Commonly Asked Questions and Answers for Executive Order 07-126 & House Bill 7135
Florida Green Lodging Program
Section 23. Section 286.29, Florida Statutes: "Climate-friendly public business"
BACKGROUND: On July 13, 2007, former Governor Charlie Crist signed three executive orders to reduce Florida's greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and remove market barriers for renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind energy. Section 4 of Executive Order 07-126 required that as of January 1, 2008, state agencies and departments under the direction of the Governor could not contract for meeting and conference space with hotels and conference facilities that had not received the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Green Lodging Program designation for best practices in water, energy and waste efficiency standards, except when certified by the Governor by the responsible agency head that no other viable alternative existed.
In June 2008, former Governor Crist signed House Bill 7135, "The Energy, Climate Change, And Economic Security Act Of 2008," which built upon the framework of the executive orders and expanded the Green Lodging meeting and conference requirements of Executive Order 07-126 from state agencies under the Governor's direction to all state agencies. This comprehensive energy and economic development legislation also encompassed reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as encouraging investment in alternative and renewable energy technologies.
Green Lodging PROGRAM - Section 286.29, "The Energy, Climate Change, And Economic Security Act Of 2008" states:
"Effective July 1, 2008, state agencies shall contract for meeting and conference space only with hotels or conference facilities that have received the "Green Lodging" designation from the Department of Environmental Protection for best practices in water, energy, and waste efficiency standards, unless the responsible state agency head makes a determination that no other viable alternative exists."
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Green Lodging Provision
Are state employees required to stay at designated properties in the Florida Green Lodging Program for state travel?
No, "The Energy, Climate Change, And Economic Security Act Of 2008" and the Executive Order language apply only to contracts for meetings and conference space, not personnel travel and accommodations. However, DEP recommends staying at designated properties, if possible.
How can I easily see which properties are already in the program?
We would like to have our conference in a particular area of the state, but there are no properties designated in the Florida Green Lodging Program in that area. Is this considered "no other viable alternative"?
Yes, but the agency needs to demonstrate that there is a compelling reason why the event must be held in this particular area. In addition, we ask that the agency make facilities aware of the legislation and the Florida Green Lodging Program website, https://floridadep.gov/osi/green-lodging, so they can consider becoming a designated property prior to the event taking place.
The room rates for all the designated properties in the Florida Green Lodging Program in the area we need to have our conference are expensive and price us out of the market. Can this be considered "no other viable alternative"?
Yes, but the agency will need to demonstrate that there are no other designated properties in the Florida Green Lodging Program in the area that would meet the requirements for the event, and a compelling reason why the event must be held in this particular area. Also, we ask the the agency make the facility aware of the legislation and direct its managers to the Florida Green Lodging Program website, https://floridadep.gov/osi/green-lodging, so they can consider becoming a designated property prior to the event taking place.
We would like to contract with a property that is a Florida Green Lodging Program applicant, but they are not yet a designated property. Can we utilize this facility?
No, since the legislation clearly states that agencies may not contract for meetings and conference space with hotels and conference facilities that have not received the designation.
What else can I do to support this effort?
You could easily - as both a state employee traveling on business, or a private individual - provide feedback to DEP through an email form that helps us ensure that properties in the program are practicing efficient measures. To provide feedback, please visit the Green Lodging Survey.
March 19, 2020 - 10:37am
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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.