Missouri to offer Green Hotel Certification Program
The Missouri Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR)have just initiated a new green certification program as of Jan. 1.
The program will award green certification to hotels and bed and breakfasts that reach a certain level of environmental sustainability. The DNR will use a point system to measure things such as a facility’s efforts to lower water usage or maximize energy efficiency.
Ramona Mormann, executive director of MHLA, said Certified Green participants could earn their points by changing lighting, implementing recycling or green education programs for employees, and even mulching their grounds with eco-friendly material.
There is no cost to participate in the Certified Green program other than the cost for facilities to upgrade to green materials. Promotion of the program will be left to the individual hotels that meet green requirements.
“Going green is so important to our guests and to corporate America,” Mormann said. “Major companies like Johnson & Johnson won’t even consider hotels that aren’t green. We have to go green to keep our guests coming.”
The DNR will provide the official recognition for any hotel that meets its green point requirements, and the MHLA will offer enhanced award packages to its members that pass the Certified Green program. Packages will include distinctive signage and Certified Green branding opportunities.
The Missouri Hotel & Lodging Association is based in Jefferson City and has between 80 and 90 members in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Floyd Gilzow, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said the first year would be used to gauge interest and participation in the Certified Green program.“I’d be willing to declare initial victory if 100 hotels joined,” Gilzow said. There are approximately 1,800 places of lodging in Missouri.