Recently we went on a mini vacation to Ottawa. There were several aspects of the trip that I want to blog about but it would be at least eleventy billion pages long so I will break it into several posts. The first topic will be about selecting a hotel based on an Eco-Rating Program.
I picked Minto Suites based on a variety of factors including their environmental impact. They are part of the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and have earned a 4. When I first looked into this program I was kind of surprised at the number of hotels that had their logo on their website. I mean a lot of hotels..some I have even stayed in and in no way would I say that they are 'green'. Perhaps there are things going on in the background that I don't know about but from a customer perspective they just didn't scream 'Hey we care about the environment!!! Save the polar bears!!!!' To be part of this program a hotel completes a questionnaire only and within minutes is automatically assigned a rating of 1-5. The hotel may be subjected to an on site inspection (20% of member hotels are inspected annually - currently 2100+ hotels registered).
They are also part of the Audubon International GreenLeaf Eco-Rating Program and have earned 4 leafs. To start a hotel registers for the program and receives information on how to become more eco-efficient. Within 3 years of registering the hotel completes a checklist of all areas of operation. Based on this checklist a 3rd party verification audit is conducted and a rating is given to the hotel (1-5 leafs).
A program that is self-administered and not fully 3rd party verified is not as reliable as a program that is 3rd party verified. But a hotel that has taken the time to complete the checklist and start to make changes in their operation is still taking positive steps in the right direction to being more sustainable. Personally for me when I look at a hotel now I will look for more than just the GreenKey logo. I will look for additional programs, additional information on their website or endorsement from a green travel group.
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