Green Governments And Non-Profits

green hospitality

Green Seal works with state and local governments to help them encourage members of the hospitality sector to become certified to one of Green Seal’s two hospitality standards, GS-33 for hotels and lodging properties and GS-55 for Restaurants and Food Services.  Green Seal has also partnered with local organizations to help them develop standards for their own certification programs.

Certified green businesses can help state and local governments achieve a number of environmental and economic objectives, including:
  • Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,
  • Saving energy,
  • Conserving water,
  • Reducing solid and hazardous waste,
  • Reducing exposure of workers, residents and visitors to toxic chemicals,
  • Educating the local workforce about environmental impacts and benefits, and
  • Supporting green building programs, attracting green conventions, and green tourism.
A key element of the Green Seal hospitality program is education and outreach. Working in concert with government agencies, local businesses, and trade associations, Green Seal staff provides information to hotels, food services and restaurants about what is involved in becoming certified, as well as the benefits of certification.

In some cases, state or local governments subsidize the cost of certification, providing a tangible incentive for hotels and other hospitality businesses to “go green.”

Hotels and Lodging Properties

The hotels in a city contribute to the community’s environmental footprint. Green Seal first developed the GS-33 Standard for Hotels and Lodging Properties in 1999.  

The criteria in the standard focus on waste minimization, energy conservation and management, management of fresh water resources, waste water management, and pollution prevention through the reduction of hazardous substances. In order to be certified, the hotel or lodging facilities is also required to incorporate environmentally sensitive purchasing initiatives.

Restaurants and Food Services

Green Seal created the GS-55 Standard for Restaurants and Food Services in 2014. Green Seal based the standard off of a pilot program in which Green Seal partnered with local Chicago organizations and restaurants; read more about the Chicago restaurants pilot program here. The standard covers restaurants and food service operations whose primary business is preparing and serving food to the general public or private consumers. This includes full-service, limited-service, non-commercial, and catering operations. The standard allows restaurants and food services to be certified at three different levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, or Gold.

The criteria in the standard focuses on responsible food offerings, supply purchases, waste handling, and energy and water conservation. In developing the standard, research by Green Seal determined that the overwhelming majority of environmental impacts in a restaurant comes from the food that is selected and purchased, which represents up to 95% of the total environmental impact of a food service operation.

Related Projects

Los Angeles Green Lodging Program
  • Green Seal is working with LA INC., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Los Angeles to implement a Green Lodging Program for the Los Angeles area. The LA Green Lodging Program is based on certification of area hotels to Green Seal’s GS-33 Standard for Lodging Properties. Click here to learn more about this initiative.
Chicago Green Hotels Initiative
  • The City of Chicago implemented a Green Hotels Initiative that encouraged hotels to obtain Green Seal certification.  Chicago now leads the country as the city with the most Green Seal-certified hotels.
Pennsylvania Green Hotels Program
  • Worked with the Commonwealth to certify approximately twenty-five Pennsylvania hotels around the state.