SANTA FE, N.M.—The Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA) has launched a public-private sector collaboration called the Santa Fe Green Lodging Initiative. The initiative is being funded by a $49,700 grant awarded to the Watershed Association by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. SFWA supports Santa Fe’s hospitality industry to save money, conserve water, and decrease chemical pollution going into their watershed. “This is a certification program that helps hotels set achievable goals commensurate with their capabilities,” Watershed Association executive director, Felicity Broennan said. “More than one million tourists visit Santa Fe each year. While they are welcomed and are an important part of our economy, they also put considerable pressure on our environmental resources.”
Over the next 12 months, HospitalityGreen LLC, a New York-based firm specializing in environmental and operations consulting services and founder of the nationally recognized Green Concierge Certification program, will provide technical assistance, green team training and customized coaching free of charge to 15 lodging providers in Santa Fe. HospitalityGreen (HG) will conduct third party assessments of each property in November 2013. The assessment will determine if the individual property has met the rigors of the Green Concierge Certification. The certification requires that a property meet multiple standards and track resource usage with HospitalityGreen’s proprietary resource tracking tools for a minimum of six months.
HG’s work in the Catskills resulted in measured environmental and financial outcomes. Participating businesses diverted at least 2,640 tons of waste to reuse or recycling, saved approximately $324,900, and increased occupancy by 20 to 25 percent. Certifying more than 20 properties helped brand the Catskills as a green destination resulting in increased tourism and local jobs.
“We are honored to have been chosen to bring our program to Santa Fe,” said Evadne Giannini, founder and CEO of HospitalityGreen LLC. “We look forward to sharing ideas, assisting the properties to meet the certification standards and working with the Santa Fe partners to help brand Santa Fe as an eco-tourist destination.”
The Santa Fe Green Lodging Initiative’s growing directory of local partners includes: Santa Fe Watershed Assn.; Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau; City of Santa Fe Environmental Services Division; New Mexico Lodging Assn.; Santa Fe Lodgers Assn.; Santa Fe Community College; New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, Santa Fe Chapter; Inn of the Governors; La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa; and the Inn and Spa at Loretto.
Go to HospitalityGreen.
Picture courtesy of Inn and Spa at Loretto.