Much has been written about the benefits of "Greening" (environmental improvements). Many businesses see greening as an opportunity to maximize ROI and increase brand equity. Some of the benefits of greening include reducing the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), improved air quality and enhancing personal comfort between the work or customer environments. Additional benefits will accrue as a company meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and initiates greening programs that will distinguish them from their competition.
Greening can be represented the term is Sustainability which is defined as: Economic development that takes full account of the environmental consequences of economic activity and is based on the use of resources that can be replaced or renewed and therefore are not depleted.
reduce the use of hazardous products and materials in housekeeping or maintenance (also reduces the amount of hazardous wastes needing to be disposed),
use more energy efficient equipment in heating, cooling, and lighting as well as construction materials,
recycle electronic goods, building materials from renovation projects (example rubble for future projects or unpainted wood turned into mulch) and share usable windows & plumbing supplies with the needy (30),
use reusable products,
use energy efficient or alternative fuel vehicles,
practice energy and environmental conservation (ride share programs & "work at home" programs to minimize travel/traffic),
water conservation, and
participate in community environmental initiatives.
Greening began in the in the early 1970's as energy management to address the escalating cost of energy and the 1973–1974 Oil Embargo by the Middle East. Aspects of greening were reflected in water conservation, recycling, more efficient equipment, involvement of staff in reducing use of electrical power and architectural considerations; to name but a few. At that time, the lodging industry became the most knowledgeable industry as to actual energy use.
By the early 80's, hotel properties would focus on techniques to control energy use, implement water conservation and re-use programs, recycling initiatives and activities that helped with wildlife and wetland preservation, especially in resort locations.
Beginning in the 90's, a close working relationship was developed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. During recent years, the lodging industry has actively participated in and supported the EPA's Energy Star program.
2008 Perspective on Going Green The long-term success of your business is defined by profitability, quality of your goods/ services, and the value of your brand. Today, there is a heightened awareness of our fragile environment; it is a topic of debate for the upcoming presidential election. We are seeing dramatic climatic changes, limitations on our natural resources and the negative impact businesses can have on our environment. Many scientists feel that the burning of carbon based fuels to produce energy contributes heavily to increase of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; this is responsible for the changes in our weather patterns, global warming, and a deterioration of our health.