Cooper Hotels, a leading, multi-brand owner and operator of 22 hotels in the eastern half of the U.S. today announced that its four Florida properties are in the process of becoming certified "Green Lodges" by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The hotels are the Hilton Naples, Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, and two Fort Myers hotels, the Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Bell Tower Shops.
Certification depends not only on implementing green practices required by the department, but also on securing the commitment of top management. In this case it is Pace Cooper, President and CEO of the Memphis, Tennessee-based company. "While all of our hotels practice conservation, our Florida hotels are taking it to the next level with constant monitoring of results and feedback," said Mr. Cooper. "Most importantly, we will involve our guests in our efforts. Since many of them practice some level of conservation at home, they will appreciate the opportunity to contribute while traveling."
Criteria in five areas must be met in order to attain green status. Communications efforts must include a "green team" chaired by the hotel general manager, with representatives from each job position. The hotel staff must be familiar with the hotel's environmental policy and their role in it. Discussions on green practices at staff meetings are mandatory and require documentation. Guests and staff must receive communications on environmental initiatives via newsletters, or placards in guest rooms. Finally, a suggestion box or survey form must be provided for guests and staff to give feedback on green practices.
For water conservation, towel and linen reuse programs are required along with low flow faucets, showerheads and toilets and automatic faucets or toilets in public restrooms.
Energy efficiency measures include using Energy Star-rated equipment, programmable thermostats, sensor-controlled lighting, high-energy efficient lighting and a computerized energy management system.
Waste reduction is accomplished by recycling ink and toner cartridges, paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans. Use of recycled office paper, toilet tissues, paper towels or paper napkins is required as is bulk purchasing or reduced packaging.
Clean air practices consist of environmentally preferable cleaners, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, cleaning air handler units and coils at least annually and following up with a preventive maintenance schedule.