Launched in 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program is an initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a voluntary commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. The program’s environmental guidelines enable the hospitality industry to evaluate 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.
Indoor air quality.
The Florida Green LodgingProgram application is designed to allow 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 an effort to better recognize the state’s lodging properties for their commitment to protecting the state’s natural resources, the Florida Green LodgingProgram is a four-tiered designation. 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 points.
Three Palm designations will need between 558 and 717 points.
Four Palm designations will need between 718 and 796 points.
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. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the program.
The Florida Green LodgingProgram 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 Lodgingwebsite, where each designated property is featured and 24/7 web access is available to Best Management Practices and Technical Assistance.
October 21, 2021 - 11:46am
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.