Pollution Prevention - Sustainable Hospitality
The state environmental agencies in the Northeast worked with EPA and each other on the development of P2 strategies and tools for lodging facilities and restaurants from 2008 – 2012. These facilities can have a number of environmental impacts associated with energy and water use, wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, solid waste generation, and others.
In 2008, NEWMOA formed a regional Hospitality Workgroup to enhance the ability of the state and local agencies to implement effective environmental assistance programs for the hospitality industry. The Workgroup held periodic meetings focusing on sharing information and coordinating with EPA and each other for about four years.
This Project was funded by the EPA as part of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx).
NEWMOA helps state environmental programs and lodging facilities develop methods and tools to estimate the outcomes from sustainable hospitality practices. This initiative supported government programs that conduct outreach and assistance to lodging facilities and designate green certifications. The intent was to improve their ability and those of their clients to calculate the environmental impacts of their sustainability efforts, and thereby strengthen the programs and expand adoption of sustainable practices. This initiative helped participants to communicate the impacts of their work to policy makers, customers, and other stakeholders.
NEWMOA’s Hospitality Metrics Project occurred in two phases:
- Phase 1 resulted in the development of metric methodologies for estimating environmental outcomes from various sustainable practices. The final document, From Behavior Change to Environmental Outcomes In Sustainable Hospitality: Metrics, Formulas, Variables, & Assumptions, was published in June 2011.
- Phase 2 resulted in an online Green Lodging Calculator based on the methodologies developed during Phase 1. This tool enables users to plug in basic information about lodging operations and sustainable practices and obtain estimates of environmental outcomes and cost savings.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this Project were funded by the EPA through the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx™).
Following the publication of NEWMOA’s metrics methodologies document, From Behavior Change to Environmental Outcomes In Sustainable Hospitality: Metrics, Formulas, Variables, & Assumptions, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP), and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) updated their states’ green lodging metrics spreadsheets.
A number of improvements were made with these updates. Formulas for calculating environmental outcomes and cost savings were updated based on data and assumptions from the methodologies document. Additional metrics for estimating environmental outcomes were also added, as well as the ability to track the number of behavior changes made over time.
ME DEP and RI DEM have developed a spreadsheet template and user manual for other state programs to utilize when estimating environmental benefits from their sustainable lodging programs. Other states can customize the template to their specific programs.
Starting in 2010, NEWMOA developed a series of formulas for calculating environmental outcomes from sustainable hospitality efforts. These formulas enable users to estimate the outcomes associated with behavior changes at facilities.
NEWMOA began this Project by examining the metrics used by Maine’s Environmental Leader Certification Program for hospitality businesses and Vermont’s Green Hotels Program. NEWMOA also reviewed the metrics used in Florida’s Green Lodging Program, New York State’s Green Lodging Pilot Program, and other online calculators, tools, and resources. NEWMOA staff compiled a set of calculators and enhanced them by researching and verifying data sources and clarifying the assumptions used in the formulas.
NEWMOA circulated a draft Phase 1 document in July 2010 to approximately 400 sustainability practitioners for review and comment. The formal review period ended in September 2010, and NEWMOA held a webinar to review comments and discuss the next steps in October.
The culmination of the Phase 1 is the final document, From Behavior Change to Environmental Outcomes In Sustainable Hospitality: Metrics, Formulas, Variables, and Assumptions, which was published in June 2011. This document contains formulas for estimating environmental outcomes from behavior changes and explains the underlying assumptions, including references for data points.