The US Green Building Council of New Jersey in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability (AQES) Program and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism Department proudly delivered an educational and voluntary technical assistance program to NJ hotels to encourage increased environmental performance in the hospitality sector.
The program was led by the NJDEP’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) in partnership with other organizations in the state. The program’s environmental guidelines allowed the hospitality industry to evaluate its operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance. The Program evaluated 107 hotels throughout the state of New Jersey, provided tailored advice regarding actions to take to increase environmental sustainability, and re-evaluated 101 hotels to analyze how their efforts impacted their resource use, energy efficiency, solid waste generation, and other factors.
The hotels that took recommended actions saw a reduction in their energy, water, waste disposal, and other environmentally related business expenses by participating in the program. This program supported an overall green hospitality and tourism program for the state of New Jersey.
Garden State Green Hotels Project Information
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection utilized a Pollution Prevention grant from the USEPA to achieve the following environmental goals at NJ Hotels:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Reduce use of hazardous material;
- Reduce use of water and conserve natural resources; and
- Reduce the generation of solid waste.
How the Program Works
The goals of the project were reached by developing and delivering a comprehensive technical assistance and education program focused on ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce the use of hazardous materials, conserve water and reduce waste generation, with an emphasis on the economic benefits of implementing sustainable practices. The delivery of the Project was executed through 5 major output efforts, which are:
- Distribution of printed & electronic informational material;
- Attendance at workshops and conferences (4 separate events);
- Environmental evaluations, followed by technical assistance, education and implementation incentives, conducted by the NJ SBEAP;
- Environmental evaluations, followed by technical assistance, education and implementation incentives, case study conducted by Stockton University;
- The organization of the NJ Hotel Industry Stakeholder Group (NJHISG);
- The creation of the TravelGreenNewJersey.com website.
In addition to the NJDEP and the USEPA, we have partnered with several organizations to execute requirements of the grant and each supporter has committed the following resources to this initiative:
- USGBC NJ Chapter: Creation of website, education, training and marketing, meeting and training room space, technical assistance.
- NJ Division of Travel & Tourism: Create link to website and distribute marketing materials to the public at key tourism locations around the State.
- NJ Board of Public Utilities: Financial, technical and marketing assistance.
- State Employment and Training Commission: Job training resources.
- Atlantic Cape Community College: Meeting, training, conference/workshop space and program marketing.
Hotels that wish to participate in the Garden State Green Hotels Project simply need to volunteer by contacting Ky Asral at Ky.Asral@dep.state.nj.us or 609-777-0319. Hotels that wish to participate in energy evaluations will be asked to provide the last 12 months of energy bills. All hotels enrolled in the program will receive updates for workshops, job training, conferences and guidance documents. There is no obligation to implement any recommendations.