Join The Commonwealth’s Campaign to Promote Environmentally-Friendly Practices in Virginia’s Tourism Industry
Virginia Green is a partnership program between Virginia DEQ, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), and Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association (VRLTA). Virginia Green promotes practical pollution prevention techniques in all sectors of Virginia’s tourism industry.
Important Program Notice:
RECERTIFICATION is REQUIRED in 2019
to stay in the Virginia Green program!
A Message from the Executive Director
Hello to all of our Virginia Green Travel Partners! Thank you for your continuing efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of your hospitality operation. Your commitments through the Virginia Green program combined with the other 1800+ certified Virginia Green Travel Partners has made us the #1 state-based Green Tourism program in the country!
As we move into our 2nd decade as a program, we are making a few exciting changes that do affect all of our certified Virginia Green Travel Partners.
Program Administration Update / Summary:
- In 2018, due to changing state agency policies and limitations, the administration of the Virginia Green program and the certification process was transferred to the Virginia Green Travel Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit created solely for this purpose.
- The Virginia Green program will continue to be recognized & marketed by the Virginia Tourism Corporation on Virginia.org.
- Virginia DEQ continues to provide technical assistance and program oversight.
- The new Virginia Green Travel Alliance has MUCH greater flexibility in promoting and assisting its partners and developing educational resources and services.
Bottomline: ALL partners are required to Re-Certify in 2019 in order to continue their recognition as a Virginia Green Travel Partner.
(Re-certification information found here)
- Re-certification will now be required every 2 years so that we can be sure that all of our partners are still engaged and living up to the program commitments.
- There are now nominal processing fees to support the administration of the program. We hope that you will fully consider the great “ROI” that your facility receives from being green-certified!
- Officially, if you have been in the program since before 2018, your certification is no longer valid. However, we are trying to be as flexible as possible and giving all of our partners until the end of 2019. If you haven’t re-certified by end of 2019, you will be removed from the Virginia Green search filters and the logo will be removed from your listings on Virginia.org & VirginiaGreenTravel.org.
We’ve been working this past year to reach out to all of our members — and thanks to all of you that have already re-certified! We are hoping that we will be able to connect with and re-certify each of you.
I am personally excited about this new chapter in the Virginia Green program and our combined efforts to further Sustainable Practices in our industry….and promote Virginia as a Green Travel Destination! I feel incredibly grateful to work with you all!
Executive Director, Virginia Green Travel Alliance
1. Reduce the environmental impacts of the tourism industry
2. Increase environmental awareness of the industry and its customers
3. Make the tourism industry more profitable through employment of green practices
Visitors to Virginia care about the environment and so does our Tourism Industry!
That is the main premise behind Virginia Green. It is a network of tourism-related organizations and programs that are committed to protecting and promoting the environment. Virginia Green Lodging was the first established program in the Virginia Green Network, but criteria are now being developed for all sectors of the tourism industry!
- Welcome/Visitor Centers
- Travel Organizations
- Conference Centers
- Golf Courses
- Convention Center
Minimum “core activities” have been developed for each of these sector categories, and they are encouraged to become as “green” as possible! Virginia Green “profiles” are developed for each facility; therefore, “environmentally-savvy” guests can shop for the “green” amenities that they value!
- A typical 100-room hotel uses 5.6 million gallons of water and 120 tons of trash a year and produces 3.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions through energy usage.
- 30% reductions in water and energy are easily achievable through simple P2 techniques and a good hotel recycling program can divert more than 50% of its solid wastes.
Virginia Green Results:
- Assuming that these facilities achieve similar results, the 100 Virginia Green Lodging facilities should achieve annually:
- 15 million gallons of reduced water consumption
- 100 million pounds of reduced CO2 emissions
- 3500 tons of reduced solid waste generation
- Assuming that we expect membership in Virginia Green to expand 4-fold in the next 2 years, the sky is the limit for achieving Environmental Improvements!
Facilities who join Virginia Green are those who realize that Virginia ’s tourism industry is closely linked to our beautiful Natural Resources. We all receive many benefits from protecting our environment, but here are some benefits that come directly from participating in Virginia Green!
- Listed on Virginia Green website and searchable through Virginia is for Lovers (www.Virginia.org/green/)
- Virginia Green Certificate for display at your facility
- Use of Virginia Green LOGO
- Virginia Green profile of your facility
- Increase patronage by environmental groups and environmentally-aware customers
- Save $$$ through cost savings measures which also reduce
For More Information:
Tom Griffin, Executive Director, Virginia Green Travel Alliance
Greener Results Sustainability Services