step towards sustainable hospitality. By obtaining certifications such as LEED or Green Key, hotels demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility, enhance the guest experience, and contribute to the local community’s well-being. These certifications benefit the planet but also offer cost savings and improved profitability. As the demand for sustainable travel continues to rise, green certification programs will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the hospitality industry. If your property isn’t yet green-certified, now is a great time to jump on the green bandwagon.