AHLA hosts second annual ‘Responsible Stay Summit’ in Washington

It extends AHLA's 2022 Responsible Stay initiative that promotes environmental sustainability

Responsible Stay Summit AHLA
The American Hotel & Lodging Association hosted its second annual Responsible Stay Summit in Washington. Hotel and sustainability leaders attended to discuss ways to strengthen the industry's commitment to environmental sustainability.

THE AMERICAN HOTEL & Lodging Association convened hotel and sustainability leaders in Washington for the second annual “Responsible Stay Summit” on Feb. 28, reaffirming the industry’s dedication to environmental sustainability. The summit was part of AHLA’s 2022 Responsible Stay initiative and focused on energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, and responsible sourcing, AHLA said in a statement.

The summit addressed environmental, social, and governance strategies, federal energy policy, and green financing, while offering crucial support to hoteliers in their sustainability efforts, the statement added.

This year’s summit featured two announcements: AHLA and the Hotel Association of Canada unveiled a partnership to oversee the Green Key Global sustainability certification program in the U.S. and Canada starting April 1. Additionally, AHLA and Procure Impact launched a Dignity of Work Pledge, aiming to generate 100,000 hours of paid employment for underserved populations, thereby promoting responsible sourcing practices.

“AHLA is proud to host the inspiring Responsible Stay Summit, which is designed to help hoteliers build a more sustainable future for our guests, our industry, and our planet,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA’s president and CEO. “Hoteliers can always count on AHLA for the latest sustainability tools, resources, and best practices in this fast-evolving field.”

The event included speakers such as Dan Feldman, partner at Covington, Ben Feller, partner at Maslansky + Partners, Greg Gershuny, executive director of the Energy and Environment Program at The Aspen Institute, and Emily Kreps, global head of ESG and Sustainable Finance at Deutsche Bank, the statement said.

‘Green Key Global’

The Green Key Global sustainability certification program will be launched in the U.S. and Canada on April 1, AHLA said. The program evaluates hotels based on key criteria such as energy and water conservation, waste management, air quality, and more, offering a roadmap for ongoing enhancement.

“This partnership is a gamechanger for the hotel industry in the U.S. and Canada and takes our commitment to sustainability to the next level,” said Rogers. “Green Key Global provides important third-party validation for hotels’ sustainability efforts, and it gives sustainability-minded travelers the information they need to choose the lodging options that are right for them. AHLA and HAC will be working together to promote these goals through this important partnership.”

HAC established Green Key Global in 1994 to certify hotels’ environmental policies, aligning its criteria with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are so proud of the commitments hotels are making on the ground as part of this program,” said HAC President and CEO Susie Grynol. “Establishing a Green Key Global North American standard of sustainability allows more properties to elevate their leadership in this space, and through this partnership, we believe we can make sustainability accessible for all hotels.”

In October, AHLA teamed up with IncentiFind to help more than 30,000 AHLA members discover sustainability-focused cost-saving opportunities, resulting in significant operational expense reductions totaling $70 billion in incentives, including tax credits, grants, and fee waivers.

AHLA offers hoteliers multiple routes to a sustainable future, including: