Certification Programs 

Amongst the dozens of certification programs out there, we feel confident that of the following programs, you'll find one that's right for your property.  Just click on the titles for more information:  

Choose the pathway that meets your budget, goals, and demographics

Audubon Green Leaf™ Eco-Rating Program: Through a straight-forward and cost-effective five-stage process, properties earn a rating of one to five Green Leafs based on water quality, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.  

Going Green: The Prince of Wales Foundation International Tourism Partnership (ITP) program is a primer and an excellent starter program to develop energy, water, and waste conservation programs. 

Green Key Global: AH&LA members receive a significant discount on the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, a graduated rating system designed to recognize hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performance.  Green Key is comprised of a self-administered audit focused on hotel operations and environmental practices, coupled with onsite inspections to verify a hotel’s rating. AH&LA members can save up to 45%, depending on property size. Click here for information regarding a special AH&LA member discount.


Green Arrow  View Green Key's presentation from the 2010 Fall Conference

EarthCheck:  Specific to hospitality, this international benchmarking and certification program is based on the Agenda 21 principles of Sustainable Development, providing a framework for managing sustainability programs and monitoring performance and improvement.

Green Globes:  The Green Building Initiative’s green management program includes an assessment protocol, rating system, and guide for integrating environmentally-friendly design into commercial buildings. 

Green Seal:   It is a science-based nonprofit organization that focuses exclusively in developing environmental standards, and certifying products and operations since 1989. 

Green Arrow  View Green Seal's presentation from the 2011 Fall Conference


EcoRooms & EcoSuites: This is an approval and certification program requiring 100% compliance with eight criteria that are guestroom related. The program requires all guest rooms to be 100% non-smoking. 

Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program™ (STEP): This comprehensive, global sustainable tourism eco-certification program is offered by a non-profit organization and aligned with the minimum baseline Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and impending global accreditation though the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC).

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders:  The largest green hotel program in the United States that directly assesses hotel environmental sustainability. The program highlights hotels and B&Bs with green practices on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, awarding them a badge in search results and on their page, and featuring them in a "green" filter. Properties complete an on-line assessment, and depending on their score can achieve one of 5 levels ranging from GreenPartner to GreenLeader: Platinum. Apply at green.tripadvisor.com.

US Green Building Council :  The U.S. Green Building Council has decided to not create a separate LEED for Hospitality program. Instead, they have aligned all their market sector ratings (including hospitals and schools) under one system called LEED 2009. They have created a "bookshelf" of credits that apply to all of its diverse rating standards. A new 110-point LEED scorecard gives 100 points plus a possible 10 bonus points, which nearly doubles the optional credits for energy performance.  AH&LA is assisting the process in regard to how hotels are unique both for new construction and renovations of existing hotels and an operational program for existing properties.