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Communication and Education (Customers, Employees, Public)
Two of the most important parts of any environmental plan are the Communication and Education components. The communication component clearly relays to guests, employees, vendors, suppliers and contractors the facility’s commitment to environmental protection. However, as important as the communication of environmental practices and achievements is, the only way to enact sustainable change is to provide some level of education to these groups.

Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
Florida's tourism industry serves an estimated 40 million visitors annually. More than 50 percent of these visitors are hotel guests during some portion their stay. The waste generated by these guests constitutes a large portion of the state's commercial waste stream. A hotel waste audit showed that the majority of waste in a hotel is not produced in guest rooms, but in the Food and Beverage Department. If a hotel's waste is not reduced or recycled, it contributes to the state's overall environmental problems.

Water Conservation
Many believe water conservation is the biggest environmental challenge faced by Floridians. It is a precious commodity that tourism and industry depend on for economic viability. In Florida, the majority of drinking water comes from groundwater aquifers that are replenished by rainfall. Florida must average at least 53 inches of water per year to avoid drought conditions. During drought conditions, individuals as well as businesses are asked to conserve water. It is important to conserve water not only during these times, but everyday as well.

Energy Efficiency
Energy savings means cost savings. Energy is a controllable cost and many organizations are realizing the cost-benefits of energy reduction. Hotel energy costs can consume from four to seven percent of a property's revenue, which for many properties is more than their profit margin. If hotels improve their energy performance by an average of 30 percent, the annual electricity bill savings would be nearly $1.5 billion. This represents a savings of approximately $365 per available room per year for every hotel room in the country. According the Hospitality Research Group of PKF Consulting, a 10 percent reduction in energy costs is equivalent to increasing occupancy points by 1.04 and increasing average daily rate by 1.6 percent for a full-service hotel.

Indoor Air Quality
Over the past few decades, clean air practices have become increasingly important in progressive hotel management. These changes have not only led to an increase in energy efficiency and reduced exposure to health-related liabilities but have also created positive impacts on the "bottom line” and higher employee and guest satisfaction.

Transportation
At first glance, transportation issues may not appear to be pertinent to the day-to-day operations of a lodging facility. However, this could not be further from the truth. Guests, staff, suppliers, vendors and contractors all use some type of transportation to arrive at their destination and during their stay. During these travels, not only are vital natural resources consumed, but numerous air pollutants are released into the air during each mile that is traveled. Many visitors to Florida arrive by automobile or use some form of automobile transportation during their trip, whether it is a day trip to the beach or to drive from one location to another in our beautiful state. On an average day, more than 44,000 automobiles enter Florida just through the I-95 and I-75 corridors.

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Last updated: January 21, 2011

  Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Green Lodging Program, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, M.S. 30, Tallahassee, Florida 32399
850-245-2100 (phone) / 850-245-2159 (fax)  
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