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Four new facilities achieve Two Palm status in Green Lodging program; two Sanibel sites added

By Staff | Dec 23, 2008

Four new properties recently earned Two Palm status in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Green Lodging Program.

The Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre and Rosen Plaza, all located in Orlando, and the Banyan Resort and Spa in Key West recently achieved the higher Two Palm designation.

In addition, 21 other facilities — including Sanibel’s Blue Dolphin Cottages and the Country Inn & Suites Sanibel Gateway, achieved initial One Palm designation in the program.

The voluntary state initiative provides the lodging industry with free technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste, conserve natural resources and improve the bottom line.

Facilities can achieve up to three levels of green within the Florida Green Lodging Program ranging from One Palm to Three Palms based on increased reductions in waste, water and energy consumption.

“We are pleased to see more and more lodging facilities leading the way toward protecting Florida’s Environment by continuing to improve upon environmentally responsible management practices,” said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. “With 11 facilities now designated Two Palm or higher, the lodging industry is embracing the program’s initiative to protect Florida’s resources beyond the minimal requirements for designation.” To become a designated member of the Florida Green Lodging Program, hotels must implement a variety of green practices. These practices include, but are not limited to, water conservation measures by installing low flow plumbing fixtures and implementing a linen reuse program, and energy efficiency achieved by installing ENERGY STAR appliances and programmable thermostats. The waste reduction criteria are met by providing the opportunity to recycle, purchasing items in bulk, purchasing recycled materials and by recycling ink and toner cartridges. All designated properties must also use green cleaners and high efficiency air filters and clean air handler units frequently.

Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As reward for designation, the state is recommending designated properties in the Florida Green Lodging Program to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging and convention facilities. To date the program has 388 designated properties and more than 400 applications.

For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.

Source: DEP