The Garden State Green Hotels project was an education and technical assistance program created by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) to improve environmental quality at New Jersey hotels. The Program raised the level of environmental awareness of hotels in New Jersey through outreach, events, and targeted environmental evaluations that provided hotels with insight into actions they could take to improve their environmental performance. This project was funded in part by a Pollution Prevention grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
SBEAP distributed print and electronic educational material, coordinated and attended workshops and conferences, performed P2 evaluations at 107 selected hotels, provided technical assistance to those hotels, and conducted reassessments at 101 of the same hotels. The technical assistance visits focused on the reduction of greenhouse gases and the use of hazardous materials, water conservation, and cost savings. In addition, SBEAP created the NJ Hotel Industry Stakeholder Group in order to develop lasting community-business relationships that will continue to drive environmental sustainability in the hospitality sector in the future.
Overall, the GSGH Project was a success. 89.7% of hotels that received technical assistance visits implemented at least some of SBEAP’s recommendations; due to these changes, these hotels together will save $406,581.60, 1,074.06 tons of greenhouse gases, over 1 million kWh, 7,386.63 MMBTU, 423.51 tons of solid waste, 2,205 gallons of chemicals, and over 11.8 million gallons of water per year. NJ SBEAP believes that the Project’s biggest accomplishment was in water conservation, an environmental issue that is not as incentivized or publicized and one for which there is significant room for improvement in the hospitality sector. This project not only illuminated these environmental issues and encouraged more than 100 hotels to increase their environmental performance, but it also opened up more opportunities to improve sustainability in this sector in the future.
This website was created to provide a list of certified green hotels in New Jersey, summarize resources available to hotels regarding sustainability, government programs, and certification bodies, and to advertise their sustainability efforts.