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Greener Blog is all about corporate environmental issues, green facility tips, new ideas, and industry news. We invite you to participate in our conversation by posting your comments and sharing with others.


Greener Results Helps Develop the National Restaurant Association’s Greener Restaurants Program

We are pleased to announce that we worked with the National Restaurant Association to develop its new Greener Restaurants program, which was featured at the NRA Show in Chicago May 22-25. We helped the National Restaurant Association design the voluntary framework for the program, developed much of its technical content and resources, and helped manage the design and implementation of the website and database.

We were chosen to work on the project because of our experience in developing voluntary, pollution-prevention-based recognition programs. For example, Greener Results helped develop Virginia Green, Virginia’s successful program to encourage green practices in all sectors of that state’s tourism industry. We also helped develop Maryland Green Travel which launched a similar voluntary program in 2009. Both of these programs provide recognition opportunities for their participants, but depend upon active consumer involvement to ensure that facilities observe the green practices to which they have committed.

For the full press release on this new program, click here.


Green Drinks for the Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, April 22 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and in celebration as well as a mode of action Green Drinks chapters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be coming together for the second annual Green Drinks for the Chesapeake Bay. Each chapter will celebrate in their own way but together will be concentrating action a grassroots movement to influence legislation and government regulation to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The goal this year is to top the world attendance record of 1,800 set in Melbourne, Australia, and to rally support for action to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Annapolis Green Drinks, along with Virginia Beach Green Drinks, are the at the helm of the coordinated "toast" and call to action, with each Green Drinks group from Pennsylvania to Virginia meeting simultaneously, each in its respective location. To find a location nearest you, click here.


Virginia Green Gazette

The Virginia Green program was originally developed while Greener Results director Tom Griffin was working for the Virginia DEQ. Greener Results now serves as lead consultant to the program and Tom Griffin serves as spokesperson for the the program and coordinates the efforts of the Virginia Green Advisory Committee. Virginia Green is a statewide program that works to reduce the environmental impacts of Virginia's tourism industry and also provides recognition, guidance, and criteria for all sectors of tourism to self-certify their green activities.

One of the resources that Virginia Green provides is a regular email newsletter, the Virginia Green Gazette, which includes helpful updates, links, and information for any business going green. We'll share a link to each newsletter here as it provides relevant tips and information for anyone passionate about going green. Or, you're welcome to subscribe for yourself.


The Influence of Sustainability on Consumer Choice

In the 2009 CMIGreen Traveler Study, the document opens by posing the question 'how' will sustainability influence consumer choice? The study acknowledges that it's not a matter of whether or not sustainability will be a consideration for consumers, but that on some level it will indeed be a determining factor for consumers. Thanks to rising public awareness of sustainability issues, green facilities, and environmental awareness in general, the tourism and hospitality has new opportunities to attract consumers whose preferences and travel behaviors are in concert with sustainable facilities, services, and products.

The study is a lengthy document with the following summary:
"Travel and hospitality consumers are rapidly and enthusiastically becoming educated on the issues, and demanding greater social and environmental engagement from destinations and suppliers. There is a shift in consumer consciousness that is resulting in a rethinking of consumption patterns toward more responsible, earth-friendly alternatives. Tourism and hospitality industry leaders are similarly embracing sustainability to establish competitive advantage, enhance brand value and drive sales. This is moving market share for those taking initial steps."

How are you as a tourism and hospitality professional responding to this shift in consumer consciousness? You first must have an understanding of the green consumer and the CMI study tackles the task of creating a green traveler profile. Not surprisingly, they found there are various "shades" of green travelers. The various profiles are created based on responses to a series of questions and behavior categories including:
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Green Purchases
  • Choosing Money or the Environment
  • Use of Environmental Media
  • Attendance at Events
It's worth scanning the study and answering basic questions about your own facility and services. Do your customers fit within the profiles described? If so, how are you catering to their green travel preferences?

Responding to the shift in consumer consciousness is a seemingly overwhelming but necessary process. It is more than a list of tasks to "go green;" it is a parallel shift in tourism and hospitality consciousness. We know this because sustainability is part of our own business--it is something we understand, teach, consult on, develop, guide, implement, and support.


Greener Results Helps Green Restaurants Get Recognition

A recent Restaurant Report on NBC12 in Richmond gave some much deserved recognition to one of Richmond's local restaurants that has gone green in alignment with the Virginia Green voluntary self-certification program. Virginia Green is a program that provides recognition, guidance, and criteria for all sectors of tourism to self-certify their green activities. Virginia Green was developed by Greener Results director Tom Griffin and the company has long been the lead consultant for the state program. With more restaurants now participating in Virginia Green, the program will have more local visibility and impact.

NBC12 goes behind the scenes at The Republic Restaurant and Bar and does a great job at highlighting the green facets of the restaurants as well as allowing owner Rick Lyons to speak to the financial and environmental benefits to going green. See for yourself how easy it is to achieve greener results.

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