The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a long-standing tradition of taking steps to preserve the environment — for our residents and our visitors. And the tourism industry is playing its part. Many of Massachusetts’ hotels, restaurants, attractions, and retail establishments have already developed programs to reduce power, conserve water, and reduce solid waste.
For visitors, MA GREEN provides online information about travel businesses’ environmental practices. And it tells visitors how to see green programs in action, how to be a green traveler, and how to enjoy the land, lakes, rivers, and ocean and water that have been preserved for all to use. Consumer Green Pages.
For travel businesses, MA GREEN provides Massachusetts’ hotels, attractions, restaurants, and retail establishments the opportunity to share information about their environmental practices with visitors. And it provides resources to help Massachusetts’ businesses develop sound environmental programs.
- Benefits to Going Green
- MA Green Program
- How to Participate in MA Green
- Green Resources
- Solid Waste
- Green Meetings
- General Resources
BENEFITS TO GOING GREEN
Green is good business. Travel businesses that have developed strong environmental programs report that benefits include:
- Reduced costs for energy, water, and solid waste disposal
- A competitive edge when responding to meeting and conference planners looking for sites that are committed to sound environmental practices
- A healthy environment for employees and customers
- An increase in employee loyalty when green programs engage all employees
- Increased loyalty from existing customers
- The ability to attract new environmentally-aware customers
In September, 2010, the General Services Administration recommended that federal employees traveling on government business stay in hotels that are LEED certified, have earned Energy Star rating, or participate in the EPA’s WastWise and WaterSense programs. Employees are also encouraged to participate in hotels’ guest environmental programs and use green facilities for meetings and conferences. Properties in the FedRooms program should add their green credentials to their FedRooms listing.
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MA GREEN PROGRAM
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism’s MA Green program recognizes five national green certification programs. It also provides all Massachusetts’ travel businesses the opportunity to share information about their environmental practices with visitors.
The national certification programs are:
- ENERGY STAR
Managed by: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Focus: Energy efficiency of buildings, including hotels, motels, inns, extended stay properties, resorts, retail, museums, theaters, convention centers, and stadiums. ENERGY STAR’s tools and resources help you design a strategic approach to energy management and to reduce costs and the environmental footprint of your building through energy efficiency. Certification requires that facilities demonstrate that their energy performance is superior compared to other businesses in the same category.
Managed by: U.S. Green Building Council
Focus: Design, construction and operation of high-performance Green buildings. Criteria: Sustainable site, water savings, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials, and design innovation.
- TripAdvisor GreenLeaders
Managed by: TripAdvisor
Focus: environmentally preferable practices, from comprehensive recycling and composting programs to on-site solar panels, electric car charging stations and beyond.
- Green Seal
Managed by: Green Seal
Focus: Hotel sustainable practices in energy efficiency, recycling, water, hazardous materials, and purchasing.
- Green Key Eco-Rating (level 3 and higher)
Managed by: Green Key Global Focus: Hotel sustainable practices in energy, water, solid and hazardous waste, air quality, environmental management. he American Hotel and Lodging Association offers its members discounts on the certification fee.
- Certified Green Restaurants
Managed by: Green Restaurant Association
Focus: Energy and water conservation, recycling, nontoxic cleaning materials, sustainable food, Green power
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN MA GREEN
Click here to access your existing listing or to create a new one.
If your hotel, attraction, restaurant, or retail establishment holds a current certification from the above list, check the appropriate green certification box in the list of amenities. MOTT will verify your business’ certification status before publishing the listing.
If your web site has a page dedicated to your environmental practices, include the page’s URL in your description.
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Here are programs and resources to help you green your business:
- EPA’s ENERGY STAR Hospitality Program You can track your hotels’ energy and water savings and CO2 reductions through Portfolio Manager, a free benchmarking tool for hotels. The EPA has comprehensive training tools.
- The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has extensive information and links to electric and gas utility efficiency programs, energy audits, energy grants, analytic tools, renewable energy programs, and state and federal incentive programs.
- DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- National Grid conducts whole building assessments for large business customers and technical assistance and free energy audits and recommendations for small businesses.
- EVERSOURCE provides energy efficiency programs, benchmarking tools, and incentives for its electricity and gas business customers.
- GasNetworks, a collaborative of New England gas companies offers a rebate program for commercial gas users.
- Solar Action Alliance
- Wind energy resource list
- The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Renewables program and the Agricultural Energy Grant Program assist agricultural businesses to develop renewable energy.
- Green Geeks, A web design and hosting company backed by their 300% renewable energy commitment.
Conserving water also results in significant energy savings.
- EPA’s WaterSense program does not yet have a specific hospitality program. But the WaterSense program has valuable tips for businesses.
Reducing solid waste is a key element of any Green program.
WasteWise is a voluntary program, sponsored by the EPA and by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. WasteWise provides free technical assistance to help businesses develop, implement, and measure their waste reduction activities, and it publicizes members’ waste reduction success stories through regional and national publications and events.If you enroll as a WasteWise partner or endorser (free), you can access EPA’s RE-TRAC, an online tool that allows WasteWise partners to collect, analyze and report all your company’s recycling data and waste information and generate program performance and trend reports.
More waste and recycling information from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Meeting planners are increasingly assessing supplier’s sustainable practices when making site selections.
- EPA provides an extensive list of resources for suppliers and planners.
- Green Meetings Industry Council: membership-based organization that provides educational resources to planners, suppliers, and meeting venues. Plus you can sign up for the Green Meetings Portal.
- Meeting planners’ Green Checklist: from the Green Hotels Association.
- Boston Green Tourism: actively promotes green meetings; provides technical information; networking.
See LEED, ENERGY STAR, and Green Seal certifications in MA Green Program.
- The Massachusetts Lodging Association provides its members with information about Green practices, technology, and suppliers through its educational programs.
- Boston Green Tourism provides educational seminars; information about green hospitality practices, products and services; and opportunities for collaboration. BGT also promotes the city’s eco-friendly facilities and services to meeting planners and visitors.
- Green Lodging News reports on all aspects and trends relating to hotel green operations.
- American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Green Resource Center provides tips on how to get started, best practices, certification programs, and vendors plus member discounts on Green Key certification fees.
See Certified Green Restaurants certification in MA Green Program.
- ENERGY STAR’s Guide for Restaurants provides detailed best preactices for increasing energy efficiency and reducing water use and waste output.
- The Green Restaurant Association operates a certification program, Certified Green Restaurants, and it helps restaurants become more environmentally sustainable.
- The Massachusetts Restaurant Association is a strong advocate for sound environmental practices. It provides its members with information about Green practices, technology, and suppliers through seminars, speakers, and its member newsletter.
- EPA (Massachusetts): EPA programs and resources; Massachusetts environmental news
- Green Lodging News extensive product information, events and organizations
- GreenBiz: business news and trends
- Green Seal: green products and services
- Consumer Affairs: On line resource guide