Being green is not just for eco-lodges anymore. This week Travelocity announced it will add hundreds of properties to its Green Hotel Directory that have been validated by Hilton Worldwide’s innovative sustainability measurement system, LightStay™. Travelocity is awarding its coveted “eco-friendly hotel” leaf tag to more than 300 elite properties among the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, each of which has made significant strides toward sustainability.
Travelocity is the only major online travel company that tags eco-friendly hotels site-wide. “Our eco-friendly leaf is a symbol consumers can trust and it makes shopping a snap,” says Alison Presley, manager of Travelocity’s Travel for Good® program. “We’re excited to award it to over 300 of Hilton Worldwide’s green properties.”
To date, Travelocity has flagged more than 2,200 hotels across the globe with the eco-friendly leaf and the company works with an elite group of certification programs. To be listed in the Green Hotel Directory, a hotel must be certified by a second- or third-party program that aligns with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and have an on-site audit. The criteria, which offers a comprehensive picture of what it means to be sustainable, was developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a global coalition of U.N. bodies, research and academic institutions, social and environmental NGOs, and certification programs.
Travelocity doesn’t just promote eco-friendly products—the company is also working hard to reduce its own footprint and to promote sustainability within the travel industry. The company’s sustainability efforts start at home with its Silver LEED-certified headquarters. And to date, Travelocity and its customers have helped The Conservation Fund plant more than 24,000 trees across five national wildlife refuges that will trap an estimated 25,400 metric tons of CO2 over the life of those forests. The company is also a founding member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which is working toward a more sustainable future for the industry.
Hilton Worldwide and its portfolio of 10 hotel brands recently became the first major multi-brand company in the hospitality industry to make sustainability measurement a brand standard with the implementation of LightStay. The proprietary system measures energy and water use and waste and carbon output at hotels globally. Additionally, LightStay analyzes performance across 200 operational practices, such as housekeeping, paper-product usage, food waste, chemical storage, air quality and transportation.
“The Travelocity eco-friendly leaf tag is something our hotels will showcase proudly,” said Paul Brown, President of Global Brands & Commercial Services, Hilton Worldwide. “Operating in a responsible and sustainable manner is a Hilton Worldwide priority and a central part of how the company does business, and by Dec. 31, 2011, all of our 3,600-plus properties will use LightStay.”
Hilton Worldwide commissioned KEMA-Registered Quality, Inc.—a Management Systems assessment and certification company—to perform a series of third-party audits of LightStay to confirm its validity and effective implementation. The extensive audit revealed that LightStay is a best-in-class system for measuring and analyzing sustainability performance data at hotel properties.