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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2012

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795

NEW PROJECT TOUTS GREEN PRACTICES AND
POTENTIAL COST SAVINGS FOR NEW JERSEY HOTELS

(12/P46) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection, in concert with several other state and federal agencies, is launching a program designed to assist New Jersey hotel owners and operators increase energy efficiency and cost savings through the utilization of green practices.

Participating hotels in the DEP’s Garden State Green Hotel Project will have the opportunity to learn of profiting through sustainability in several workshops and training sessions scheduled in the coming months. In addition, 120 hotels will receive no-cost and no-obligation environmental and energy reviews that could serve as a first step to “Green” certification from various programs in the eco-tourism industry.

“There are many ways to conserve energy and save money in the hospitality sector,” said Bob Marshall, DEP Assistant Commissioner for Sustainability and Green Energy. “Hotels taking part in this project can become more sustainable while boosting their bottom lines through a reduction of energy use and increased customer satisfaction.”

The Garden State Green Hotel Project is funded by an $180,000 contribution made by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program, which will be matched by the DEP. Other partners include the state Board of Public Utilities, Division of Travel and Tourism, the U.S. Green Building Council – New Jersey Chapter; Atlantic Cape Community College, and the State Employment & Training Commission

“It's a natural fit for the Board of Public Utilities to team up its Clean Energy Program incentives with the efforts of the DEP and EPA to help New Jersey hotels achieve energy efficiency and cost savings measures," said BPU President Bob Hanna.

The Green Hotel Project will focus on the priorities of the federal P2 program: achieving measurable results in increasing energy efficiency and lowering greenhouse gases, reducing hazardous materials and waste generation, while conserving water in hotels.

There also will be an emphasis on the economic benefits of implementing these practices. Hotels certified as “Green” have fared statistically fared well in multiple customer-satisfaction polls conducted by several travel websites.

“The focus on sustainability is being driven by consumers and it is important to business for the hospitality industry,’’ said Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation for Wyndham Worldwide and board member of the USGBC – New Jersey Chapter. “A recent study shows a majority of U.S. travelers believe their travel choices can make a difference to the environment and almost half consider the environment when making travel choices. So the Green Hotel Project is good for business and the environment.”

The delivery of green education will be achieved through five major efforts:

  • Distribution of printed and electronic materials to 1,153 hotels in New Jersey;
  • Four separate workshops and conferences for 300 hotels;
  • Environmental and energy reviews for 120 hotels from officials of the New Jersey Small Business Environmental Assistance Program;
  • Hotel job training at Atlantic Cape Community College (Cape May County campus) for 60 hotels;
  • P2 audits, followed by technical assistance, education and voluntary implementation incentives for 10 hotels.

All environmental and energy assessments and training will be provided at no cost to the hotels.

Hotel owners interested in receiving further information about the Garden State Green Hotel Project can contact Ky Asral at 609-777-0319 or ky.asral.@dep.state.nj.us.

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