Today In Disney History ~ March 10th
Below is info on The Florida Department of Environmental Protections’s Green Lodging Program from their official site. Guests can visit their official website and click on the interactive map to learn more about hotels that have been designated as 1, 2, 3 or 4 Palm resorts.
Launched in 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. The program’s environmental guidelines allow the hospitality industry to evaluate its operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance.
The Florida Green Lodging Program is administered primarily online. To become designated, facilities must conduct a thorough property assessment and implement a specified number of environmental practices in five areas of sustainable operations:
- Communication and Education (Customers, Employees, Public)
- Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
- Water Conservation
- Energy Efficiency
- Indoor Air Quality
The Florida Green Lodging Program has recently redesigned the program’s designation application. This redesign has allowed for the expansion of environmental criteria within each section and, more importantly, the assignment of different “weights” to the criteria based on the potential positive environmental impact.
A minimum point total is required for each section. Applicants are free to select which criteria to implement at their facility as long as the minimum total for that section is met. Failure to meet the minimum number of points will render that section incomplete and will delay designation approval.
In response to stakeholder requests, and in an effort to better recognize the state’s lodging properties for their commitment to protecting the state’s natural resources, the Florida Green Lodging Program is incorporating a 4-level tiered designation. The tiered structure is an expansion of the previous “Palm” levels that we once part of the program until 2009. Facilities will be able to obtain different “Palm” levels based on the total number of points received when implementing criteria to receive their designation. The “Palm” levels are as follows:
- One Palm designations will need between 212 and 398 points.
- Two Palm designations will need between 399 and 557.
- Three Palm designations will need between 558 and 717.
- Four Palm designations will need between 718 and 796.
The Florida Green Lodging designation is valid for three years from date of issuance. To maintain designation, properties are required to submit environmental performance data (water, waste, energy) annually. Properties must also implement at least two new environmental practices from any of the five areas of sustainable operations. The Florida Green Lodging designation is valid for three years from date of issuance. To maintain designation, properties are required to submit environmental performance data (water, waste, energy) annually. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the program.
The Florida Green Lodging Program benefits not only the environment but also helps designated properties save money and increase occupancy rates. By reducing water and energy use and reducing waste generation operating costs go down. Business is generated for state meetings and conferences through HB 7135 which gives preference to designated Florida Green Lodging properties. Designated properties also receive marketing and technical assistance benefits through the Florida Green LodgingWeb site, where each designated property is featured and 24/7 Web access is available to Best Management Practices andTechnical Assistance.
TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging/
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