Lodging that’s both stylish and socially responsible.
Here in the United States, the hotel industry has an enormous environmental footprint, equalling 5 billion square feet of space, 5 million hotel rooms, and $4 billion in annual energy use, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. That’s a whole lot of impact, particularly when you consider that the vast majority of properties operate with little to no regard for the environment.
But little by little, the tide is changing, and hotels are coming to realize that operating sustainably doesn’t just affect the environment – it also affects their bottom line. On average, hotels that incorporate green principles use an average of 26 percent less energy and 30 percent less indoor water, and they generate 33 percent less energy and 50-75 percent less solid waste.
The gold standard of the sustainable hospitality industry is the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program, which encompasses stages from certified to Platinum. The application process is rigorous, and as of October 2011, only 122 hotels worldwide had made the cut. Here are some of our favorites.
Posada de Mike Rapu, Easter Island, Chile
Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA
Bintan Lagoon Resort, Bintan, Indonesia
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